“We are at a symbolic disadvantage as a wealthy culture. Jesus said that the rich man or woman will find it hard to understand what he is talking about. The rich can satisfy their loneliness and longing in false ways, in quick fixes that avoid the necessary learning. In terms of soul work, we dare not get rid of the pain before we have learned what it has to teach us. That’s why the poor have a head start. They can’t resort to an instant fix to any problem: aspirin, a trip, or some entertainment. They remain empty whether they want to or not.”

Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2003), 43

2016 State of Children’s Ministry Survey

Aspen Grove


Strong leaders look to data not only to measure where they’ve been, but to better understand where they are going. Right now is an exciting and rapidly changing time in children’s ministry—and Aspen Grove wants to unite leaders from all over the country to better understand what the future looks like as we serve the next generation.

In the spirit of cultivating the future church, Aspen Grove has partnered with CMConnectOneHope International, and many children’s ministry thought leaders to create the 2016 State of Children’s Ministry Survey.

Contribute Your Voice to the Survey

Orange Conference Follow-Along 2016

OC Follow

This week I’ll be at The Orange Conference in Atlanta, GA seeing what is happening in and around the world of local church ministry to children, students, and families. I’ll be in breakouts, meeting with friends, and trying to update my social media feeds with those items that are curious, intriguing, and thoughtful.

Orange Leaders Blog

You’re accustomed to reading helpful leadership articles and event information from Orange Leaders blog. During conference, you’ll still receive detailed information about OC16, as well as information about Orange Tour and Orange Conference 2017, so check the blog daily. As well, they’re including recaps and notes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday so that you’ll be able to take in some of the key concepts being presented this year. To easily see all of the posts related to OC16, click this category link.

Social Media Accounts to Follow

Whether you’re a preschool leader or a NextGen leader, Orange Leaders have accounts for you to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and beyond. In addition to our brand accounts, our Orange Specialists each have Twitter accounts where you can connect, share, and learn helpful insights. There are so many ways to get the most out of the entire experience!

Recommended Searches for Those Not Attending OC16:

Twitter: #OC16Live – You’ll be watching the Live Stream at home, right? See below for details.
Twitter: #OC16
Instagram: Using the search feature indicated by the magnifying glass in the app, you can search for names, hashtags and subjects to see recent posts.
Facebook: In the search function at the top of the newsfeed, enter any search term or hashtag to find related posts.

Live Stream 

Once again, Orange is excited to offer non-attendees a Live Stream experience throughout OC16. Watch from the comfort of your home or office or favorite restaurant—provided that WiFi is available.

Be sure to RSVP today, and watch this blog for updates and the soon-to-be-released schedule!

Orange For the Leader

A few of the things that make me excited about Orange in 2016!


ORANGE IS SIMPLE. IT’S A STRATEGY. It’s a strategy that I’ve been involved with in some way or another for almost 10 years. Curriculum that fits nearly every church need, leadership tools to help you take it to a new level, and generally being a place of connection for myself and 1,000’s of others through the Orange Conference each Spring in Atlanta, GA.

Yet over the years as my role within the local church has changed, Orange has continued to tweak, adjust, and better themselves to reach homes and churches across the country.

Here are a few of the things I’ve noticed in the past few years:

reThink Leadership|| The Orange Conference has continued to reinvent itself over the years, and the best addition has been this unique attempt to connect senior leaders to each other. Imagine…leaders that reach our families connecting with each other in significant ways. This is a huge win for kid and student pastors!

Live to Serve || Orange has stepped up their game over the past 24 months as they’ve positioned themselves to influence the volunteers that make your ministries effective. Live to Serve exists to be an unique experience for Kidmin volunteers.

Orange Books || Orange Books publishes nonfiction, in long and short form, with the goal of helping churches influence those who influence the spiritual growth of the next generation. They partner with well-known and emerging leaders to bring you proven and practical strategies to maximize that influence.