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Orange + Atlanta = ME

orange I am totally pumped about attending the Orange Conference in Atlanta from April 29 to May 1st.  I attended last year, and I still have thoughts from some of those breakout sessions bouncing around in my empty head.  It s been a whirlwind of activity getting a chance to attend the Orange Conference this year, in fact it s something that only came about in the last 48 hours. 


The Orange Conference is an opportunity for churches to have their key leaders in a room together being challenged about what it means and what it takes to reach the next generation. It’s not a children’s ministry conference. It’s not a youth ministry conference.ORANGE IS THREE CONFERENCES ROLLED UP INTO ONE EVENT. It’s the only place that a senior pastor, student pastor, children’s pastor and volunteers that work within these ministries can learn together and begin formulating a strategy to impact the lives of the people in your congregation

Our church is a more than a few steps away from going in a truly family-ministry direction, but it is my heart to get there eventually.  Since our church isn t following the Orange philosophy 100%, the conference is a time for me to try and integrate those Orange activities that I can.  I left last year with many ideas, that I was able to implement within the first few weeks back to Lubbock.  I m really excited about experiencing it all this year!


Here are my Pre-Conference and Breakout Session selections. 

Preconference: CONCENTRATE: Random Learning’s from Thinking Orange

Breakout A:

Capturing the Heart of New Parents
Kendra Fleming
Isn’t it amazing how you can love someone so much who keeps you up all night, spits up on your favorite shirt, and screams in your ear? That’s the miracle of what happens in your heart when a baby is born. This beginning stage in a parent’s life will change them like few others will. Suddenly they are overwhelmed, intimidated, inspired for the future, and incredibly responsible. This breakout is about how we can seize this unique opportunity to partner with parents from the very beginning.

Breakout B:

Transition or Tension? Orangifying a Church with Tradition
Larry Thompson, Adam Duckworth
What happens when a 100-year-old church decides to go Orange? Listen in on a dialogue between a senior pastor and the already-Orange children’s pastor he brought in to lead change as they discuss the pivotal first six months of their transition to the new way of reThinking.

Breakout C:

Rules of Engagement
The Art of Communication

Reed Dickens

Mark Twain once said, Noise produces nothing. Often a hen who merely has laid an egg cackles as though she has laid an asteroid. Every communicator wants to be better at his or her craft. Unfortunately, in our attempt to become better, we tend to speak louder or longer, ignoring the chasm between speaking and communicating. Reed Dickens, former White House Assistant Press Secretary, regular contributor on Larry King Live, Fox News and MSNBC, and CEO of Outside Eyes, a multi million dollar consulting firm that specializes in media strategy and crisis management, leads this eye opening discussion on the art of persuasive communication, the goal of communication, keys to effective persuasion, non-verbal language, message training, and crisis communication.

Breakout D:

Training Parents to Raise Relationally Rich Kids
Carey Nieuwhof
So you ve heard all about the church side of Orange—the yellow. Now it s time to add the red. It s time to equip parents for their responsibility at home. And that means helping parents raise relationally rich children. We ll share the latest developments and thinking on the five parenting skills that were introduced at the Orange Conference and on the Orange Tour in 2008.


Seriously, picking these were hard.  I d really like to get into the Breakout A -Partnering with Parents to Build Faith Skills; but it s already maxed out.  There isn t another conference in the country with such a great variety of breakout sessions.  In the coming weeks I ll highlight some of the main sessions I m looking forward to!

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

1 Comment

  1. Kenny · February 6, 2009

    Cool picks. I’m so glad you’re attending the preconference that you are. I’m excited about mine, but the one you’re going to is my second pick. I wish I could be in two places at once. Actually, at Orange I wish I could be in 3 or 4 places at once.

    Looks like we at least get to be breakout buddies in two breakouts. I’ll save you a seat!