I had a great time at the Orange Conference last week. It was my 4th time to attend, but the first time I’ve taken my entire team along for the experience. I was abel to make the normal Orange Conference connections that I’ve made each year, meeting new friends and reuniting with old ones. Because these Internets love a good list, I’m going with a top 5 things I took away from this years Orange Conference:
- The Team: Taking my senior pastor, executive pastor, college pastor, student ministry pastor, and connections pastor was quite the experience. When you add me to the mix, that creates 6 different personalities living within close proximity with each other for 5 days. I’m proud to say that nobody was killed. :)
- They all had different takeaways from the conference, and I’m looking forward to reaping a harvest of action from all the ideas planted within them.
- The Friends: I had breakfast each morning with some serious Family Ministry big-timers. It was a great experience to get up early so I could eat, talk, dream, and pray with those that I share my life with. Easily one of the best takeaway experiences of the entire conference, was the breakfast me and some others had with Jim Wideman. I realize I don’t have enough Jim’s in my life right now, and the time I had with him; and the answers to my questions that he had were a blessing to me.
- <rant beginning> And if you attended this conference or any other conference, and don’t make the time to connect with those that don’t work at your church…then you are missing it in a serious way. Build it into your schedule to take someone from another church out to dinner, breakfast, or coffee when you have them in your view. Don’t think they have the time? Well, maybe you just haven’t asked yet. <rant over>
- The Word: Listening to Andy Stanley, Jud Wilhite, Perry Noble, Gordon MacDonald, and Doug Fields speak in the Main General Sessions were life changing. I was recapping some of what they had to say to a friend this morning, and I realize that the words from those brothers in Christ were just what I needed to hear. Love the time I have to experience the teaching of God’s Word when in the company of like-minded people!
- The Breakouts: Breakouts are a tricky thing. Will you get some great content, but a bad presenter? Or will you get some great humorous person with great delivery that doesn’t really say anything of value? It’s sort of a crapshoot. This year I batted about .900 in picking breakouts; and it may be the best year yet for me. Easily the most inspiring one was from Chap Clark on turning a church Orange. Listening to him give a church history lesson on the use of overhead projectors, was insightful and challenging. This is the one breakout that I wish everyone in my team had been in on!
- The Sleep: Oh wait, there wasn’t any. Every year I go to Orange I tell myself that I’m going to sleep more than the previous year, and yet every year I stay up til 1am, and find myself waking up at 5am to head out to breakfast somewhere.
It was a great year at Orange, and if you were there would you do me a favor? Leave me a comment and say hello. I miss you already!