Listening to our Neighbors

I’m one of those people that is always quick to an answer a question.  I’ve often assumed that my answers are the ones everyone will like…call it pride if you want.  Over the years I’ve become slower and slower to answer a question that may be out there in the organization (or church.)  I’ve learned that most of my learning comes from listening first.  I’m continuing to learn that keeping my mouth shut for at least a little while, helps me articulate the right answer.  And there is the added bonus of listening being a prerequisite of love.

“Listening, as far as I m concerned, is certainly a prerequisite of love. One of the most essential ways of saying I love you is being a receptive listener Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.”

-Fred Rogers

How great is that quote?  And as if that isn’t great enough, the Bible talks about this slow and fast things as well…

James 1:19 || “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”

INCM + Youth Specialties = Orange 2012

All week I’ve been participating in a special look at what the Orange Conference could mean for those of us ministering to the Next Generation.  This year there are some special things Orange is doing to reach out to those working in Youth and Children’s Ministry.

We are thrilled to present TWO specialty tracks sponsored by Youth Specialties and International Network of Children s Ministries! Our friends in ministry will be providing the speakers and content, so you are sure to hear a favorite from one of their conferences and some great content. We are proud to present these to anyone wishing for a two-conference-in-one experience.

As a great fan of both INCM (the host of CPC), and Youth Specialties; I love the reach that Orange is attempting to make for all of us working on the local church level.  So, what are you waiting for?  Visit today and register now!

What I Want from Orange 2012

My name is Jonathan, and I’m a conference junkie.  It’s true.  It’s also true that I don’t pick sides in these debates about which conference is better than another.  I believe that conferences and the things we hear when we attend are all just different parts of the same conversation.  I attend many of them to speak into the conversation that is happening, and to listen.

In April, I’ll be at The Orange Conference.  I’ll be there to see old friends, meet new friends, and continue the conversations I’ve started since 2008.  However, the thing I’m most hoping to learn in Atlanta on April 25-27 is how to lead my team more effectively.  I’ve transitioned over the years into a role of leading some great leaders to children, students, and college-age people; and getting better at leading them is my #1 goal for 2012.

There are too many rich breakouts to list here on one blog post, but I’m looking forward to making Orange 2012 the conference that helps me grow as a leader of leaders.  Take the time to investigate this thing called The Orange Conference, and see if it’s something that will help you as a leader as well!

Where will you go to find new ideas to reach a new world and the old?


The Orange Idea Revolution

The Orange Conference is continuing registration this week, and it’s a place you want to be if you work with families and those students and children those families love so much.  It’s been well documented over the years, that I absolutely love my Orange experience each April.  I’ve attended every Orange Conference since 2008, and I’ve gone solo once, with one friend once, with my boss once, and last year attended with most of my ministry team.  Each time I’ve been a part of Orange, I’ve come away a better leader and more excited about my future at Trinity Church.

It was at the Orange Conference that our church grabbed a vision for ministering to the family as a whole, and it was at the Orange Conference that I caught an idea about what our church could do in the community of Lubbock on a grander scale.  I absolutely believe that if you make the effort to be a part of what’s happening in Atlanta on April 25-27; then you can be a better leader and a better minister to the families in your church.  Take the time today to visit and see what all the details are.

The first step is to want something unique for your life and your church, and that first step is to find out all you can.  Make it happen!

Orange Giveaway

As you read all that’s happening, follow all the tweets, catchup on all the back and forth; you should also take some time to get something FREE.

By simply filling out the Giveaway Application above you will be entered to win one of these three awesome books!

 Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide…  by Reggie Joiner

Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connect Your Family to a Wider Community  by Reggie Joiner and Carey  Nieuwhof


More Lost Than Found: Finding a Way Back to Faith  by Jared Herd