A part of me wants to say stop reading, click out away from my site, and sign-up for the Orange Conference right now. But I really want you to keep reading...
One of the many benefits of Orange - and some I listed in my post from yesterday - includes an annual conference hosted by the crew at Orange and led by Reggie Joiner, founder and guy-in-charge at Orange. I could talk at length about the impact and influence that this guy has had on Family Ministry, but he deserves a post of his own at a later time.
Register on Oct 10 and save $80 on the price for 1 day only. Pay only $239 per person: http://theorangeconference.com #thinkorange
I attended the Orange Conference last year for the first time. It blew my mind in a number of ways - 4 to be exact - and since then about 6 months ago, I have processing a number of thoughts that have arisen through the content, speakers, and hallway conversations. In fact, I believe that these 4 reasons are enough for you to consider thinking about registering for the conference this year also.
1. The conference provides space for you to consider your ministry environment from an objective perspective. Ministry is like building an airplane in flight. You are dreaming and visioneering at the same time that you are walking with parents in crisis, helping a student cope with a break-up, and trying to make it to staff meeting on time because you overslept. Day-to-day ministry, coping with the grind, stifles the imagination. The Orange Conference at the very least provides a space for us West Coasters to travel to the opposite coast and get some space and time to think about ministry, reflect on our call, and work out the practical implications of ministry in our particular contexts.
2. The conference each year invites an impressive list of dynamic and nationally recognized speakers in the area of Family Ministry who provide thought-privoking, critically-engaging, and faithful content that spurns insightful personal reflection. All this to say, you will have more than enough content to fill a year's worth of trainings, iPod playlists, and teachings. Last year, I purchased the full Orange experience, and I received every talk given during the conference, totaling 100. Truly, the conference is an experience that God will use to feed your soul for the months ahead.
3. The conference provides ample opportunities for you to meet the curators of content and learn how and why they produce content and how you may implement it. Every person who registers to use the curriculum is assigned an Orange Specialist. This person will walk with you through the process of implementation of it. During the conference, all of the Specialists are available and accessible for you to ask questions and provide suggestions. I believe that Orange is the closest curriculum on the market that holds in tension its values and mission with the open source feedback of its users.
4. The conference provides attendees with fun and innovative ways to meet other people and build new friendships and networks with other like-minded people and Orange curriculum users. During every conference - typically on the first night - Orange hosts evening gatherings for folks in specialized areas of ministries, such as Kid Ministry Pastors, Student Ministry Pastors, Special Needs Pastors, and more. Additionally, as an extrovert, I love striking conversations up with other people in the hallway or during session breaks. Most of us at this conference swim in the same waters of family ministry and face similar challenges. I have found that God has ministered to my soul through meeting other people who dig in the trenches of ministry just like me.
Bonus: Orange provides awesome worship sets that breathe life into my soul! Don't discount the importance of corporate worship with the wider Body, including with strangers whom you may not know. It is a significant aspect of the conference. Confession: I usually weep all throughout the first one and then I am good to go!
If you have not been, then you should set aside room in your budget and schedule to make it happen for you. It is one of the best conferences available to leaders in family ministry and worth the investment of time away from family ministry and the dollars required to attend.
QUESTION: Have you ever attended the Orange Conference? Share your experience!