25 Apr Orange Conferences – Through the Years

img_0972As I said in this post, I have been to almost every Orange Conference (and most of the Orange Tours as well). I’m headed to #OC17 this week and I can’t wait! 

Orange Swag!

When you arrive at the Orange Conference each year, they give you a conference bag with a variety of goodies inside. One of those goodies is always an Orange Notebook. Recently, I gathered all of my Orange notebooks and a few of the conference bags I’ve collected over the years. As I looked over my notes, I began learning all over again. I reread statements, quotes, and information that has grounded my leadership, inspired my work in ministry, and guided me in life. So, I thought as I get ready to go to this year’s conference, I’d start by taking a walk down memory lane. Here are a few of my biggest takeaways from the Orange Conferences I’ve attended through the years.


  • img_4495The question we need to ask across all we do is, “Are we making it easier or harder for people to turn to God?” This question unites us and puts us all on the same page.
  • Don’t confuse the model with the mission of the church. We have a window, a moment in time. God invites us to work but we must remember it’s not about the model, it’s about the mission. 
  • Keep fighting for the family – including your own family. Get involved in helping parents create the family God intended for them to be.


  • img_1448Orange Cones – when plopped down with no arrangement or direction, they can create havoc. There is no plan or structure. When they are arranged with a plan and structure, they have the ability to direct and navigate a 2-ton vehicle. It’s the same with the programs in our churches. We need to be intentional about aligning various programs, elements, etc. When we have a plan, a structure, and a strategy there are no silos. We can help people take steps and lead them strategically through programs that have been created with purpose, intentionality, and the same end goal. 
  • Vision communicates value. “You called me to do something important with my time.”
  • When you create a culture of change in your church you are saying you care more about the mission than the model. 


  • img_4739Are you seeing obstacles or opportunities? The last Greek word in the book of Acts is unhindered. The church of Christ will go forward unhindered! See opportunities, not obstacles.
  • The boy who brought his lunch to Jesus the day He fed the 5000 had that lunch made for him. The person who made the lunch is unnamed, but they had a purpose and were used by God. We fear that what we do won’t matter. What we do today matters tomorrow. We are called. That brings purpose – that matters. 


  • What you do this week matters!
  • Success = When those who know you best, respect you most.
  • Early on as a leader, your capacity will matter, but later it will be the capacity of those you lead and influence that matters – if you lead well. 
  • You can’t force kids to have a relationship with God but you can create environments that will make it easier. 
  • We can’t make someone fall in love with God, but we can set up the date!


  • img_1791When you see how much time you have left, you tend to get serious about the time you have now. 
  • The 1st-century church had no authority, no leverage, no majority and yet – they toppled the western world. Let’s take our cues from them. 
  • The west was won because the first-century church was all about “one another.” 
  • Approach determines people’s response to what we have to say. 
  • Jesus has huge abilities, but it’s his availability that draws us to Him. He is always available.


  • img_1309Some of the greatest moments in history started with someone saying “Yes.”  
    • “Yes, I’ll fight a giant.”
    • “Yes, I’ll march around a city.” 
  • Great teams are always more fun. They serve one another, make memories together. It’s easy to leave a task, but few will leave a family. 
  • When the team works together, kids get a look at what God wants to the church to look like. 


  • img_1799What if we were to treat every child as if the boy Jesus were in front of us? 
  • Leaders who can’t be questioned, end up doing questionable things.
  • God uses broken-hearted leaders (Nehemiah). What breaks your heart? 
  • You have no idea what or who hangs in the balance of your decision to embrace the burden God has put in your heart. 
  • Be willing to love and accept ANY child who comes into your church and you’ll automatically have a special needs ministry. 


I’m so excited to go to #OC17. I will be blogging from the conference and can’t wait to share all of the Orange goodness with you all! Let me know if you’ll be there. Would love to meet up!