Orange Conference 2018

Orange was a fantastic experience. It’s always a lot of fun and an exciting experience but most importantly it grows me and trains me to be a better leader. The problem is it’s information and inspiration overload. So this year as the theme focused on a uniting church I found myself trying to take tons of notes. It ended up being 20 pages of notes on a Word Doc. I went through all of it and picked out the 15 top quotes from each break-out and session that I went to and put them here. They’re in no specific order but they are fantastic truths that I’m looking to unpack and put in to practice as I continue in ministry.

  1. Draw the line between moments and mission. — Frank Bealer
    In ministry moments can be muddled and disheartening. Mission should be clear and inspiring. Connecting the two helps people stay in ministry despite hard moments because they see the mission.
  2. Leadership is not being in charge, it’s caring for those in your charge. — Bobby Ikebudu
    I struggle with this. I get so distracted trying to accomplish tasks that I forget my most important task is caring for people.
  3. Reverse Brainstorming — If you’re asking “How can I make check-in lines shorter?” ask the opposite. “How could I make check-in lines as long as possible.” — Amber Baker
    This one’s a fun way to try and find solutions to hard problems. Reverse the question to find different solutions.
  4. “Measure what matters so you can better care for what matters.” — Charles Ross
    On the creative to analytical side there’s no doubt I drift to the creative side, but despite my leanings data has to be used to help us go farther.
  5. Over 80% of sexually marginalized girls in America are from foster care. — Danielle Strickland
    This world needs our church. And not a divided one.
  6. Imagine a world where people were skeptical of what we believed but envious of how well we treated one another. — Andy Stanley
    At the center of this conference on a unified church sits Andy Stanley’s talk. If we want the world to know and believe that Christ is the true Savior and Son of God it starts with how we treat each other.
  7. Every yes is a no to something else. — Doug Fields
    Good leaders know how to say no to the good things in order to say yes to the most important things.
  8. Time on the front end is better than time after the fact. — Sarah Jensen
    When it comes to volunteers or staff the best approach is to invest time upfront.
  9. Connect your kids on what you use technology for — Jon Acuff
    How your kids use technology will be shaped by how I use it. If I don’t explain how and why I’m using it I miss a chance to shape their future.
  10. Every kid is one choice away from becoming a statistic. Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story — Josh Shipp
    It takes one adult saying yes to the next generation and trusting God to use you to change the eternity of a kid.
  11. You can measure the effectiveness of how safe your place is by the things that students and families that have been brave to share. — Tom Schefunenas
    The truth is kids, students, and families are all going through incredibly difficult things. If we’re being effective they’ll feel safe enough in our ministries to share those things openly.
  12. What if we created weekend experiences for people who are in pain? — Ryan leak
    The church experience isn’t solely for the lost or the saved. It’s for people in pain. The truth is this describes both. And if we, as Christians, can admit that we’re in pain, then maybe we can allow Jesus to do some healing for everyone.
  13. I don’t know what to do but my eyes are on you — Louie Giglio
    The first half of that statement describes almost my entire time in ministry. I don’t know what to do. That’s ok. My job is to keep my eyes on Christ.
  14. Thank you for trusting me with that. — Andy Stanley
    When a kid or a family or a student tell you something that shocks your soul, don’t tell them it’s all gonna be okay, don’t quote scripture, don’t tell them what you’ve been through, tell them this. There’s nothing wrong with those things but the first thing you should say is thank you, for trusting me.
  15. Ministry is hard and Nehemiah didn’t apologize for it. — Reggie Joiner
    I apologize too much for ministry. It’s not easy. But great things shouldn’t be and the faith of the next generation is worth everything.

I hope these thoughts and quotes have been helpful to you as I wrestle with how to grow and develop as a leader. Check back next week as I push my writing with my next post titled: “My most political blog post”.

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