Category Archives: Orange

Measuring What’s Important in Family Ministry (OC14)


The first pre-conference workshop I attended was all about measuring what is important in family ministry. The speaker, Terry Scalzitti, is a senior pastor at a church in Oceanview Baptist Church (Myrtle Beach, SC), but he spent several years doing “next gen” ministry in Florida. He started off his pre-conference workshop with Deuteronomy 6:6 in order to focus on why we do what we do.

Before he jumped into his main points, Terry shared some basic information to get us all on the same page:

  • We all want to be better at what we do, because we believe that what we do matters.
  • You can leverage what is cultural, what is changing, to communicate what is eternal. If we don’t, we are the ones that looks like a fool.
  • If you want to build something that last, you have to be willing to change what you build.
  • When you upgrade your system (when you’re willing to change), you highlight the mission in a clear way.

Terry, then shared five gauges to help you do ninistry better:

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Orange Conference 2014: What to Expect from Me

Hey, everyone! I'm here at the Orange Conference 2014. As you know, I'm going to be sharing a lot this week from the conference, but I thought I would give you a quick heads-up about what workshops I am attending, so you know what to expect later, when I get to sharing what I learned.


  • Measuring What's Important in Family Ministry (Next Gen) with Terry Scalzitti
  • Defining the Role of the NextGen Pastor with Nina Schmidgall
  • Developing a Weekly Social Media Plan for Parents and Volunteers with Matt McKee and Gina McClain
  • Creating Experiences for Married People with Ted Cunningham and Ted Lowe


  • Leading through Crisis, Tragedy, and Trama with Brooklyn Lindsey
  • The Power of Story (Children & Student focus) with Heather Zempel
  • Creating Games to Engage Middle School Students with Kenny Campbell and Elle Campbell

I will also be sharing from the seven main sessions. I hope you all are as excited as I am. Expect at least one post a day from me, but it will probably end up being more.


Orange Conference 2014


During the next week, I’ll be at the Orange Conference, learning more about what it means to help the church partner with families. I’m actually going as an official blogger for Orange, as I did a few years ago. What does this mean for you? I plan on taking a ton of notes and sharing them throughout the week right here on my blog. So, in a way, you can attend the Orange Conference right alongside me.

(For those regular readers who are used to seeing just a few posts a month, this is your warning that I will be posting a lot more over the next week.)

In addition, you can also check out main sessions and other talks via a free live stream of the conference. Yep, it’s FREE! Just head over to the Orange Leaders blog for more information.

I’m looking forward to going back to the Orange Conference this year, and I’m looking forward to sharing everything with you. So, stay tuned!

Orange Conference 2014 Bound


This year, I'll be heading back down to Atlanta for the Orange Conference. I'm really excited to be blogging for them again this year. So, what does this mean for you, as a reader? This means you can expect daily posts during the conference about the main sessions and workshops I attend. It might also include some interviews and maybe even a giveaway or two. You never know.

In terms of preparation, I want to make sure I am covering the things you want to hear about. So, let me know in the comments what you would like me to cover at OC14. There are a ton of workshops, which are already filling up. I've done my best at signing up for the ones that I think will be most beneficial, but if you see something on the list, be sure to point it out.

During the week, I will also be post little tidbits on Twitter, so be sure to follow me there, too!

What Orange Means to Me

orange_logo.jpgDuring my college internship, I was asked to read the book “Family-Based Youth Ministry” by Mark DeVries. This was the first time my eyes were open to the idea of youth ministry reaching beyond the teenagers, themselves. He gave several good ideas about how to connect with the parents of teens. While it was a great book, that is all it really was for me. I never really took it further than starting to say hi to the parents more or making sure they had our youth group calendars.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I attended my first Orange Conference, that I really began to understand the importance of connecting with parents. This concept goes way beyond putting information in their hands. It’s about working on the same thing at the same time. Before I get into it, I do want to admit that I still have a long way to go in truly implementing this concept to its fullest potential. What I have seen, though, has blown me away. Why? Because it is not about just keeping parents in the loop. It’s about coming alongside them in their efforts to raise their children to serve God all the days of their lives. It’s much more than just sending that calendar home. It’s about talking to them about their struggles of talking about the Bible at home. It’s about giving them suggested questions to ask their teenagers. It’s about offering times for them to connect with other parents of teens. It’s about partnership.

Speaking of partnership, one of the other benefits of the Orange philosophy is that I get to work more with our children’s minister and early-childhood minister. When I was in college and in my early days of ministry, I never really considered that to be something I would enjoy. But since we have been thinking about an entire church mentality, we have begun to “silo” our ministries less and less. The end result is a partnership that I have grown to love. When we get together to talk about ministry, not only do I know what is going on with the little children, but they know what is going on with our teens. Then, we are able to develop strategies together that span birth through graduation, and beyond. On top of that, we come up with plans to strengthen that partnership with the parents.

As I look forward to the future of our church and my ministry, I have begun to think of it less and less as mine. Instead, it belongs to God, ultimately, but He has given it to the church, as a whole. We need to stop siloing our ministries and begin thinking of them as one big ministry who partners with the family. This not only includes the “traditional” ones like youth and children, but it includes men’s and women’s ministries, preaching, music, and beyond. Yes, it is important to share Christ with one person, but think of how much greater it would be if you reached the entire family! That’s my vision and goal, and I thank Orange for helping me see it!

More info about Orange:


Oh, How I Enjoy Connecting with Others at the Orange Conference

orange_logo.jpgThe other day, I posted my top 10 reasons for attending the Orange Conference. A couple of the reasons centered around meeting and connecting with others. The more experience I have in ministry, the more I get excited about this. I have realized I cannot do it alone, and I do not have all the answers. I need to meet up with others, hearing their ideas, learning from their experience, and sharing wisdom. This is one of my favorite things about the Orange Conference.

Ok, so this is not something special just for the Orange Conference, but the people you get to meet at this conference are there for much of the same reasons. This makes a huge difference. They are also there to learn how to do a better job at reaching the entire family for Christ. They are there to stop silo-ing their ministries and to begin working on the same thing at the same time.

Also, it is important for student ministers to know that there is usually a big party for all of us on the first or second night of Orange. We get together to share ideas, but we also have a ton of fun! A couple years ago, we went bowling. They’ve also did trampoline basketball. We’ve hung out at Dave and Busters. Seriously, it is a blast!

If you have been desiring a connection with others in family ministry, Orange is the place to go!

Find out more at


Top 10 Reasons Why to Attend the Orange Conference?

orange_logo.jpgA few years ago, I was introduced to XP3, the student ministry curriculum from Orange. I didn’t know much about the whole Orange thing at that time, but I did hear they had an annual conference.  So, in 2010, I decided to check it out. I was overwhelmed a bit, but I had a great time, learning a lot! This year, I’ll be attending again, God willing, and I’m really excited. But you may be asking yourself why you should attend the Orange Conference, so I decided to create a list of the top 10 reasons:

10) You have a good chance of getting some free stuff.

9) You get to act like a child (youth ministers have a really fun game night to start off the conference).

8) You get to meet ministry leaders from all over the world.

7) You can learn more about your area of ministry.

6) You can learn more about other areas of ministry.

5) You  get to take a break from your daily routine.

4) You will learn more about the Orange philosophy of ministry straight from the ones who developed it.

3) There is something for everyone on your ministry staff team.

2) You get to spend time in worship without worrying about planning anything.

1) You can become a better ministry leader.

Yes, there are several conferences out there, and many of them are fantastic. However, if you have not attended a conference recently, I would encourage you to check out the Orange Conference. In fact, bring your whole staff and/or team.


It’s Orange Blogger Week for February 2014

orange_weekHey, everyone! It’s that time of year again — Orange Blogger Week! I’ll be joining in with several other amazing bloggers in the area of family ministry to share some thoughts about the Orange conference and what an “orange” family ministry looks like. Today, I wanted to pass along all the other blogs you can follow this week (and beyond).

Please note that Orange will be giving away FREE stuff on their blog, so make sure you check it out!


Children’s Ministry
Matt Norman,
Misty Phillips,
Sam Luce
Wendy Douglas, SavedSister7
Yancy Richmond,

Middle School/Student Ministry
Ben Read,
Benjamin Kerns,
Elle Campbell
J.C. Thompson.
Jeremy Zach,
Michael Bayne
Ryan Reed
Steve Cullum
Terrace Crawford
Tom Pounder,

NextGen/Family Ministry
Joe McAlpine
Jonathan Cliff
Michael Bayne
Nick Blevins
Pat Rowland
Tom Pounder,

Jonathan Cliff
Mary Carver,
Michael Bayne
Pat Rowland
Sam Luce
Wendy Douglas, SavedSister7

Jeremy Zach,
Jonathan Cliff
Matt McKee
Nick Blevins
Pat Rowland
Rob Cizek 

Matt McKee 

Marriage Ministry
Ted Lowe,

Yancy Richmond,

Special Needs
Amy Fenton Lee,

Orange Conference 2014 to Offer Special Needs Track

orange_logo.jpgDo you work with children who have special needs? Do you worry that your church is not prepared to work with families who have special needs? Are you a parent of a child with special needs, and wish your church did more to help you? If any of these fit you, I think you will be excited to hear that the Orange Conference will have a special needs track in 2014.

I’ll be honest. Working with students who have special needs is something that worries me a bit — not because I am bothered by the students, but because I want to make sure we are as prepared as much as possible to offer a ministry that is special needs-friendly. The workshops I attended at the 2011 Orange Conference (recaps are here and here) helped me to learn a lot about this area of ministry, but I know there is still more to learn. I’m excited about this new track at OC14, and I hope you are too.

There will be a total of four pre-conference workshops and four regular workshops during OC14. The pre-conference ones will cover “Training Volunteers to be Prepared for Children and Students with Autism,” “Transitioning Participants with Special Needs into Middle School, High School, and Adult Ministry Environments,” “Navigating Behavior Challenges,” and “5 Things Every Special Needs Leader Needs to Know.” The other four will include “Strategies to Engage Every Child,” “Promoting Spiritual Growth Inside the Family Impacted by Disability,” “Leading Teen Volunteers,” and “Special Needs Ministry Top 10.”

To find out much more about this track, including the leaders and track descriptions, click here.

One of my favorite ministry conferences is Orange. The first time I attended, in 2010, I was blown away by the information I gained from people who were experienced in family ministry. In fact, this conference helped me buy into the concept of family ministry that I hold to this day — that churches need to partner with the whole family and work on the same things at the same time. If you have not attended an Orange Conference, do yourself a favor, and look into it.

To find out more about the Orange Conference, click here.

Orange Blogger Week – Fall 2013


Hey, everyone. It’s “Orange Blogger Week” again! There are a lot of things going on in the world of Orange. Not only have we been moving forward even more at our church, but reThink is changing things up a bit with their entire service. One of the biggest things is that “YouLead” is now called “Stuff Leaders Want.” This is a service for leaders, and not for just any leader. This is for those who want to grow and help their teams grow. In fact, I am now a blogger for “Stuff Leaders Want.” Throughout the year, you will see posts from me about different things I’ve learned and used from this service. So, get ready for that. Also, as a nice addition, reThink has given me a code to provide you with a $50 discount! Just use the code YLBLOG149 at check-out.

Also, don’t forget that Orange Conference registration opens next Thursday, October 10! If you haven’t attended the OC before, you should definitely check it out. Even if you haven’t bought into the entire Orange strategy yet, it is still an awesome time of growth in ministry. I’m hoping to go as an official blogger again this next year, so if that works out, you can check out my daily posts from the conference as well. Even so, it is much better to go in person, so do yourself a favor and look into it.

Here is a list of others you can check out this week, who are also blogging for Orange:

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