Today was our second day of the Orange Conference.  It started off a bit slow, with a great breakfast at the hotel (biscuits & gravy, eggs, etc).  When we finally got to the arena, I was completely at home again.  I seriously love conferences, and I had not been to one in so long, I forgot how good it feels.  Both Nancy and John Ortberg were so inspirational, and the music was spot-on to what God wanted me to experience this morning.  I still need time to process the entire day and what God is teaching me, but I thought it would be helpful for you to catch a glimpse right now, but expect more thoughts after a few days of processing.  Here are some main points I picked up throughout the day.

Nancy Ortberg taught on leadership and building teams.

  • Other than my personal devotion to God, the number one priority of my ministry should be the status of the team I work with.
  • People need opportunities, based on their gifts. Also, be sure to follow up with feedback and coaching.
  • People need challenges.  We need to give people the chance to deal with conflict.
  • People need relationships.  Vulnerability in leadership is huge!

Nancy’s husband, John Ortberg, spoke afterwards on the idea of seeing ourselves in light of God.

  • The fastest growing religion among teens today — Moralistic Thereputic Deism (God exists, He helps me feel good, but He doesn’t act in my life unless there is a crisis or pain).
  • A false god will lead to a false self.  What type of false self?
    • Me I think I should be.
    • Me others want me to be.
    • Me I’m afraid God wants me to be.
    • Me that fails to be.
  • I need to ask myself this question often — Do I want it more than ANYTHING else in the world?  It being the man of God I was created to be.

During the late morning and early afternoon, I went to a workshop (2 parts) based on “Orangeology” for the teen years.  Stuart Hall and Jared Herd split the teaching duties as they covered the importance of focusing on partnering with parents and families.  The 5 principles of Orangeology are:

  • Integrate Strategy
  • Reactivate the Family
  • Refine your Message
  • Elevate Community
  • Leverage Influence

After the workshops, Rev Run (from Run DMC) was interviewed by Reggie.  He wrote a book recently, and he shared some ideas from that work.

  • Absence makes the heart of the family grow further.
  • Our first priority (other than with God) is with our spouse (over our kids).
  • If you do not know about a situation or feel comfortable, you have got to go to the One who does know.
  • E.G.O. = Edging God Out

Doug Fields finished the night off, which was great for me as a youth minister.  I have grown so much from his mentoring through his books and other conferences.  His focus was on the family structure of people in ministry.

  • Bumper Sticker — Focus on your own family!
  • Leadership is a primary example.  We need to live a life worthy of imitation. How?
    • Change the channel — We are hearing/focusing on the wrong thing(s).
    • Unplug from church — Use the off button when you are at home, in your safe/sacred place.
    • Serve ice cream — Have fun and provide privilege for your kids/spouse.

After all that was said and done, we were supposed to have a youth ministry “mixer” and bowling tournament at Dave & Busters.  Since we had seen one by our hotel, we went there.  Come to find out, that was not the only one.  By the time we got there, they had filled our spot.  Instead, we ate dinner, and we spent a ton of time debriefing from today.  That was a great time!  I honestly wish I could do that more often.

One day left of the Orange Conference tomorrow.  I can’t wait.  Donald Miller will be speaking as well.

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