I have been to several conferences over the years. To be honest, some are better than others. The Orange Conference is one of those better ones. Sure, there are great speakers and things to learn, but it is often the unexpected things that make OC so good. Today, I wanted to share five things that I did not expect to experience at The Orange Conference. (Note: These are in no particular order.)
1. Meeting people from other countries.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to stay in a house with a guy from New Zealand. Throughout the conference, though, I began meeting more and more people from other countries. It was such a great opportunity to connect with them and hear what family ministry is like where they live. It really helped to broaden my horizons.
2. Parody songs.
Each year at The OC, the band performs at least one (usually multiple) parody songs. These are usually in honor of specific family ministry people, and they are always both hilarious and excellent. For instance, last year, they did a parody of “Call Me Maybe” as “Change this Baby” for nursery volunteers. A couple years ago, they did “Don’t Fade Away,” a parody of “Come Sail Away” as a tribute to all volunteers.
3. Great food.
Honestly, I should have known about this, but each time I go to the southern states, I am overwhelmed with the amazing food they have. I ate so much barbecue, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes that it wasn’t funny. It is a good thing that I had to walk around to all my workshops, because I could have easily gained weight at The OC.
Ministry is often an incredibly tough time, and many conferences claim you can come and relax for a week, but The OC is one of the only ones I feel like it happens. There are a number of workshops and main sessions to attend, but I never felt like I was still working. It is always a great time to kick back, shift my worries to the back of my brain, and focus on my relationship with God.
5. Lots of fun.
As I have said before, I have been to several conferences. Most of them were designed for youth or family ministry. Unfortunately, though, many of them forget that we really like to have fun. It is one of the reasons we do these jobs. When I came to The OC, though, it was completely different. There are games, comedians, rock bands, contest, silly videos, and more going on all the time.
Those are just five things I did not expect to experience when I first started going to The Orange Conference. I hope they help you understand a bit more about what it is all about. If you have not registered for this year’s conference, do so right away! Just head to theorangeconference.com, where you will find all the important information.
It’s “Orange Blogger Week” again, which means that the Orange Bloggers are out in full force, sharing about their experiences using Orange curriculum, going to the Orange Conference, and partnering with families in their local churches. Be sure to check them out! There are some really talented bloggers on our team (much better than me!).