Below, you’ll find my notes from Orange Conference 2015. Orange is a conference for family ministry teams and senior leadership in churches. You can see my notes from the breakouts I attended here.

Orange Conference 2015 Main Session 1

This year’s Orange Conference is all about phases. Phases of a kid’s life and the uniqueness of each.

Reggie Joiner

  • It’s just a phase, so don’t miss it.
  • It’s easy to miss things that are happening in a kid’s life as they go through phases. They don’t know how to ask about it.
  • Kid’s have different questions at different phases.
  • Words to help identify each phase
    • Preschool – Embrace
    • Elementary – Engage
    • Middle School – Affirm
    • High School – Mobilize
  • We don’t remember what we don’t remember.
  • Every kid is made in the image of God.
  • Jesus taught us that when we welcome kids, we welcome him.
  • We don’t anticipate what we don’t anticipate.

Jim Burns

  • Love every kid like they’re wired to pursue love.
  • Even with the depth of pain some kids struggle with, those issues do not define their destiny.
  • The more positive, healthy sex education a kid receives, the more likely they are to make wise choices in that arena.
  • 25% of adolescent girls experience depression within 3 months after first having sex.
  • Help kids have a healthy view of sexuality from early on.
  • Embrace Stage (Preschool)
    • Talk to them about their bodies.
    • God made you.
    • God made your body.
  • Engage Stage (Elementary)
    • They’re curious – where do babies come from?
    • Talking about this early on can help fight against sexual abuse.
  • Affirm Stage (Middle School)
    • The average kid sees pornography for the first time at age 11.
    • Introduce a purity code and help them guard their eyes and heart.
  • Mobilize Stage (High School)
    • Keep the purity standard high while showering them with grace and acceptance.
    • God created sex and he sees it as very good.
    • Don’t commit adultery (God wants the best for you).
    • Run from immorality, not from healthy sexuality.

Jon Acuff

  • We may only get to be one verse in the song of a child’s life, but that verse matters.
  • It’s not a matter of if they will talk about their identity, it’s a matter of will they talk about it with you.
  • You’re accepted. You’re perfect. You’re created for a bigger story.
  • You can fast forward childhood, but you can’t rewind it.
  • We need leaders to be brave.
  • Stories get stuck, unless leaders get brave.
  • Be brave enough to be honest where you are.
  • Be brave enough to run into somebody else’s story.

Orange Conference 2015 Main Session 2

A phase is a time frame in a kid’s life when you can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence their future

Jim Mellado

  • Jim is the president of Compassion International.
  • Compassion decided they would be Christ-centered, church-based,
  • In a study, they asked kids to draw a picture of themselves in rain. Kids who were not in a program, and felt they had no hope, drew a black and white picture of them in the rain. Kids who were in a helpful program, and felt hope, drew pictures of themselves that were in color, with a raincoat and umbrella, and the sun showing.
  • Hope is not just optimism, it’s belief that there’s a path out of adversity.

Andy Stanley

  • Orange Conference 2015Nehemiah 1 – Nehemiah’s heart broke, and he paid attention to his broken heart.
  • Who are you?
  • What breaks your heart?
  • God uses broken-hearted leaders.
  • Leaders are all about what isn’t, and bringing what needs to be into reality.
  • There’s an inexorable correlation between leadership and change.
  • Leaders make things better, and that requires change.
  • Leaders love progress, progress requires change, and change brings conflict.
  • We’re not just all leaders, we’re called leaders.
  • Leaders don’t blame. Blame is an effective change-avoidance strategy.
  • You are where you are because of a generation before you who paid attention to you.
  • Nehemiah’s broken heart was part of a divine design.
  • You have no idea what hangs in the balance of your decision to embrace the burden God has put in your heart.
  • You must pay attention to what God has stirred in your heart.
  • Sandra (Andy’s wife) said – “I know the thing that I would love people to line up at the end of my life and thank me for”.

Orange Conference 2015 Main Session 4

Kristen Ivy

  • Kristen is the primary creator and lead voice of the Phase Initiative.
  • The goal is to help parents identify the phase their kids are in and lead in that phase as best as they can.
  • Every parent wants to be a better parent.

Jud Wilhite

  • The church is the tool God uses to save countless lives.
  • In life, we only make a handful of big decisions. The rest of our life is spent managing those decisions.
  • Luke 15 – Religious leaders are upset because Jesus is hanging out with notorious sinners.
  • The sheep are equally valuable, but there is a priority on the one that is lost.
  • People who are lost need help and hope.
  • We were rescued to be rescuers.
  • Create a culture that draws in people who are not connected to Jesus.
  • My greatest ministry flows out of my greatest dependence on God.
  • It’s not what God wants to do just for the people in your church, but also for the people who are not even there.

Orange Conference 2015 Main Session 5

Kara Powell

  • Being a leader doesn’t mean keeping it all together. It means pointing to a God who keeps it all together.
  • “Think of me as a fellow patient in the same hospital, who having arrived a little earlier can give some advice.” – C.S. Lewis
  • Broken is the new beautiful.
  • Pain demands to be felt – 5 words that drive teenagers
  • As parents, as long as we have a relationship, we have influence.
  • As parents, as long as we have a relationship, we are being influenced.
  • We must be open to learning and growing from our time with children and students.

Perry Noble

  • “Most of my bad experiences in family ministry were not with kids, they were with parents.”
  • 1 Samuel 16 – Saul is king of Israel.
  • Saul hires a part-time worship leader (David).
  • Saul gave David a shot at doing ministry when he was young.
  • We should give students the ability and permission to do ministry when they are young.
  • Sin loves our students more than the church does. We can’t let sin out-love us.
  • The sooner you get students involved in ministry the more solid their relationship with Jesus becomes!
  • The local church is a cause worth committing your life to.
  • We don’t reach the next generation. We raise up the next generation to reach the next generation.
  • Saul tells David he can’t kill goliath. Isn’t it ironic that Saul tells David he can’t do the impossible, and then later tries to kill him because he actually did it.
  • This next generation is the most cause-driven ever. The local church is THE cause worth committing your life to.
  • David had fought battles that Saul was unaware of. Kids today are fighting battles we no nothg about!
  • If David fought the battle the way everyone thought he should fight the battle, he would have died.
  • Because they’ve fought battles we’ve never fought, this generation will have ministry ideas that we’ve never considered.
  • Students have different ways of reaching students.
  • My Music + My Personal Preferences + My Style of Services = Our Church’s Funeral