Orange Conference 2017: Session 1 Notes

Orange Conference 2017 Session 1


Carlos Whittaker

  • Help parents differentiate what is fact from what is feeling.
  • If we are for parents, we never let parents parent alone!

Gerald Fadayomi

  • We have the most incredible opportunity to point teenagers who want to be a heard, to a God who listens.
  • The next generation needs someone who has gone before them to be for them.

Danielle Strickland

  • Jesus saw past every single barrier, including the one you put up over your own life.
  • Instead of seeing a problem, see a neighbor.
  • How much would your life, ministry or church change if you saw all people as beautiful, as Jesus does?

Reggie Joiner

  • Sometimes it takes a party to change how we see each other.
  • Sometimes it takes a party to show that God cares about people who party.
  • Sometimes it takes a party to confirm that we can always be forgiven.
  • Sometimes it takes a party to prove that people matter more than our opinions.
  • Sometimes it takes a party to remind us that everyone is invited to the party.
  • What if everyone started acting like EVERYONE is INVITED to the party.
  • What would happen if we started looking at the kids and teenagers in our church through a different lens?
  • Stop acting like discipleship is about information and start acting like discipleship is about relationship.
  • We have been programmed to teaching kids what to believe, but not coach them how to serve.
  • How to be a better neighbor:
    • Invite someone to new the table. Someone not like you.
    • Start a party that is not about you.
    • Inspire every kid you meet.
    • Create beautiful spaces.
    • Speak up for someone else, use your influence for good reasons.
    • Discover life together, do faith together.
    • Do something you don’t have to do.
  • Why inspire kids? Because Jesus said to.

10 (of about 1,343) Things I’m Looking Forward to at the Orange Conference

Orange Conference 2017 #oc17

It’s Orange Conference week. One of the things I look forward to the most each year. The list of things I love about the Orange Conference would be really long and I’ve mentioned much of it in other posts (like here and here). So, here are 10 things I’m specifically looking forward to this year.

Hanging Out With Our Team

We’re taking some more people from our church this year and we’ll get to hang out with a good friend of ours who has been doing an internship at Gwinnett Church. She’s helping with the conference and it will be fun for our team to be together while we’re down there.

Co-leading a Breakout with Jim Wideman

Jim and I are leading a breakout called A Couple of Ministry Hacks (get it?). I’ve learned so much from Jim over the years and it will be an honor to lead with him. I’ll actually get to talk about lessons I’ve learned from him and applied to help me grow as a leader.

Frank Bealer’s New Book The Myth of Balance

Frank’s new book The Myth of Balance, about making job and family commitments work together, pre-releases at the conference. I totally agree with the premise and I’m excited to see how his ideas come through in the book.

Interviewing Jeff Henderson

I’ll be interviewing Jeff Henderson for the podcast while I’m in town. We’ll talk about a new thing Jeff is helping launch and I’ll try to get as much wisdom out of him as I can squeeze in the time frame. Jeff is a great leader and I’ve learned a ton from him over the years.

More Phase Books

More Phase books are being released at the conference this year and I’m excited to see them.

The Art of Group Talk Books for Small Group Leaders

These books are also being released and I’m excited to get these in the hands of our amazing small group leaders.

Conversations With Leaders

The thing I probably look forward to the most every year is catching up with friends and making new ones. There are already a number of leaders I’m planning to connect with and I know I’ll get the chance to meet some new folks as well. (Let me know if you’re going!)

Learning How to Be For Our Neighbors

The theme of this year’s conference is something I’m passionate about and I’m eager to learn throughout the conference how our church can do a better job of being for our neighbors.

The NextGen Extras

Kenny Conley, the track leader for NextGen Pastors, always organizes extra things to help us connect while we’re at the conference and I’m looking forward to every bit of that.


I’m always surprised by something, usually multiple things, at the Orange Conference. I look forward to seeing what will surprise me this year.

Are you going? What are you looking forward to?

FREE Webinar: How to Create Themed Environments in #Kidmin

Free Webinar: How to Create Themed Environments in #Kidmin

In this webinar, How to Create Themed Environments in #Kidmin, I’m joined by Lisa Molite and Rachel Walker. We talk all about environments, themes, and decor in #kidmin.

Lisa has a great website where she shares tips, tricks, and a behind-the-scenes look at the environments she creates at our church (we serve on staff together). You can check that at out

Just sign up here and you’ll get an email with the webinar replay and a link to download the PowerPoint we shared.

I hope it’s helpful!


Win a FREE Orange Conference 2017 Ticket!

Orange Conference 2017 Free Ticket

The Orange Conference is just a few weeks away and I have a free ticket available to give away. If you would like a chance to get the free ticket, it’s simple. Just click here to head to my Facebook page and do two things:

  1. Like the page
  2. Comment on the post about this with your city/town

You have until Friday, April 7 at 5pm. I’ll randomly choose someone who does both of those things and they’ll win the ticket. I doubt many people can use it this late, so if you can, your odds are pretty good.

Good luck!

FREE Webinar: How to Use a Summer Team to Recruit Volunteers

Volunteer Recruiting Webinar

Is summer a difficult time when it comes to scheduling volunteers in children’s ministry?

Do you want to give your regular volunteers a break so they’re refreshed and ready for a new school year?

Could you use a yearly on-ramp for potential volunteers that addresses any fears they may have?

It’s been almost 10 years since our church started a summer team of children’s ministry volunteers. We started it to give regular volunteers a break and to help with summer schedules, but it turned out to be so much more. In this free webinar, we’ll share everything we do and everything we’ve learned about this key strategy we use. We’ll also give away documents and resources you can adapt and use to start a summer team in your church.

Use the form below to sign up and get a replay of the webinar along with our resources:

See you on the webinar!