My Favorite Orange Conference Speaker – Perry Noble

Registration for the Orange Conference opened today. As part of Orange Week I’ve joined other bloggers in sharing some Orange Conference experiences. I already wrote about a great idea from the conference I’ve implemented and my favorite part of the conference. In this post I’ll share about my favorite speaker at the conference the last 2 years.

He is Perry Noble, pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC. Perry has spoken at the Orange Conference the past 2 years. I love a lot of the speakers who have been at the Orange Conference but Perry stood out to me. He was his usual self, funny, bold, passionate, and a little hillbilly. Two years ago he shared his core convictions regarding family ministry.  He talked about the great potential within the ministry, the support needed from the senior pastor as well as environments, simplicity, and having people in the right roles. It was a message every family ministry leader would want their pastor to hear.

Last year he talked about the importance of teaching kids to recognize Jesus, trust Jesus and be released to Jesus. He shared the the story of the feeding of the 5000 and pointed out that somebody taught that kid (with the bread and fish) to recognize Jesus. He focused on the importance of helping kids discover who God has called them to be, and not so much “doing anything they want”. He also talked about not being too obsessed with behavior modification and caring more about that than the gospel.

It doesn’t look like Perry will be at the Orange Conference this year but that’s also one of the things I love about the conference, that different speakers with different viewpoints are invited each year. Registration is open, will I see you there?

Don’t forget to enter to win a FREE ticket to the conference.

Orange Conference 2012

Orange Week: My Favorite Part About The Orange Conference – Networking

It’s Orange Week and other family ministry leaders are also blogging about their Orange Conference experiences. There are so many things to love about the Orange Conference – the speakers, the workshops, the city, the team at Orange, the ideas and more. But, my favorite thing every year is the networking. I love hearing about how other leaders are doing at their churches. I like talking about the new things they are doing, things that are going well or challenges they are facing. I love to share what’s going on at CCC and get their insights about what we are doing.

At the 2010 Orange Conference my favorite part of the conference was having lunch with ministry leaders from all around the country. Some of us already knew each other but most of us did not. I talked about family experiences with a leader from Florida, student ministry with a leader from Georgia and volunteers with a leader from Texas and took ideas away from all of those conversations. I also met Nina Schmidgall, Family Ministries Director at National Community Church in D.C., which led to them hosting our most recent children’s ministry leaders gathering.

I learn and I’m encouraged by conversations with other ministry leaders and it’s one of the things I look forward to the most at the Orange Conference. Register for the Orange Conference when registration opens tomorrow and I’d love to connect with you there.

How do you network with other ministry leaders regularly?

Orange Conference 2011

One Thing I Learned at the 2011 Orange Conference and Implemented

I have been to the Orange Conference 3 times – 2007, 2010 and 2011. This year, my favorite breakout was probably the breakout Carey Nieuwhof led on Innovative Ideas to Partner with Parents. You can read all my notes from that breakout here.

A couple years ago we reshuffled our Baby Dedication and implemented a lot of the ideas that Kendra shared about how they do BabyD at North Point. We love the Great Family Experiment idea and would love to do that as well.

This fall though, we’re implementing the Parent & Small Group Leader breakfast idea that was shared in that breakout. It’s actually an idea we heard before and had on our to-do list for well over a year but never got around to it. Attending the breakout helped, because Kenny & Elle Campbell were generous enough to package everything they used for their event to give it away to other churches. You can download it on their website: http://middleschoolshine.com/

We are planning on having our Parent & Small Group Leader breakfast (or dessert) in early November and I can’t wait. Small groups have been a huge win in our elementary environment for years and I think the relationship between a child’s small group leader and parent has the potential to be one of the greatest ways the family and church can partner together.

That’s just one of many things I’ve learned at the Orange Conference and the great network of leaders who are a part of it. I look forward to the 2012 Orange Conference and hope to see you there.

Don’t forget to enter to win a FREE Orange Conference 2012 ticket.

Orange Conference 2012

Father’s Have Great Influence On Their Children’s Faith

Part of thinking Orange is recognizing that parents are the primary spiritual leaders of their children and the church’s job is to partner with them and help them thrive in that role. Anyone who has been around the church long enough knows that the family’s influence will trump the church’s influence 8-9 times out of 10, for good or for ill.

Something I read recently that shocked me, despite knowing what I just mentioned, was how important the father’s influence is on children’s faith. What I read was this:

“If a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular).” Source – Touch Stone Mag (I found it through the Gospel Coalition).

Now, a couple things need to be said about this study:

  • The study was done in 1994 in Switzerland. So, not only is it dated it’s also from a totally different context that I know very little about.
  • It’s based on a survey that I couldn’t find so I have no way of knowing exactly how the questions were phrased.
  • It doesn’t address, as best I can tell, the affects of not having dad around at all. Is the mom’s influence greater in those cases?

My hunch is that the results probably wouldn’t be very different here in America. That’s sobering to think about.

I grew up attending church with my mom and sister. My dad almost never came. Something else the article mentions that I think is true is that “Curiously, both adult women as well as men will conclude subconsciously that Dad’s absence indicates that going to church is not really a ‘grown-up’ activity.” I may have thought that at times but at some point Jesus, and by extension the Church, became real and important to me. From my experience I can’t say the statistic of 1 in 50 would be accurate, but even if it’s MUCH better and it’s 1 in 10, a 10% chance is not very good.

Here are my gut reactions in light of this information:

  • We need to reach the dad’s. I might start by reading Why Men Hate Going to Church (affiliate link).
  • We need to assume every kid will be the 1 in 50 if their dad is not involved. Don’t have a negative outlook.
  • We still need to think about how to serve single moms well.

What do you think? Does this seem accurate? What’s your experience? What can we do?