Below, you’ll find my notes from Orange Conference 2013. The theme of this year’s conference is Focus – clarify the essentials and eliminate distractions. 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 2013 Session 1
- When you see the time you have left, you get serious about the time you have now.
- Reggie talked about the importance of realizing the time we have as parents and church leaders with kids before they graduate high school.
- “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12
- Reggie shared an idea they did with parents at church, giving them a jar full of marbles to represent the number of weeks they have until their child graduates. His new book, Losing Your Marbles / Playing for Keeps, shares 6 things every kid needs over time and 18 practical ideas to make your time and influence with them matter more.
- You can’t make a kid have faith, but you can engage them in a story that’s bigger than themselves.
- Make what matters matter more.
6 Things Every Kid Needs Over TIME
- Time over time creates history.
- Love over time shows worth.
- Words over time give direction.
- Stories over time give perspective.
- Fun over time provides connection.
- Tribes over time give us a sense of belonging.
Orange Conference 2013 Session 2
- Andy shared how a lady once told him (34 years ago) that he had a gift for teaching. He believes it changed the course of his life and her words mattered.
- As the Church we have felt like Christians are the majority in terms of the population.
- We’re not the majority any more.
- Because we assumed we were the majority, we spoke and taught with authority, believing people who disagreed would just catch on.
- The early church spoke not from a position of authority, but as the minority with very little influence. Yet, 2,000 years later almost a third of the world believes what they believed, that Jesus is Lord.
- Approach determines people’s response to what they hear.
- 1 Corinthians 9:20 – Paul changed his approach depending on who the audience was, all with the purpose of pointing them to Jesus.
- Never prioritize the approach over the goal.
- You inherited approach that assumes consensus around biblical authority.
- Engaging people with the Bible has more to do with your approach than your content.
- You do not believe what you believe because the Bible says so.
7 Guidelines for Communicating the Scriptures to a Biblically Illiterate, Skeptical World
- Choose a passage of scripture and stay there.
- Bring your energy to the text.
- Find the energy in the text.
- Give people permission not to believe or obey the scriptures.
- 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 – It’s not our business to judge those outside the church.
- Teach in a manner that emphasizes the identity of Jesus over the authority of Scripture.
- People believe Jesus is who he says he because he rose from the dead, not because the Bible is inspired and infallible.
- People must believe in who Jesus is before believing the authority of the Bible.
- Don’t refer to the Bible as a book.
- Cite authors, not “the Bible”.
- Acknowledge the odd as odd.
- Don’t create the impression that one must choose between faith and science.
Orange Conference 2013 Session 4
- Be who you are made to be.
- Don’t hold each other accountable. Hold each other close.
- You leak what you love.
- Jesus sees who we are becoming.
- Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. If we get that right, we get everything right.
- Kids and students live under extreme expectations to achieve or perform.
- Sticky Faith research showed that student ministry graduates view the gospel as 2 lists of behaviors (do and don’t do).
- A better way to teach students the gospel is with 4 G’s
- Good in God’s image.
- Guilt and sin separate us from God.
- Grace from God saves us.
- Gratitude leads us to serve and obey God.
- Jesus is bigger than any mistake.
Orange Conference 2013 Session 5
Sherry is the CEO of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and recently released the book (coauthoried with Jenni Catron) Just lead! A No Whining, No Complaining, No Nonsense Practical Guide for Women Leaders in the Church.
- Sherry challenged men to utilize the incredible female leaders in their church. She pointed out that many men will step up into a leadership role where as most women need to be invited.
- Women are leading all over the place and the issue of women in leadership can unnecessarily hinder that from continuing.
- “A woman leader in her sweet spot of leading will change the world.”
- Doug has seen a lot of things different since leaving full time vocational ministry.
- He felt like his ministry work was like running on a treadmill.
- A great student ministry makes the whole church better, more relevant.
- Children’s ministry and student ministry leaders need to be more bold in leading up to make sure students are thought about when preaching messages.
- Student ministry forces you to prioritize relationships.
- Don’t treat students as the “future”. Engage them to be the church now.
- The church should be a leadership factory, and student ministry sets the stage for that.
- Students fall away from church after high school because they’re committed to a program and a person. If they serve, they become committed to the church.
Orange Conference 2013 Session 7
- It’s our availability, not our ability, that matters to children and students.
- 1 Samuel 3
- God uses jacked up people.
- If someone thinks that children’s ministry and student ministry are dead, they’re obviously not serving there.
- Perry’s church pays the way for all students to go on trips. They are not required to raise money.
- Nobody is “just” a volunteer.
- Sometimes the next generation can’t see Jesus because of the environment we put them in. It should be clean, safe and fun.
- God’s voice always gets louder when he pursues us.
- If we’re available, God can use us to make a bigger difference than we can ever imagine.