It only takes about two minutes of ministry conversation with me to see that I love the idea of Orange ministry (combining the influences of church and home to reach the lost and disciple the found).  As I’ve practiced it, I’ve found it is one of the most comprehensive church strategies out there, going way beyond a student ministry or children’s ministry strategy.  Thinking orange has been influential in the growth we’ve seen in our church across multiple generations, starting with infants all the way through the senior adults. 

Every year, thousands of church leaders gather in Atlanta for the Orange Conference.  Having attended from a distance and in person, I can identify three major purposes to the Orange Conference. 

It introduces the Orange strategy to people who are unfamiliar with it.  You get a lot of noobs at the Orange Conference, people who have heard about the unique strategy but have never gotten past the curiosity stage.  While a somewhat overwhelming experience, this is a great place to get the foundations for the orange strategy while also meeting folks in the trenches doing successfully exactly what you are wanting to do.

It reinforces orange into veterans.  People who have thought orange for many years attend the Orange Conference excitedly.  These experts often could be teachers, not just participants.  So what brings them back?  The workshops and keynotes at orange are designed to inspire even seasoned veterans to rethink what they are doing to be more effective.  It keeps things fresh.

Networking, networking, networking.  The best thing about Orange Conference is the chance to meet others from all different church sizes, denominations, and experience.  The conference is designed to create opportunities to meet new people and learn from them, not just from a workshop teacher.  I met some really interesting people at Orange and had some great conversations that still impact me.  This is the real reason most people go to Orange Conference.

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend Orange Conference this year because of work restrictions (just don’t get enough vacation time), but I fully intend to benefit from home.  I’m hoping to share those benefits with you by a few methods.  First, I’ll be using this blog to share as many resources as I can find time for.  Second, I’ll be tweeting and retweeting various nuggets of wisdom on Twitter (make sure you follow me)Lastly, I’m hoping to write some orange posts addressing thoughts especially regarding implementing orange strategy in the small church.  I make no promises regarding any of this, but I’ll certainly do my best.

Have you been or are you going to Orange Conference this year?  How did it impact you?