Month: April 2010

Drinking from a fire hydrant

So, Orange 2010 is officially over now. Unfortunately, I’m not even done blogging my experiences from the first day. More than any other year, Orange has been like drinking from a fire hydrant. Creative ideas and challenges from breakouts. Powerful message content from the main stage. Incredible people to meet and talk to in the hallways. Early mornings and late nights hanging out with staff and friends. On top of all of this, my brain is running at 100 MPH thinking about all the things I’ve learned and want to process. That’s why I’m about two days behind. Don’t worry, I’ll catch up. I’m not going home until Monday morning, so I should wrap up all my Orange posts before Monday morning. However, I’m sure you’ll be reading Orange inspired thoughts from me in the near and distant future. My hat is off to the reThink group for another amazing conference (and I don’t even wear hats). It was that good! If you didn’t come in 2010, make plans to come next year. Hey look, you can even register...

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Collaborate book give-away

So, I’ve got a free copy of this book to give away. Do you have a copy of the hottest book written by 35 different people? Do you want one? Come find me, introduce yourself and it’s yours. It’s that easy! In case you’ve been living under a rock, Collaborate is a book about the Church connecting with families to make a big impact. It’s written by some of the biggest leaders in kids, students and family ministry. I’ll be honest, I’ve only read about a 1/4 so far, but it’s been fantastic so far. Be sure to get a copy. If you’re fast enough, you may not even have to pay for it. Ready…. Set…....

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#Orange10 Conference contest #3

Today’s Orange Leaders Challenge: List the top FIVE reasons you will be back for Orange ’11. Post your reasons to return on the Orange Leaders blog at One winner, chosen at random, will receive FIVE tickets to Orange ’11! Go to for...

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#Orange10 Day 1: Opening Session

I must admit that this year’s opening session was the best ever. Unexpected? Yes. At first I didn’t know what I thought. Normally Reggie gives the big Orange message, but this year it was more of an introduction to Collide with an interview and message from another speaker. So at first I was a little disappointing I guess, but not becasue it wasn’t good. Does that make sense? However, as time goes by, the more I liked it. There are many things that continue to stick with me from that opening session. The very opening was powerful. A speaker/actor gave a 10-15 minute monologue that was simply amazing. Through his carefully selected prose, he took all 4000 participants along an engaging journey of what ministry is like, what it needs and a hope for the future. Simply inspiring. The theme “Collide” was introduced and I’m almost certain that this will become one of my most overused words this year. Collide: make a deliberate contact for the sake of a lasting impact! Reggie interviewed Mark Batterson where Reggie interacted a great deal with Mark’s new book, Primal. He was also directing Mark toward issues dealing specifically with the Orange Philosophy. Mark had so many amazing things to say, but there were a few that resonated with my soul and continue to stick with my thoughts. Early on Mark said, “We...

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#Orange10 Day 1: Catching volunteers up to Speed

Over the years, I think I’ve attended more Darren Kizer breakouts than any other. He’s a great presenter and shares some great stuff! Daren began is talk communicating about a crisis his church recently went through, when a former volunteer was arrested for molesting a child. What helped his church make it through and probably saved Daren’s job was the good documentation that was kept. All this tied into his talk as an introduction, as we recruit and train volunteers, it’s so essential to follow our processes, take our time and do things the right way. Don’t take shortcuts and document thoroughly. Darren shared some great resources, one was a tool called the VSI which was tool that indicates people’s satisfaction about where they are in an organization. According to this VSI, there are four factors that relate to retention. When an employee or volunteer scores high in these four factors, it relates to them being satisfied and happy in their role. Organizational Support – Do they have the tools that they need to be successful? Are they fully resourced? Are they frustrated due to a lack of training or resources? Equip, equip, equip! Group Integration – Do they feel like they’re a part of a team? Are there others that they can connect with while doing their role? People need community! Participatory Efficacy – If people don’t see...

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#Orange10 Day 1: Building an apprentice mindset

My first breakout, hosted by Brian Vander Ark & Tim Vandlen was about some of the most important and strategic work we’ll do as a leader – duplicating ourselves into others. The fact of the matter is that one day, we will be replaced. One day it’s going to be over for us. It’s like death and taxes. However, there’s two approaches in dealing with this idea of being replaced. We can passively let it happen We can intentionally prepare Most Children’s and Student workers are focused on what they do. Programs. Worship. Events. Emails. Recruiting. The problem is that most churches are distracted by the urgent and they neglect the important. If we set our sights on the future, what our future needs will be above our current needs, we’ll treat our volunteers differently. Rather than use people, we’ll develop people. Here are a few ways a church can implement this strategic work of developing people who replace themsleves: Create the expectation in your volunteer and staff environments. Do this by putting it in everyone’s job descriptions. Do this by modeling it yourself. In addition, create multiple entry points into the ministry. Mobilize your volunteers to replace themselves. You can only really know 30 people, so it’s essential that you leverage your volunteer’s and their circle of influence. Teach your teams to recruit out of vision, not need....

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#Orange10 Conference contest #2

Today’s Orange Leaders Challenge: The success of every leader is dependent upon knowing where to get your questions answered and knowing how to network with other leaders. Today we will challenge you to do both. We have come up with a phrase, and the first two people to write the complete phrase on the Orange Leaders Facebook page, will win! In order to figure out the phrase, you will need to get a little help. Who can give you the most help on your Orange journey? Your Orange Specialist of course. Find the Orange Specialist for your state, and they will give you one word of the phrase. Then, connect with other leaders from around the country to find out the rest of the words. (Hint: Each Orange Specialist will have a different word. Orange Specialists are assigned by region of the country and curriculum.) You can use the blog, Twitter, and Facebook as well as networking, to connect with other Orange Leaders! Today’s winners will receive either the Orange Team Bundle or the Orange Resource Leadership Bundle. Go to for...

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#Orange10 Bloggers Brown Bag Lunch

Some have asked if there’s any kind of lunch and learn activities like there were last year. Not sure of all the stuff, but there is a Brown Bag bloggers lunch tomorrow (Thursday) during the lunch break. You’re going to want to grab a lunch (maybe from the concession stands) and then come up to the Orange Leaders Lounge. From there we’ll head to a secret back stage spot for a lunch where we’ll talk ministry, strategy and whatever else happens to come up (including theories on Lost). Okay, I made that last part up. So, make your lunch plans to hang out with us bloggers. You don’t need to be a blogger, this is for anyone. There is only capacity for about 50 people, so get to the Orange Leaders Lounge as quick as you...

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Brand New Orange Leaders App

Last week I blogged about the new Orange Conference iPhone App. Although I was sworn to secrecy, I knew that another app was in the works that would take it to the next level. Now it’s here, the Orange Leaders App for iPhone and Android. It’s a killer app that goes beyond the conference and links you to all things Orange Leaders throughout the rest of the year. It’s going to be a great tool this year at the conference as it will better manage my schedule than the other app, but it is also socially connected and will allow me to connect with others attending the same breakouts as me. I highly suggest you go to your phone’s app store and download the app today. Just search “Orange Leaders.” If you like this app and would be curious what an app like this would do for your ministry, check out the architect of this tool...

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#Orange10 Meat up to Tweet up

Wow, how much fun! Last night’s casual meet up at the Varsity turned into quite the shindig. Over 30 Orange-minded leaders came out to gobble down some Varsity famous onion rings and and Orange shakes. It was a blast. We joked around, had fun and learned from each other. In the two hours I was there (the Varsity finally kicked us out at 11:00 PM), I sat and talked family ministry/parenting ministry philosophy & staffing structure with Michale Chanley (as well as some cool new ideas he’s got for the future). He’s in a position that doesn’t exist in 99% of all other churches and there’s really a lot we can learn from what he’s doing. I caught up with what’s going on in my friend Jonathan Cliff’s life (his church is going through a huge capital campaign where out of it he’s getting a new, state of the art kids building). Anytime I get to sit and hang out with Jonathan is time well spent. Except, if you get up to go to the bathroom or order food, don’t leave your phone, he’ll tweet nice things about himself from your phone while you’re gone. I only got a few minutes to talk to Jim Wideman (I’ll get more time with him at dinner tonight), but I did get to play with his iPad for a few minutes. He’s...

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