Orange 2016 has been amazing! This is my 7th time to come to Conference and I can honestly say I learn something new every time. That’s right, every time! It is amazing how much content and knowledge I absorb. I’m also amazed by how much content and knowledge I MISS!

Some great thing about conference is that voices that are showcased.

Voices from every kind of ministry
Voices from churches of different denominations
Voices from from churches of different sizes
Voices from churches of different demographics

Conference can feel like a family reunion of sorts, where old friends gather and new friends are introduced. And your day flies by and your head can start to spin with fresh ideas and new strategies and just when it starts to feel like its just too much and you can’t absorb one more new thought, a truth nugget hits you smack in the face. Well, that’s what happened to me anyway. Conference has allowed me space to focus… actually refocus on two things:

Remember you are called

Conference can be a reminder of what you may forget the other 51 weeks of the year. The daily work of our jobs can tend to rob us of the joy of our calling. This simple truth can get lost in our development of policies and procedures and our efforts to reach kids and serve families. Sitting in breakouts and hearing from all kinds of voices encourages me and challenges me at the same time. The thread I heard throughout the sessions was a thread we want our kids to learn – that our kids are called for greatness.

Do we remember that truth for ourselves?

Sessions can help us refine our procedures and sharpen our processes. Messages, materials and resources are provided and shared so that leaders can be the very best leader they are called to be. Conference is about meeting with people and learning from others. And many times, meeting with others can serve as reminders of our calling.

Do good

We are called to lead. And we are called to do good by those teams and for those teams. We may lead large teams or small teams. We lead teams of all kinds of demographics. Our churches are all different and our ministries may not look the same. I love being able to learn from leaders from all around the country.

Conference afford leaders the opportunity to make the most of the hours we have to spend with kids and families. This year’s conference, I learned how to make the most out of portable church, how to define the win in elementary ministry and the importance of a healthy marriage ministry. Each of these sessions were full of information and best practices developed to help me do good by the people I serve and those I lead.

And I would like to remind you, dear reader, that you are called and you are to do good.

Dear Brand New Leader
The newbie leader in a BIG new role. BE BRAVE and lead the way God has uniquely wired you to lead. Walk out in boldness. The generations behind you as well as those in front of you are counting on you, so do good.

Dear Relational Leader
Love your people and care for them well. Protect their hearts as you help guide their work. Embrace how you can immediately make deep connections with your teams. They will learn to care for others from how you care for them, so do good.

Dear Operational/Systems Leader
Excel sheets and metrics-make your heart race! Compute away and remember to look up from your desk making sure to take notice of the people surrounding you and following your lead. Your attention to detail matters as does your influence, so do good.

Dear Experienced Leader
Thank you for all the wisdom you are so willing to share. Keep leading well and keep learning from those ahead of you and those behind you. This world is better because of your experience, so do good.

At Orange 2016, I was reminded of my calling in ministry and the call to do good. I am thankful for all the speakers and leaders who prepared and shared all in an effort to make the work that I do better. I learned more than I can put in 500 words but I hope you know that if you attend Conference or not that you are called, so do good.