Fall means several things to me.

cooler weather…

apple cider & hot chocolate

colorful leaves

camping with the family

and of course… the Orange Tour!

For nearly a decade, I’ve attended the Orange Tour. As I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of regional training. Not every ministry can afford to take their teams to the big national conferences, but taking a handful of staff and volunteers to a local event is something almost every ministry can afford.

I’ve attended a lot of regional trainings. I’ve even started my own regional training events. But of all I’ve attended, the Orange Tour has always been my favorite. It’s a healthy dose of strategy and inspiration that leaves me and my team recharged. The content inspires us with much to discuss and evaluate. Best of all, the Orange Tour is an amazing place to connect with those who do what you do in your city or state.

Since moving to Arizona, I have to travel a little further to get to my nearest tour stop, but I’ll make the effort, I’m always glad I did. Today is the launch of the first Orange Tour of the 2016 season. I encourage you to make OT16 part of your Fall plans. Here are some creative options:

Volunteer Strategy Saturation:
If you have a tour stop within a couple of hours, take as many as you can afford. For many years, the closest Orange Tour was three hours away. I’d make an event of it and one year I took nearly 30 volunteers and staff. I’d cover the tickets and the hotel. I’d ask the volunteers to take the day off of work and carpool to the event. Breakfast was covered by the hotel and lunch was covered at the event. This would cost me a couple thousand dollars some years, but I’d come h0me with invested volunteers full of vision that would carry them for years.

Staff Development:
Make the Orange Tour a staff development event. Make the event a 2-3 day vision/planning excursion. Go up a day early and do ministry planning (like budgeting, calendaring and other necessary tasks). Attend the tour the following day. On the final day, recap what you learned. Get everyone’s feedback and notes. Isolate your learnings to two to three big ideas that you want to focus on as a team.

Personal Development & Retreat:
Sometimes you need to be refreshed and re-filled. Pick a tour location that isn’t just around the corner. Choose a destination and make your plans. Reach out to a church or two in the area and connect with the staff there. Schedule a tour and offer to take someone to lunch. Learn how they’re doing ministry and get some ideas for your own. Attend the Tour and have a day or rest and reflection. This kind of retreat will benefit you in more ways than one and is a great investment in YOU!

So, make the most of the Orange Tour. Change things up. Do something different. However, don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Click here to register!