Orange Conference- Main Session 7 #OC18

Louie Giglio wraps up with the 3 day conference with an incredible version of What A Beautiful Name that includes the stars, whales, and birds singing this song of worship. Here's some great notes from his session: 

I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on You.

If we can just lift our eyes a little higher today…

Salvation always ends in worship.

Our destiny is worship. 

"It's always about God, it's always been about God, and it always will be about Him.”

Sin makes us dead, but Christ makes us alive. This is the Gospel.

Worship is a weapon because it gets our gaze back on the God of heaven.

Your not David in the story of David & Goliath… Jesus is David in the story of David and Goliath

God is inviting us to wake up and look up…

David knew that he wasn’t the “David” in the story of David and Goliath

When I am weak, You are strong.

Orange Conference- Main Session 6 #OC18

This session included the following speakers: Dr. John Townsend, Tom Shefchunus, Sam Collier, Reggie Joiner, Virginia Ward, Lee Jenkins, and Carlos Whitaker. Here's some great notes from these amazing leaders: 

We can do more together when we invite others to show us our blind spots- Dr. John Townsend, Tom Shefchunus

Why does every leader need to deal with their blind spots?

Blind spot- tendency I’m not aware of

4 common blindspots- perception of having to have it together, to put tasks before relationship, conflict avoidness, harsh judge

How to give someone permission to speak into your blindspot- If you see me doing anything that would drive my life, my family or my leadership off a cliff, can I trust you to tell me way ahead of time? 

We can do more together when we help others find their voice- Sam Collier

Kids want to be apart of something bigger than themselves. They want their voices to roar. It’s in you, it’s in me. We all want to find our voice.

How do we help the next gen to find their voice? 

A mentor shows up in critical times to speak relational truths. 

If you don’t stop trading your dreams for lust, you’re going to kill yourself.

Preachers inform, mentors transform. Mentors transform, sponsors platform.

We can do more together when we act like their problems are our problems- Reggie Joiner, Lee Jenkins, Carlos Whitaker, Virginia Ward, Sam Collier

If we don’t confront something, we can’t cure it. 

The asterisk on America is how we’ve dealt with race. 

The church should model racial unity in the whole world. 

I want you guys to have the conversation that you have when there isn’t a white person at the table. 

It is so imperative that the people of God have this conversation. @virginiaward

Go home and have this conversation at home. @loswhit Carlos Whitaker

As a minority, we live out of our history. - Sam Collier

We have our opinions, because our experiences and history are different. -Lee Jenkins

We have to learn each other and love each other. @Virginia Ward

What do we do about this? Read John 4 and how He dealt with a minority, a Samaritan woman

Listen to each other, we need you to believe us, befriend us, start to gain compassion (you care about people you know), stand up for us . Lee Jenkins 


Orange Conference- Main Session 4

It's Friday morning at #OC18! This is a full day in the arena for main session speakers. On the docket for this session were Josh Shipp, Tom Shefchunas, Kristen Ivy, and Ryan Leak. Here's some key takeaways from each speaker: 

We can do more together when we create a safe place for kids over time- Josh Shipp

We don’t see you as a problem, we see you as an opportunity. -Rodney to Josh Shipp

Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story. 

Every kid is one choice away from being a statistic. 

What kids don’t talk out, they will act out. 

We can do more together when we create a safe place for kids who are different. - Kristen Ivy

When you get close to someone who is different than you, you see yourself differently.

When you get close to someone who is different than you, you see God more fully.

Truth is real, but perspective is different.

When you get close to someone who is different than you, you show the world what love is.

Our differences are an opportunity to show what unconditional love looks like.

We can do more together when we create a safe place for kids who are hurting. Tom Shefchunas

There is no strategy if there is no sacrifice. 

What did Jesus choose to say and not to say

How did He choose to say it

When did He choose to say it

Sometimes we have to sacrifice our felt need to say everything so that what is most important can clearly be heard. 

Wanting to be a safe place and being a safe place are two different things. 

Microphones and websites are dangerous things because we can’t see their eyes. 

We can do more together when we create a safe place for each other. -Ryan Leak

Friends are like elevators, they can take you up, or they can take you down. 

Following Jesus doesn’t mean you won’t go through storms, it just means that you have an anchor with you through the storms. 

"Lost and found people…have marriage problems. Unchurched people and church people…both have money problems. The outsider and the insider…often struggle with depression.”

What if we created weekend experiences for people that were in pain. Wouldn’t we find ourselves reaching outsiders and insiders?

What if we took the amazing grace that we offer to people who don’t know God, to people who do?

Pretending will never do anything for your soul and it won’t do anything else for anyone else either.

When we really get authentic, we become allergic to short responses. I’m going to become a person that doesn’t allow people to sweep things under the rug.

4 things- vulnerability, authenticity, confidence, grace

Don’t judge them, help them.

How safe do we actually want to be. 

#OC18 Main Session 1

What do #OGRJ, A Million Dreams, and the number 8,100 have in common? Answer: night one of The Orange Conference 2018. Infinite Energy Center was rocking for a solid 2.5 hours Wednesday night. Here are some key statements made by folks like Jon Acuff, Gerald Fadayomi, Danielle Strickland and Reggie Joiner. 

@jonacuff: We have a God who has said, "It is finished" not it is beginning. 81% of American's want to write a book, less than 1% actually do.

@geraldfadayomi: If you could only pray for one thing for the next generation, what would it be? Unity is not uniformity. It's setting our differences aside to make a difference.  

@djstrickland: We can do more together when we live like the future is now. The Kingdom of God is like the wedding in the alley.


@reggiejoiner: We must be challenged to do something that we don't know how to do. Nehemiah didn't spend a month figuring out spiritual gifts. Nor did he say, "Go home and pray about it." Everybody Nehemiah needed was already in town. Chances are, hour future volunteers are already there, just ready to be put to work. 

YouLead Labs Wednesday AM Edition

This morning consisted of two great breakouts all across The Forum at Infinite Energy Center. My first breakout was Navigating Infant Loss & Infertility, which was led by Kenny Conley. Kenny shared some hard to swallow statistics such as 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. 3 out of the 4 of those miscarriages end within the first trimester. As if those stats weren't devastating enough, 1 in 10 couples in the US face fertility issues. This breakout was totally relatable for me and was one that I was absolutely attached to since it was announced by the folks at Orange. You can see more of our story at www.ashersrainbow.org. Kenny plugged the Made Known resource that he and his wife Sarah helped create while serving in Austin, Tx. The church needs to find ways to better minister to this large population, in which, many fill the seats and pews of churches week in and week out with so many questions. 


My second breakout of the day was Discovering What Volunteers Really Want- for Elementary Leaders, led by Bobby Ikebudu of Boca Raton Community Church. Here's a brief list of what Bobby shared: Every volunteer wants to follow a great leader, serve in a place that fits them, they want meaningful training (good food helps), they desire authentic community (we are made for community), they want to serve in a "we" type of culture, fill their bucket with vision, celebrate wins with big time fun. 

#OC18 is here

If you’ve attended The Orange Conference in the past, you know that Tuesday nights informally kick off the week with a Party on the Porch. Music, games, Kona Ice, your favorite Orange Specialist and hundreds of like-minded folks gather for two hours of fun talking, dancing, coffee drinking, snow cone eating, name badge and registration bag retrieving, Orange store shopping, excitement.

If you’ve not attended The Orange Conference before, perhaps catching a glimpse of all the fun is enough to make you want to attend next year. Get the dates on your calendar now as #OC19 takes place in Atlanta May 1-3, with the Party on the Porch kicking off the week on Tuesday night, April 30.  I’ll be blogging and posting interviews all week from various attendees and even hope to catch up with some of the speakers as well. I’ll also be live tweeting throughout the conference and you can follow along @dmaddron or simply by using the hashtag #OC18 in the search field.

Think Orange!


The Countdown is On

In just a few days, 7,000 - 8,000 people will gather together in Atlanta, Georgia for three days of dynamic worship, teaching, networking, bridge building, note taking and Serious Night. That’s a lot of stuff to do in just three days, right? What is happening, you ask? It’s the 11th annual Orange Conference. 


That’s right, this marks conference number 11 for the team at Orange. And it seems each conference just gets better and better and folks from around the world continue to leave inspired and driven to make their ministries better, their communities closer, and the family stronger. 


Here’s a list of things that I’m looking forward to this year in no particular order:


YouLead Day- YouLead Day takes place on Wednesday morning/afternoon, and while it is an additional cost to the conference, it is a cost that I’ve deemed worthy of spending each year that I’ve gone. These tracks really dive into specific topics and have proven to be some of the best tracks of the entire conference. YouLead Day is all about equipping you in specific areas of ministry and is can’t miss type of content. If you have the opportunity to go, take advantage of it. You won’t regret it. 


The Resource Center(s)- The Resource Center(s) at The Orange Conference are amazing. I emphasize centers because there are numerous vendors set us throughout both buildings along with the impactful Phase Gallery. The Phase Gallery really helps folks remember how short our time is with our kids and that what we do every single day matters. An extra perk of the Resource Center(s), FREE COFFEE. Drink a cup or two for me, please!


Party on the Porch- Tuesday night, from 7:00 - 9:00 PM, it’s Party on the Porch. This is one of the best times to network and connect with folks including your Orange Specialist. You can pick up your name tag and goody bag on Tuesday night, play some awesome games, take some cool pictures with their amazing backdrops, and munch on some yummy Kona Ice as DJ’s keep the party pumping with the help of party host, Sam Collier.  


The Breakouts- The breakouts on Thursday are really good. You have a chance to hear from phenomenal leaders, learn how to align your teams (paid and volunteer), and how to make a greater impact in your ministry. Thursday is a great day at The Orange Conference.  


The Food Trucks- King of Pops, Chick Fil A, I could go on and on and on, but it’s hard for me to move past these two Atlanta staples. You need a popsicle from King of Pops and a chicken sandwich before you leave OC18! 


There you have it. Some of the many things that I am looking forward to at The Orange Conference. I didn’t even touch on Serious Night, because it's unlike anything else I’ve been apart of. That should whet your appetite and build some suspense! See you in Atlanta soon!

How The Orange Conference can change an entire community

Do you have a heart for your community? Do you struggle from time to time with the question "How can our church become more impactful?" Have you searched and searched only to come up short with ideas of vision boosters for your church or ministry? I have a possible answer to those questions: the Orange Conference.  

I am the Children's & Outreach Pastor at our church. Two big roles that require lots of attention and constant brainstorming, planning and praying. In everything that I am working on, I'm asking this one question: "How will this impact our community?" It's ingrained in my brain because I simply don't want to do anything that isn't impactful and isn't going to reach the unchurched in our neighborhood and surrounding areas. You probably think along that same thought process as well. You want to be as impactful as possible with a sermon you are preparing, worship services your worship is rehearsing for, a small group lesson you've studied for multiple hours this week. You want to help lead life change in your church and in your community. Attending the Orange Conference has done just that for me. 

In 2016, I left the Orange Conference with an idea to start passing out popsicles and cold bottles of water in our local parks. Once the summer hit, we took a canopy tent and snocone machine and went into neighborhoods offering free snocones. What kid or adult doesn't like that stuff? Those free treats were the tools to start great conversations with folks of all ages. Our church has reaped in two areas because of these opportunities: families within our church serving their neighbors and families within our community attending our church because of a tasty summertime treat. 

This year's theme for Orange Conference is titled ONE VOICE: We Can Do More Together. I would say that if you are seeking some fresh ideas, an opportunity to encourage and be encouraged from ministry leaders all across the world, you will want to find yourself in Atlanta, Georgia April 25-27, 2018. If you sign up by December 14, 2017, you'll get $70 off your ticket which results in the lowest ticket price before the conference starts. Visit theorangeconference.com to sign up today or to gather further information. 

How attending the Orange Conference changed my ministry

Have you ever been somewhere expecting some good things to happen only to have those expectations blown out of the water? That has been my experience every year that I am been blessed to attend the Orange Conference. I typically show up on Tuesday night for the big porch party, grab my registration bag, chat with a few friends that I've made since being involved with Orange in some capacity and then call it a night knowing that the week will be good, the worship will be good, the attendance will be good, the ideas shared will be good, and so on. It NEVER takes long for my expectations to be destroyed though, which with all things considered, that is a very good thing.

Reggie Joiner and team invest so much into leaders. Leaders just like you and me. Leaders in preschool ministry, elementary ministry, preteens, middle schoolers (we all know they need lots of investment, right?), high school ministry, family ministry, married ministry, people ministry, and the list goes on and on and on and on. The team at Orange puts together such a comprehensive conference that many, many church leaders who don't even use any curriculum produced by the folks at Orange, make the Orange Conference a priority to attend every year. Why do you ask? Allow me the opportunity to share just a couple of things that have helped shape me in ministry. 

The biggest ministry changer for me has been the voices, the people, who have spoken directly to me without even knowing it. I think of a guy like Ryan Leak who visited his local Starbucks multiple times a week and began asking the folks who worked there how he could be praying for them. That rocked my world. I took that idea back home with me and began asking folks who were serving me at places like Chik Fil A how I could be praying for them. Just that one little question has produced a new confidence in me as an introvert to become more personal with "strangers" that I see on a weekly basis. I've been blessed to see and hear of how those prayers have been answered. 


Speaking of being an introvert, I began praying to the Lord to change me. Not to make me some crazy extrovert, but to simply be brave and courageous enough to speak to strangers and genuinely pour into them in some way. Well, this prayer was answered by being asked to be the Outreach Pastor at my church. I don't know about you, but I've not met very many introverts who were also outreach minded and gifted. It all started with a prayer and testimony of what God could do if I was willing to be stretched a bit by Him. 

If you are considering attending Orange Conference 2018, this is the week to get signed up. The great folks at Orange are offering a great discount this week. Remember, you don't need to be using the curriculum or anything else that Orange provides to take advantage of this great pricing and the opportunity to be encouraged and transformed at we hear of ways that the church can be One Voice. Dates for Orange Conference 2018 are April 25-27, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Click here to register: http://orangeconference.com