Main Session Notes From The Orange Conference #OC14

Here is a great resource – Orange Conference notes! Each year 6,000 leaders gather in Atlanta for the national Orange Conference for church leaders. Cheryl Kneeland is a member of our team. She took excellent notes from the main sessions and several of the breakouts. She has graciously shared them with us for this guest post. Be sure to follow Cheryl on Twitter here.


Virginia Ward – Changing, A Series Of Systematic Movements

We need to learn some things about change and see and understand each other. “I wanna be a youth leader who helps young people connect faith and life together.”

We are going to say YES to change!


Orange ConferenceBrooklyn Lindsey – Say YES to being uncomfortable.

Chaos is our love language (in middle school ministry).

Luke 11:46

Carry each others’ burdens. (Galatians) We can’t fix it all, we can’t move this right now, but we know that God can help and we can say YES to the uncomfortable right now that opens the door, shows them that we, the church cares.

Believe in a church that will sit with us in our doubt and tell us that we are here and love you.

> I’m not going to leave your side. I can tenaciously pursue unbelievers and can sit with them and carry their burdens with them.

> The yoke will never be too heavy for us because the burden is shared.

Say YES to the redeemable, uncomfortable person in front of you.


Reggie Joiner – Say YES to a God that is bigger than you think

When you go through life changes you lean into the people that you do ministry with, work with, do life with. I hope you will be surrounded with people that you can lean into; that will share with you, encourage you, be with you, whatever it is that you are going through right now beyond learning the skills, I hope you will find relationship with the people around you.

> KNOW- You can know God. Without a shadow of doubt.

> MOMENT- You can become a Christian in a moment. All it takes is a moment, to become a Christian, a new believer.

>BIBLE- The Bible is all true. It is a unique thing that God has given us so we can understand what it is he’s given us.

> TRUST- Trust leads to relationship.

> CHURCH- You should enjoy going to church.

> BELIEVE- Your beliefs matter. Understanding God’s principles.

> GOD- God is good. God is a god that genuinely cares.

Just because something is true doesn’t mean someone will hold on to it.

People walk away from church…It wasn’t because what we told them wasn’t true, it wasn’t because we didn’t teach them the gospel because we did,

65% of people that walk away, say they are not religious.

If we’re not careful, we can dismantle their faith or leave them with an impression that God is small.

“Sometimes in our zeal to fight for what is true we don’t fight for the tensions that actually connect those truths to what is real.”

The mercy of God doesn’t water down the truth, it amplifies it.

Tension doesn’t make truth less true, it makes it more real.

Somewhere along the way, we need to understand that we can somehow hold truths in our hands and honor them that will help us articulate and help others understand how powerful God is.

If you want to stretch the faith of a kid, capture their imagination, then look at truth in a different way. I want them to understand that YES you can know God but YES God is a mystery and somewhere along the way we have to hold both of those truths in our hand and yes you can know God and he can still be mystery and you don’t have to know everything about God.

YES you can understand what it means to have a relationship with God in a moment, but it will take you forever to know what that means.

Sometimes we hang kids on a foundation in faith that teaches them that if you have this faith, everything will be better. They will learn that somewhere in this process, being a Christian is harder and messier than we thought it would be.

Yes the Bible is all true and YES at the same time, everything true about life is not in the Bible.

One day they are going to face some problems that aren’t directly addressed in the Bible. The Bible is the final authority when it comes to many issues, there is other information that we need. The Bible is the way we can understand the story and the character of God.

Romans 1:20

We can learn from each other and we should be good stewards to learn.

> Why do you interview non-Christian leaders to learn how to lead? Because God made them.

> Why do you go to educators? God made them.

We don’t have an excuse not to learn everything we can possibly learn to be the best leaders we can possibly be. We can’t be afraid of learning everything we can learn…

Kids need to know that God is bigger than your Bible.

YES, trust leads to stronger faith and doubt leads to stronger faith.

> This is a huge issue; it’s important because the kids are going to grow up and start asking questions in middle school and beyond and the way you answer their questions will make a big difference.

> If you don’t allow kids in middle school to process their own doubt, they won’t own their own faith.

They should enjoy church and they should enjoy the physical world around us, what God has created.

> It’s okay to enjoy other things, other than church.

> Don’t raise your kids and tell them they won’t enjoy candy.

> Don’t get worried because you might like people that are not Christians, even better than some Christians, don’t worry if you like listening to Justin Timberlake.

> Don’t make kids choose between the world and church, for the same reason you watch a non-Christian run a football down a field.

YES to beliefs that matter and YES people matter more.

You know what you believe, but people matter more. The lost son is a good example.

If your beliefs cause you to treat people the wrong way, something is wrong with your beliefs.

YES God has an ideal, but YES God uses broken people.

> Some of your kids are going to try to live up to an ideal and they’re going to get broken along the way. But let’s go back through the scripture and look at how many broken people God used.

> When your kids feel they cannot measure up, they may give up. Give them the idea and the concept of Grace in the middle of their world.

YES God is good and YES you should do good.

> You should do good because he’s created you to do good.

> At the end of the day you and I do not have an excuse not to do good.

> If we’re not leading them into the trenches to do good then we’re not leading them to the truth.

If you don’t say yes to the tension kids could grow up to become “that” Christian.

God is good but you need to be responsible to do good in the world.

> Don’t get stuck when things don’t work out the way you want them to.

> Don’t be a jerk.

> Don’t be weird.

> Don’t be so threatened by questions & doubt that you don’t believe God is bigger than your questions.

> Trust that God is doing something bigger than you, bigger than your perspective.

The world is watching, your kids are listening and you need to make sure your giving them that AND this.

Take a moment and pause and worship a God that is bigger than us.



Heather Zempel- Pastor of Discipleship at National Community Church
SAY YES to finding everyone a place where they know they belong

Programs don’t disciple people, people disciple people.

Are our programs just keeping people busy or are they leading to relationships? What if we made sure our structures discipled people? Need to create places for people to encourage relational discipleship.

It’s going to take hard work to disciple people.

Disciples are made…When they know that they matter to somebody, when they know that they have a place to belong.

Romans 16 list…the people that invested in you, walked beside you along the way. Who’s list is your name going to show up on? We have the ability to control who’s list we’re on.

We need to name their potential. Drawing out of them the person that Jesus created them to be. Our words matter so make them big. Call them up to a higher level. You have to be a little crazy to be a disciple maker…You have to see things in people that no one else sees.

Be an example to all of the believers (Paul said to Timothy).

We also need to say YES to braving their mess. SAY YES to the inevitable mess that they will either create or find themselves in. Mess transforms peoples’ lives. We say YES to mess beginning with diapers and drool and it doesn’t stay that clean. You’re dealing with the bad choices that they make. If we want to say YES to the next generation, we have to say YES to the mess. We’ve got to speak life into the messy places. We need to remind kids that their mess is not final fate, it may be the incubator for miracles in their life.

We say YES to inconvenience, yes to hard conversations and shifting our priorities.Tell them a story that is larger than their own. We need to find ways to make kids experience grace that is unmistakable. It’s one thing to give kids a list of statements and say believe it or give them a list of rules and say follow it…We’re not going to win the next generation by making statements at them.

It’s not rules to live by but a calling to live for.

Who are we leaving in our wake? Who’s going to be on these kids Romans 16 list? We can make sure that they experience grace in the fullness of truth and the fullness of truth in the experience of grace. We’ve got to tell the story over and over again.

We cannot let Jesus’ last command become our least concern.

Invite them into a story that’s bigger than our own.


Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor at National Community Church
SAY YES to re-imagining what you do…

If you want to repeat history, do it the way it’s always been done. If you want to make history, do it a new way. Re-imagine the way you do things…

Acts 10 “He prayed to God regularly”

If you pray to God regularly, irregular things will happen regularly.

Orange, go home. Lock yourself in your room and draw a circle, get inside the circle and pray that God will bring a revival in that circle.

You can have Holy confidence because you know that God goes before you and you know that He can change anything and everything.

One day…you are one prayer away from a totally different life. Prayer is the difference between letting things happen and making things happen.

We underestimate what God can do in one day. God can accomplish more in one day than we can accomplish in a lifetime.

God’s revealing to us, giving us a vision from Him. Ask…What is your agenda (God) for me?

Often times I want God to reveal the second step, before I take the first step..don’t wait until you have the whole plan. You wouldn’t be in the place where God wants you to be.

Don’t let your budget determine your vision, let your vision determine your budget.

God is calling Peter to step out of the universe that he knows. It’s a huge step of faith to go where you’ve never been or do what you’ve never done. Sometimes re-imaging is as simple as changing the way you do something small, like switching translations of your Bible. (Get a different perspective).

Change of place plus change of pace equals re-imagining.

When and where do you pray? You should be able to answer this. If you can’t answer when and where you pray, you need to rethink your prayer time.

Matthew 18:18

Prayer is a spiritual contract. For the will of God.

Where is it that you’ve experienced God’s miracles? Sometimes we have to go back to that place to re-imagine.

“Surely not Lord” Peter had obeyed laws his entire life, he could hardly re-imagine another scenario. How many surely not Lord moments do we have?

Sometimes God shows up, sometimes God shows off.

When you get into an argument with God, if you win that argument you loose. If you loose that argument, you win. Is there an argument you need to loose?

Sometimes you have to risk your reputation to see God’s kingdom advance. Faith is willingness to look foolish. (Noah building an ark, Sarah preparing for a baby, wise men bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh, peter walked on water, etc.)

Peter walked through the door…This is the biggest moment in the history of the church. The moment that Peter entered the threshold, whosoever…we wouldn’t be here if Peter had not risked his reputation and re-imagined what he could do.


MAIN SESSION #3 – When you SAY YES, you say YES to drama!

Ben Crawshaw & Jon Acuff

You’re a student leader and you’re in the middle of this and it’s messy; just start listening to people. You’ll learn a lot about people and see them as a person and not a problem.

Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner

We need to live in the tension of theology and ministry…

Distinguish between theology/ministry:

> Jesus never allowed theology to get in the way of ministry. Religion has it’s place, but religion is second place, it should never be first (people are first).

> As a team you need to wrestle with what does this look like. Jesus really did deliver us the great commandment. Ministry, putting others first, relationships.

> Love God, Love your neighbor: All the law and the prophets hang on this. We need to keep coming at it from the position of hanging on Love God and Love your neighbor.

> When in doubt, what does love require of me?

What would happen if the world around us saw us treat each other with grace?

If we can learn to SAY YES to the messiness, to walking alongside people when they are struggling; the church will thrive.



Kara Powell and Reggie Joiner

Say YES to not always having the answer.

70% of youth group kids who are graduating have doubts. When young people have the opportunity to express and explore their doubt and questions, they typically have a stronger faith.

It’s not doubt that is toxic, it’s unexpressed doubt that is toxic (or damaging).

When kids or teens ask tough questions, how do we respond?

> I don’t know, but…

Don’t just give the “Christian” answer of just trust God. Many people walk away at that point and don’t come back to church, to faith.

Jesus is bigger than our biggest questions. He can handle our questions and our kids’ questions.


Perry Noble – Say YES to not having it all together

There are many students that struggle with anxiety and pressure…for some they are sensitive to body image. (Many adults are too).

Many people have a season of life when they struggle with fear and anxiety (other struggles can be depression, suicidal thoughts, etc.):

> Don’t say “Do more, work harder.” They feel caught in the situation and they can’t get out.

We as leaders need to create an environment where it is okay to not be okay, but it is not okay to stay that way.

James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? If any one of you are sick, we need to call the elders and pray over them.”

> We often just think of the typical sicknesses like a cold, flu, allergies, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc.

> Worry leads to anxiety, anxiety leads to depression, depression leads to suicidal thoughts.

> These four things (worry, anxiety, depression & suicidal thoughts) are just as real sicknesses and we need to help each other.

> A sickness is anything that is not God’s best for you.

> Physically sick, emotionally sick, mentally sick, etc.

> I didn’t know that it was okay to not be okay as a leader. We need to create and model that type of environment…DO NOT pretend that everything is always okay.

> The first step is admitting that you are sick, that there is something going on that you need help with.

Churches often aren’t passionate about relationships and creating a safe place to be sick, they are a place to try to look perfect.

We cannot be the church that tells someone that they are struggling or messed up so they can’t come back.

For many churches…It’s okay to not be okay, but we have to pretend that we’re perfect. What does that look like to God?

You go to hell because you don’t know Jesus, you don’t go to hell because you commit suicide.

Many leaders in the Bible struggled (Jonah, Noah, Moses, David, etc.)

Godly people get stressed and anxious, and overwhelmed. Those people are some of the most spiritual people on the planet, but they are dealing with some real issues, some big things.

“…elders pray with them and anoint them with oil…”

Is it a sin or is it wrong for a Christian to take anti-depressants? No, don’t say you just need to depend on Jesus. You wouldn’t show up to tell someone having a heart-attack and turning blue that they just need to read their Bible more and pray more.

There is a chemical imbalance in the brain and it is okay to use a medication to help balance your body.

Most of the Bible heroes could not have worked at our churches. (Noah, David, Peter, even Jesus!)

If we’ve created environments in our churches where Jesus couldn’t be employed that’s not okay.

“…prayer will make the sick person well…The Lord will raise them up…”

The healing process begins and you can step out of darkness by helping us to see our sin issues and work through them. He never wastes a tragedy or a problem. It is a refining process, but there is a key to the environment we must create for our churches, our students, our kids…

vs. 16 “…therefore confess your sins to each other and pray with each other…”

I want something powerful and effective to happen in my spiritual life. You have to tell someone what’s going on, then you can be healed. You may not have told someone because you’re scared. It’s not easy to open up and tell someone else. But when you do, it makes a big difference.

God doesn’t necessarily heal you in the moment that you tell someone, but He starts the process. You have to model that environment where you tell someone and it’s really okay to not be okay, but it’s just not okay to stay that way.

The healing process begins as we talk about it out loud. Jesus said in His Word that talking about it heals.

Have the courage to be transparent, so that we can be trustworthy as leaders.



Doug Fields: SAY YES to helping marriages win

Bait & Switch- Is a practice in which the advertiser advertises one thing and then switches the deal when you arrive for something of their choice. Don’t do a bait & switch.

How do I help kids? Know Jesus? Be healthier?

I can’t adequately care for kids if I don’t care for their family, more specifically I need to care for their parent’s marriage.

We have to extend our definition of family ministry to include the family’s marriage.

When a marriage is bad, everything is bad. If you’re mad, you’re mad at everything. If you don’t have a healthy marriage, you don’t have a vibrant red in your family, your home. And that makes it hard to have a healthy Orange color when partnering with the church.

When you say YES to the next generation, you say YES to helping marriages win.

Many of our church’s marriage strategies are like putting a band-aid on a hemorrhage. It’s not enough to do a once a year conference or give couples a book or do a short sermon series on it. We would never use this approach for students and children. You wouldn’t teach them one thing and expect them to remember it and hold onto it for a whole year.

What if the people in this room came up with a plan to help the marriages in your church, a marriage strategy? What would that look like to do this at your church? We need to have these conversations.

If you’re about kids, you’ve got to be about those kids’ parents’ marriages.

Maybe it’s time to cut some things out and focus on the families, the marriages. The families, our families would be healthier.

Those of us that care the most about kids, need to take the lead on caring the most about marriages.

Children of divorced parents are more than five times more likely to walk away from the church.

1. Focus on your own marriage. Whether you’re married or not, you & I can be an advocate for marriage. Your audience, the kids are watching you. Your marriage is more important than your ministry. You marriage may be more important to your church than your ministry.

2. Teach your kids about marriage. We need to talk about marriage, more than just the sex talk or a purity message. Hebrews 13:4 We are good at teaching the second part of this verse, but we don’t do a good job teaching that marriage should be honored by all.

3. Recruit a mentor couple to be around your ministry. Be around the kids, other leaders. Help us think how we could help other marriages in our church. There are people that have something to offer at your church and they are just waiting to be asked to help.

4. Help couples date. Marriages are healthier when the parents get to date. Have teens help with date nights at church. Challenge the teens to serve and understand that they are helping marriages. Offer childcare. Do a date night for couples with children with special needs. We just need to hand couple’s footballs in our world; give them date night ideas. Resource:

5. Up-sell. Just like at a fast food restaurant. Connect a marriage strategy to your family strategy. Book: Married People, How to Build Marriages that Last (authors: Ted Lowe and Doug Fields). We’re looking for some courageous earlier adopters, that can help us figure this out in the trenches, getting in on phase one. We are on the ground floor of connecting marriages and children.

When you say YES to the next generation, you say YES to helping marriages win!

You came here thinking that you’re part of children’s ministry or students ministry, I want you to leave knowing you’re in marriage ministry too.

Let’s make it happen to help make marriages a priority.


Jeff Henderson: Say YES to people who say no to church

What you do is incredibly significant! What you are doing in family ministry is life-changing.

You change the world by falling in love with Jesus and letting him lead your ministry.

There is something in common with all of us here, this community that’s the same with your community.

Never tell God never, he plays close attention.

For some of you…You’re wow, but you’re not how. (Not typically good at figuring out the how).

I want you to know that God loves you and you may not believe all of these things that we’re reading, but I believe that God loves you unconditionally. It’s good news.

You may have said no to Jesus, but Jesus has said YES to you.

In 11 years pastoring, here’s the group of people we need to talk about. We need to say YES to those who have said no to what you & I believe, say YES to those that said no to the church and say YES to those that said no to Jesus.

We’ve got to get our hearts around this as it relates to the church.

You will never experience what the church can do for you, until you experience what the church can do through you.

Acts 17:22-23

We say YES by talking less. We talk too much.

> Sit down with the staff and listen. As she began to listen, the staff began to think that she really cared about them. Listening builds trust.

> Many reasons that people say no to the church is that we’ve just talked and preached at them and not listened to them.

> Asked people who do not go to church; How interested would you be in hanging out with a church pastor or staff member? 84% of unchurched 18-34 year-olds said they are not interested.

> They are more likely to attend church if it feels like a community.

> What would it look like if you could listen to your community?

> Own a restaurant, know the staff, the waiters, and talk to them. (You don’t have to literally be the restaurant owner, just get to know the people there, be a regular).

> How can we go on a listening tour? Say YES by talking less and listening more.

Say YES in a common unifying language.

> We talk church lingo too often and it confuses people. We want them to understand what we have for them. What is our promise to our community? And what are we saying in a way that they can understand?

> The reason so many people have said no to the church, is because they don’t understand us.
What do we want to be known for?

How can we say YES to those that said no?

Is there a phrase or language that we can communicate consistently that they would understand?

We are trying to get this language out to the community. FOR is a great word.


Look for events in the county that need help. We just want to let the community know that we are for them. More people know more of what the church is against than what they’re for…make sure they know what it’s for.

When people have said no to the church, we want them to know that Jesus has still said YES to them.



Derwin Gray, Pastor at Transformation Church: Say YES to letting God rewrite your story

Leaders see things in other people, that which they don’t see in themselves…That who they are today, is not who they will be tomorrow.

Say YES to the next generation, to finding YOUR Story in HIS Story.

God has a story and he’s writing you into the story.

Galatians 2:20

We must be learning His story so we can understand it.

Say YES to co-crucifixion with Christ.

Why are we not using teenagers, and involving teenagers? They are not the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today.

They don’t have volunteers (you’re heart doesn’t volunteer to beat), they have servant leaders and EVERYONE 6th grade and older is a servant leader, serving somewhere in the church.

How do we say YES to the next generation so that they can have their story rewritten?

Say YES to receiving God’s love in Jesus.

Do they know that you LOVE Jesus? When it’s all said and done, they don’t remember the games, they remember JESUS.

On Sunday morning do you spend more time in your Bible or in your closest choosing what to wear?

Do our students know they’re loved? We want a generation that as they disembark in this world, they are intoxicated with Jesus.

Say YES to receiving significance in Jesus.

We want our students to say YES and do phenomenal things but we want them to find their ultimate significance in Jesus.

Jesus is my significance. We want our next generation to be achievers for Jesus’ glory.

Say YES to receiving a new identity in Christ.

We all have a past, but our identity is defined by Jesus Christ. Your past is no longer holding you in bondage. We have a new identity and a new power. Loose the victim label and accept Jesus’ identity for you.

Dream, imagine what our glorious God can do and have a generation of students that can imagine what Jesus can do and rest their identity in him.

Jesus says, That’s why I choose you, because you can’t. Jesus can.


Jon Acuff: Say YES to future, Say YES to being afraid

Courage is fun to watch other people have. But it’s not always fun to try to have yourself.

Bravery feels like wanting to cry, throw up, not sleeping very well…

Transition moments like the end of an event; you get so full of hope, but then fear is waiting in the car, “I’m not enough”, “other churches are cooler,” etc.

When you say YES to being afraid…

God tells us you don’t have to have it all figured out. There is a pressure to have your whole life figured out and feel like everyone else does except you.

> The closer you get to God, the more you realize I don’t know but I do know who does.

> We need to be able to say I don’t know and that’s okay.

> God takes you in places you can’t plan, he surprises us in ways we can’t imagine.

> Anyone who is successful and tells you they knew where they were going is lying. Moses had to move first before he was spoken to.

> You were created for more than just errands.

God knew you were going to be afraid.

> The most common phrase in the Bible is “Do not be afraid.”

> There are so many references to fear.

> Matthew 6:26

> What a gift it is that God choose a bird. We all see birds. There are thousands of them.

> God gave us something that we can look to regularly.

Sometimes we pray for the wrong things.

> You don’t always win and sometimes we are going to loose. Sometimes we will fail.

> When you face fear and you come up with all the options, where is Jesus in that?

> Why is he not one of your options?

> You perform and perform and perform and one day you wake up and you dread Christmas, or you say you can breathe again once you get through Easter. Is that why it was created?

> God doesn’t need us to add our talents to complete Him, he invites us into his story to part of it because He loves you not because He needs you to complete Him. He’s already complete.

God will never be handcuffed by the failures of your ministry or the successes of your ministry.

Sometimes you meet people and feel like you’re the only one with fear. We all have fears!

He loves us too much to take away our fears. Sometimes we pray for God to take away our fears…but, Why would He close the one door you’re walking through right now?

Acts 4:29

They don’t say consider their threats and remove them or get rid of them. They pray to have more boldness.

We need to stop praying for less fear and pray for more boldness. Pray for better legs that run faster to the one that is bigger than our fears.

God has a plan for you, but we don’t know it; that’s the tension and we have to live with it.

Don’t see fear as failure, see it as a doorway to a God that wants to have a relationship with you.



Pre-conference Session #1

Orange ConferenceStephen “Doc” Hunsley, M.D. Special Needs Ministry (SOAR) at Grace Church in Overland Park, Kansas

Topic- Training Volunteers to Include Children and Students with Autism

Don’t get down on the trials in life, because God is doing something!

Every individual is different, no one has the same exact needs.

Approx. 90% of children and families with special needs family members do not attend church. Most of them have either tried a church and didn’t feel welcome (fear of acceptance and the anxiety of volunteers) or got asked to leave a church.

75% of Jesus’ miracles in the Bible were performed on people with special needs.

We need to embrace special needs individuals in our churches, in our church family.

Most children with autism or other special needs, you won’t know right away.

The first impressions team and parking attendants need training to work with families with children with autism as well. They can help a family with a child that’s struggling to get out of the car or into the building and make the family feel loved and welcome.

Sensory Integration: Agitated Student- (Student refusing to sit down)

> Get down on the child’s level…DO NOT talk above them or down to them. It will elevate their stress.

> Stay calm and talk them through what is going on and exactly what is expected. Use First-Then language. Example: First we’re going to sit down, then we’re going to have snack.

> Verbal child- Have them repeat the First-Then statement back to you.

> Get some mouse pads (solid colors, just one or two colors total). You can have the child pick which color they want to sit on and you enable them to be a part of the plan and choose something for themselves. Works great with regular attending kids. (Builds routine)

Transitioning Behaviors: Overstimulated Student- (Recurring pattern with a regular child)

> Start with reminders (Sally 5 minutes until we’re going to go inside, Sally 3 minutes until we go inside, 1 more minute Sally)

> Try bringing them in several minutes before the class, walk them over to the drinking fountain and use the First-Then language. Helps them cool down.

Sensory Integration – Large Group Challenge (worship time)

> Try to figure out what the problem is. Too loud, new or strong smell, lights, too crowded, etc.

> Move them to another location in the room to see if it helps them. If it’s Miss Sally’s new perfume, moving to another spot in the room helps a lot.

> Sensory toys- create a small tub for each room.

> Deep massage or simple squeeze- helps them feel safe and they “melt”

> Have them stand by a window where they can look out and stand up, but still participate in the worship.

> Live Stream worship (either kids or adults from main service) in another room where you can control the sound and lights better.

Sensory Integration – Objects in Mouth

> Could be that the child just needs movement. Sometimes sitting in the chair is painful.

> Use a sensory box (full of little toys-squeeze toys, Rubik’s cube, gel wands, glitter wands)

> Get some larger items that can’t go in the mouth- large vibrators like the snake that goes around the neck tend to work well.

> If you do snacks in your room, have the child come over with you to get a small snack.

> Ask a simple question- Sally what goes in your mouth? It’s a simple reminder to them bc they often don’t even know they are doing it.

> Ask the parents what they do at home (many probably have chew toys) and ask them to bring one and label it in a zip-loc bag for them.

Behavior Integration – Meltdown (full kicking, screaming, hitting, biting- any ages)

> Create distance between the individual and the rest of the kids. It is often easier to remove an entire class (go on a bathroom break, outside, etc.) than removing the child).

> YOU may be the trigger, so be aware of that.

> If they are in danger of hurting themselves, get another adult to help you so you are NOT alone.

> Last resort, call the parents.

> Keep yourself at a safe distance, talk calm, slow, help bring their stress down.

> Reinforce with things like, hey Johnny your parents are coming soon.

> Turn the lights off, or dim them to get the stimuli down. Turn off the music and other distractions and stimulus.

> Get a weighted blanket. Ask someone to make one (filled with rice, beans, beads, etc). Typically weighs about 15 pounds.

> Lay the blanket on top of the child and let them calm down.

> Physical restraint is a last resort and needs to be a trained staff member and ONLY if the child is in physical danger of hurting themselves or others.

Behavior Intervention – Runner

> They can get through any lock, any gate, they’re fast.

> Go after them; however, don’t make it a game of chase. Stand still or walk toward them.

> Be careful not to turn it into a game.

> Figure out the trigger (are they escaping a task, want attention, bored and want to do something else).

> Need a code word for staff team and security at church. Call out “code green” and everyone covers all the doors to make sure they don’t leave the building.

>They also like to hide, so have your extra volunteers help look for them.

> They will hide in small dark places, especially when they are on the verge of sensory overload.

> During transitions, let them know ahead of time using First-Then statements.

> Hold their hand to walk to the next place.

> Remind them of the reinforcement system they have, so they know that they will get something positive when they are showing Christ-like behavior, or what they are suposed to be doing.

Behavior Intervention – Parent Conversation (At this point you’re tired, frustrated)
> Stay positive, talk about what their child did well that day.

> Don’t tell them they are a bad parent or a horrible parent.

> Special Needs parents are bombarded all the time, everywhere with the negative and all the things they are doing wrong (because people don’t understand that their child has special needs).

> Church needs to be a place of refuge, where the parents know their child with special needs is being loved on.

> Have the ministry director or pastor help you with the conversation

> Evaluate if the negative is something they really need to know about.

> They are constantly worn out, dealing with it everyday.

> Don’t do it in the middle of the hallway. Be respectful and private.

> Sandwich- Positive, Negative, Positive

> Do not place emotion in it (yours or assume the child’s), just state the facts of the negative.

> Pray through it and see if you really need to do it.

Language- Peer Interaction

> Kids will direct their questions and interactions to the adults in the room.

> Model to the child how to interact with the non-verbal child.

> Include the special needs child in the interaction, don’t just talk about them.

> Encourage and promote any interaction socially with their peers.

> Parents want to see their children included.

Language – Unengaged Student

> Be a model, show them the actions you want them to do.

> Encourage volunteers to get involved.

> Kids with autism, can be highly stimulated and on the verge of sensory overload, so even when they don’t appear to be involved (may just sit and watch quietly), that’s okay. That may be all they can do.

> Let them walk in the back of the room with a toy, it let’s them experience what you’re doing in their own way.

> Ask them questions about what you were teaching. They may repeat the whole story and beyond. Some kids will repeat several weeks or even months of stories to you.

> Have the same expectations, do not sell them short. Share the gospel with them and realize they can get it.

> Don’t give up on them.

> Observe the behavior. Sometimes it’s not sensory overload, it’s more of a choice action. Talk with them, why don’t you help with the motions today.

> Volunteers are allowed to touch the children and the child knows the word No.

> Help them stand up. Put your hand over their arms and help them do the motions. They frequently think it’s fun.

> If it doesn’t work well, take a step back and allow them to sit on the floor pr engage in worship in their own individual way.

50% of children with autism have seizures.

> First, stop and look at the time. The length of the seizure makes a HUGE difference. 5 minutes or more is an emergency!

> Ensure their safety, move them away from the wall, toys, etc.

> DO NOT put anything in their mouth including a bite block

> Call for help (another adult).

> If it’s a known seizure child, you may not need to call the parents, but you need that plan in place and agreed upon first.

> Always call immediately if it’s the first time they had a seizure or a new child

> Have two people there one on each side, to help them once they stop and are regaining balance

> You may need to call 911

Charlotte’s Web – Marijuana for children with seizures

> As a pediatrician absolutely not something I recommend.

> As a parent, if my child was having 100-1000 seizures a day, I would do it in a heartbeat to help with the quality of life.

> As a church, no where in the Bible is there something that says you are not allowed to do charlotet’s web. Some churches say no and have asked families to leave the church because they are doing it.

> No church should be making the stand to tell the parent how to parent. Take the high road. The family needs you to come alongside them, they need spiritual encouragement, love them.

It is helpful to interview your new special needs families and create a plan for their child to do what’s best for them and to be able to love the child and help the child.

For the parent in denial that their child is autistic; do not come into the conversation saying they have autism, just talk about how you’ve noticed that Jacob needs a little extra help in the class and we would love to get Jacob a buddy to help him have a better time in class, and keep up with the activities. You are just offering a little extra help, not accusing them of doing anything. You may ask if they have an IEP at school and ask about it.

Training for Physical Restraints (CPI). Check to see what training is offered locally and get your staff trained.

Buddy System- Majority of special needs students do not need a buddy. Try to keep them mainstreamed. Youngest buddy is 8 years old, but he’s one of the best ones. It’s more about training and language use then the age of the child. Encourage youth and adults to be apart of it. Tap into your middle school and high school students. Families may also want to serve together and this is a great opportunity.

Pre-conference Session #2 – How to Reach Families in Your Local Elementary School with Dan Scott (Orange) and Dan Kubish (New Spring Church in Wichita, KS)

There are lots of kids that will never walk in the doors of your church, and they need help, they need to see God’s love in action.

School in General:
> 50.1 million kids will attend school in US this year
> Average size is 20-25 kids & 1 teacher in a classroom
> 160,000 kids will miss school because of bullying
> 71% of kids report that bullying is a problem.
> 1 out of 5 kids will drop out before graduation

Americans are not happy with our schools.

Barna’s Schools in Crisis Survey
> 76% of Americans think greater family and parental involvement will improve lower-performing schools

> 70% high quality teachers will improve lower-performing schools

> 35% more involvement from faith communities will improve lower-performing schools

> Who is responsible? Primary resource for education 80% parents

We can help, but the church in general isn’t too sure. We can…

> Encourage teachers

> Help with fund raising

> Volunteer at local schools

> Help promote reform

Instead of helping, many in the church flee.

There is so much potential- our kids can be the light in their public schools, in the darkness.

There are 3 big influences in the life of a child:

> Church (40 hours a year)

> Home (3000 hours with family at home)

> School (1600 hours a year)

What would happen if we leverage the influence at the schools as well??

> That’s a lot of hours you can impact on top of your 40 in the life of a child over the year.

3 is greater than 1 plus 1 plus 1.

We need to work together, get on the same page with the schools.

75% of kids in your community will never benefit from what you do inside the church because they will never come to you. If you want to reach those kids, you have to go to them. Orange is about widening the circle, reaching out.


Dan Scott interviewed Dan Kubish (
Core Central Values- Pathway to Public Schools

Where to start…4 simple steps

Adopt one school. Schools are looking for it. In Kansas schools are required to have a virtue based curriculum.

> Set up a time to meet with the school.

> They started with a 40 minute program to do for the school.

> They didn’t cross the line, didn’t say Jesus or get out their Bibles, but they still taught the virtue.

> They started getting referrals from other schools

> Need to meet with people on staff. Talk to the people in charge of curriculum, typically a counselor. Probably don’t want to go through the PTA. Directly to the people that make the decisions.

> Ask to do an assembly for the school

> It’s great to have a teacher invite you to the school, but not necessary.

Actually meet at the school, on their turf, in their time frame, with their rules

> Hang out and talk and see how you can get on the same page.

> Meet with them, Big Idea coming to your school (wear the same shirts to make yourselves identifiable).

> Janitor may not be too happy, so bring help to clean and set-up, tear down.

> Safety issue to have people on campus, so make sure you follow their policies. Go over the rules and make sure you tell them what your signal is to keep the crowd quiet. Have fun, but keep it organized. Be respectful, don’t come in like you know it all. Humility is key!

Be Positive – Point out good things about the school

Ask how you can help

> Leave your agenda behind

> Serve with humility

> Exceed expectations

Another idea is to do a carnival for them or something of that nature. We are here to assist the school.

In Kansas, May 1st is the Stop Bullying March, the kids all wear a shirt and participate in activities that day. They created a short 15 minute video for them to get the kids pumped up about participating and wearing their shirts.

New Spring church has a truck and tailor and they bring and set-up all their own equipment. They go to 71 different schools.

They also put up a billboard for Humility on the major highway through the city.

It will be the easiest money you raise as a church, people will step up to the plate. They told people what they’re doing and they donated the money to put up the digital billboards on the main freeway (I35). A radio station donated a short amount of time to them as well, where they just a do a 30 second blurb on what the big idea is (Humility, use the virtue)

There is a tab on the 252 website for the school XP and it can be a start for you.

Free to the schools, Dan K. buys most of their stuff from Core Essentials.

Most schools can’t afford assemblies but they are looking for them. Offer your program to schools as a free assembly.

You must have excellence, needs to be a program that both the kids and teachers love.

You can teach God’s truth to the kids and tell them Bible stories by changing names (for the Good Samaritan they used football team names).

They are able to build relationships with the school and he is able to go now when they call him to talk to a student when they’re going through something hard.

Encourage kids and administration.

They have a different website, name and mailing address away from the church. It keeps the schools open to partnering with them.

Most pastors will ask what will it do for the church. We would still do it even if no one started coming to the church because of it, but over 80% of the teachers and kids from those schools come to their church now. Teachers have figured out that if you love the kids so much that you come to us and build relationships and love on the kids than what amazing things are you doing at your church.

The teachers see the kids more than you do at church.

Tell the schools, we’d love to provide the core essential curriculum for you. It’s a great way in. Costs about $199 a month or so. It’ll be worth it for you to reach your community.

How do you go to 71 schools, 5 services on the weekend, and have 13 staff members? Do 4 shows at schools a day. DO NOT WRITE YOUR OWN CURRICULUM. Don’t waste your time. Work 40 hours a week.

Talk with your parents, talk with teachers in your church. Start small.

What are some ways to fund the program if your church does not have the funding?
You can talk to community leaders because it’s community-based.
Businesses (& business leaders) in the community like to help with things that help the community. There are people in your church that this is their passion…there are people already volunteering in schools and this may be part of their dream. They may volunteer to help you.

For Core Essential Values there is a backlog to go get at a later time if your school is doing a different value or virtue that month; however, there is stuff specific to the time of year or month like December.

You can do it with 3 people at the minimum.



FX Interactive with Adam Duckworth in Fort Launderdale:

Context for why we do what we do related to Family experience.
What is Orange? Two combined influences make a greater impact than just two influences. Church and Family…

Light in a broken world that should shine the light brighter so that everyone can see it.
Red and Yellow together make Orange.

FX is that coming to life, represented. Family and church should meet and learn about the same things together.

5 Principles to the orange strategy:

> Integrate Strategy: Align church leaders and parents to lead with the same end in mind.

> Redefine the Message: Craft core truths into engaging, relevant and memorable experiences.

> Reactivate the Family: Enlist parents to act as partners in the spiritual formation of their own children.

> Elevate Community: Connect everyone to a caring leader and a consistent group of peers

> Leverage Influence: Create consistent opportunities for students to experience personal ministry.

Populate the stage with middle school students and high school students: they engage in personal ministry beyond high school. It helps them stay in the church once they leave the community.

FX: A shared experience for families designed to engage parents as partners with a strategy to shape the character and faith of their children.

The life apps help shape kids, shape their faith, shape their future, shape their families. It’s a shared experience.

Why an FX? By creating an FX you help “reactivate the family” in your community.

> Communities are crumbling

> Families are different today, they are changing.

> Our doors are always open because we want to help your family take the next step toward Jesus.

Spiritual Leaders: Spiritual leadership has no clear definition.

There are people that are attempting to engage with us that may have no experience in a church, no experience with faith. They don’t know what that means.

It should be our goal in family experience to encourage people to take steps.

It should never be our goal to engage parents to do everything but to do something more.

Levels of Partnership:

> Aware: who understand they have a responsibility

> Involved: who are active and busy

> Invested: who are devoted in their participation

> Engaged: who are intentional about doing something

It’s very rare that someone is going to become engaged overnight, but we help them take little steps.

FX Priorities:

> Family Centered: Creates a consistent, shared experience for parents and kids

> Kid Focused: Targets the everyday issues in a kid’s everyday world

> Value Driven: Emphasizes specific life apps that allow kids to develop faith and character

> Creatively Wired: Uses innovative and creative tools to communicate timeless truths

> User Friendly: Creates a non-threatening environment for families to invite friends to

> Volunteer Fueled: Build on teams of volunteers

When you get like-minded people around the table implementing the same vision it will change your community. Volunteers are awesome.

About 13 elements in a typical FX

FX can be done with as few as 3 people, but it’s better (& easier) to have more people.



Brooklyn Lindsey,
Leading through Crisis, Tragedy & Trauma (Students)

Announcement: XP team has an emergency kit that you can use. Includes what to say and do programming wise after an emergency in your community.

You are not alone, it’s going to take a lot of people and a lot of love and you are not alone.

Small crisis: Play Finger Ninja- hands up, put your right pointer finger in the palm of the person next to you and on the count of 3 trap one side and escape the other side.

Quote: Ann Lamount says “Lighthouses don’t go all around an island looking for boats to save they just stand still and shine their light.”

Lighthouses are stable and strong, & they are drawing in nature, they draw ppl in.

Stay strong and be who you are in Him. That identity in Christ enables you to do what you need to do to help others.

We may not be the best at handling certain situations, but we will be the best at being ourselves and we will have what it takes.

Ldrs are often the first responders, usually starts with a conversation. You have this knowledge that you’re going to call on the phone or have a face to face conversation.

> Difficult, hard, don’t always have the answers. At the end of the day, our job is to respond.

> Your genuine and thoughtful response will tell the hurting that you care.

> Show up, respond, don’t be afraid of that.


As you begin to have the conversations:

> Focus on listening

> Focus on Feeling (Let them voice their emotions)

> Focus on Remembering (Tell me about a good memory, why do you love someone so much) – Journal, talk about your memories

Say This:

> I’m so sorry for your loss

> I hate that you’re going through this

> I know this is really hard

> I know that this is really difficult

> Tell me a story about this person

> We’re going to walk through this together

Book: Youth Leaders Guide to Crisis (good appendix of adjectives in the back of the book). Sometimes our simple words don’t express the depth or the breadth of their feelings. You can have a student circle some of the words that they’re feeling.

If you can’t go with them together, then find somebody that can. (Small group leaders are great)

DO NOT Say This:

> Avoid Cliches

> Avoid Answers (we don’t have all the answers)

> Avoid Timelines


> Everything happens for a reason

> How are you?

> You’ll get over this

> God just needed another angel

> At least you have your Dad/Friends/etc.

> Don’t cry

It’s good to grieve and let people grieve even when it’s hard.

There are times that you go through crisis that you will have to deal with it in the future, because someone forgot it or blocked it. (Crisis can come out at any time).

Crisis lives on and it can be the incubator for miracles. (Heather said this in main session this morning).

Sometimes people look at the church and they just want to see or hear something that says come home. The world is just saying “Say Something” to me, let me know you care and love me. Be open and receptive.

People in your life need to be filling you up, speaking words of truth into you. You need to be full so you can say YES to being the lighthouse

Crisis foreshadows the future, they are imaging their faith in the future through you. God wants you to help carry other people’s burdens.

What is Crisis:

> A crisis is a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger

> A period of disequilibrium that overpowers a person’s homeostatic mechanisms (therapeutic definition)

> A crisis throws people off balance

> It can be difficult to predict

> It can be brought on by anything

> It can be something that effects someone in one stage of their life and not in another

Who determines a crisis? The person going through it.

When to respond when and how:

Acute (pointed, immediate): (Needs immediate attention from you or someone else, like going to the hospital). Suicide attempt, abuses, runaway, assault, sudden loss, etc.

Chronic (enduring, reoccurring, persistent): (Sometimes this will quickly escalate to Acute and it is not your fault) Cutting, compulsive behaviors, ADHD, depression, etc. Response can be slower.

Adjustment (stressful on relationships, annoying but they are usually just transitioning): Lying, sibling born, defiance, family remarriage, etc. Sometimes it helps to tell someone to breathe. Can be fun, but can also be awful. Tell them you’ll be with them through this.

Lighthouses don’t go running around an island trying to save people.

Daniel 12:3

Say YES to be the first responder and being helped by the first responders.



Orange Conference 2014 Notes – From Nick Blevins

#OC14 Orange Conference Notes – From Jim Wideman

Orange Conference 2014 Notes – From Brian Dodd


This information was presented at the national Orange Conference #OC14. Click here for more information on Orange.

Orange Conference 2014



Top 10 Leadership Quotes From #OC14 Orange Conference

Each year 6,000 leaders gather in Atlanta for the national Orange Conference. There are tracks for senior church leadership, children’s ministry and student ministry. This year’s senior leadership track had over 300 in attendance. Here are the top quotes, gathered from the various sessions in the senior leadership track:

#10. Great leaders never have to demand loyalty. – Jeff Henderson

#9. (Senior leaders) how do you treat the janitor? – Derwin Gray

#8. Decide you are not going to try to please everyone. You either focus on ‘who you want to reach’ or ‘the people you want to keep’. – Carey Nieuwhof

#7. Change of pace, plus change of place, equals change of perspective. – Mark Batterson

#6. Leaders, ask yourself, “What is it like to be on the other side of me?” How are you to work for? – Jeff Henderson

#5. Every book you read is worth 2 years of life experience. – Mark Batterson

#4. The biggest leadership challenge I have is me. – Jeff Henderson

#3. We get so focused on the 10% of disgruntled people we forget about the 90% who aren’t. – Carey Nieuwhof

#2. Competency isn’t the issue. Character is. – Carey Nieuwhof

#1. You replace yourself by developing others, not by replicating yourself. – Jeff Henderson


Don’t let your budget determine your vision. Let your vision determine your budget. – Mark Batterson

We start every meeting by sharing wins. – Mark Batterson

The greatest enemy of your future success is your current success. – Carey Nieuwhof

If you really want to check your ego, get great leaders around you. – Carey Nieuwhof

My word for the year is “no.” I need to say “no” to more things. – Mark Batterson

Saying yes to one thing is saying no to another. – Mark Batterson

Leaders are readers. Everyone can read a book a month. Just put it in your bathroom. – Mark Batterson

Recruit amazing people and get out of their way. – Jeff Henderson

To develop leaders, ask questions of them… don’t tell them what to do. – Jeff Henderson

If you don’t change you will become irrelevant. – Carey Nieuwhof

Almost none of the disagreement in your church is over mission or vision… it’s over model. – Carey Nieuwhof

Recruit next generation leaders to help you. The most effective strategies to reach the next generation will likely not come from the current generation. – Carey Nieuwhof

This information was presented at the national Orange Conference #OC14. Click here for more information on Orange.

Orange Conference 2014


How To Develop The Next Generation Of Leaders

This week I am blogging from #OC14, The Orange Conference in Atlanta. Orange is a gathering of thousands of church leaders, with an emphasis on senior leadership, children’s ministry leadership and student ministry leadership. I am highlighting some of the best material from the Orange senior leadership track. Below are the highlights from Jeff Henderson’s thoughtful session on growing leaders.

Think of a person who helped you grow as a leader. What was the most memorable thing they did?

Most people will answer with, “They were patient with me” or “They allowed me to learn from failure.” Another common answer is, “They spent time with me.”

No matter what our mentors did, there is one common thread: someone took an active interest in our growth.

One of the most important (but never urgent) tasks of a leader is replacing yourself. It is important to note, however, that you replace yourself by developing others, not replicating yourself.

After Walt Disney’s death, there was a saying at the Disney company. “What would Walt do?” was the question everyone would ask, hoping to keep the founder’s spirit alive. While this may have been done with the best of intentions, it was a terrible thing for the staff. It stiffeled innovation and bound the company to the past.

Take the story of John Lasseter. He was a young animator at Disney. He brought fresh ideas that didn’t fit the traditional Disney model. He was let go. Then Lasseter joined an upstart company called Pixar. He innovated the movie “Toy Story” and the computer animation that we all know today. John Lasseter and Pixar went on to great success. Old-school Disney Animation withered to a shadow of its once glorious self. Pixar and Disney would eventually merge, with John Lasseter as its president. The lesson: don’t try to replicate yourself. Develop promising leaders so they can lead from their own strengths.

If emerging leaders aren’t sure which direction God would have them go, help them look for God’s thumbprints on their lives. God’s thumbprints are clues as to his plan for our lives.


Develop leaders by creating a great culture and recruiting great people.

If you don’t have a good staff culture, your church isn’t going to work. Many church cultures aren’t healthy. We should have such loving, joyful staffs that those qualities flow through the entire church.

Leaders, ask yourself, “What is it like to be on the other side of me?” “How am I to work for?” This will give you insight into your own leadership. You can also ask your leaders that same question.

The issue of staff loyalty can be a negative in church cultures. If you have to ask for loyalty there is a problem with your leadership. Great leaders never have to demand loyalty.

Hiring well is essential to having a quality staff culture. During inital screening, ask each candidate the following four quetions:

> What are your 5 strengths?

> Who are you learning from?

> What is your ideal job description?

> What is your favorite organization?

Gwinnett Church emails these four questions to all applicants early in the hiring process. The questions take time and effort to answer. Many candidates do not respond. This weeds out the weaker applicants. The candidates who do respond tend to be the stronger ones.

For an example of church culture, Jeff Henderson likes to share the definition they have at Gwinnett Church: “We want to create a staff culture of fun-loving, emotionally-intelligent people who are passionate about leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We will do this by building great teams, delivering WOW through service, focusing on outsiders and prioritizing personal and professional growth.”


Here are some tips for grooming promising leaders:

> Recruit amazing people and get out of their way.

> Don’t think of yourself as a director. Be a coach. Ask questions rather than give direction. Provide the opportunity to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes. Be the ‘question-man’, not the ‘answer-man.’

> Do life with your staff. Being authentic and vulnerable means your staff knows who you really are. It carries some obvious risks. However, the benefit of working with true friends outweighs the risk.

What things do you do to help grow emerging leaders? Leave a comment below.



This information was presented at the national Orange Conference #OC14. Click here for more information on Orange.

Orange Conference 2014



What Type of Person Does Your Organization Attract?

Why is it that some things attract the kinds of people we like? Why do other things attract people that, well, maybe we don’t like so much? I’ll bet you can think of a few of these things in your life. Perhaps you can even identify the types of people attracted to your organization.


I first noticed the attractional dynamic in college. As a freshman, I was looking for community. I checked out a variety of clubs, ministries and social/academic organizations. It was interesting to see how the different activities attracted different personality types. If you were looking for it, you couldn’t miss it. I found organizations that attracted all kinds of groups . . . the driven, the narcissistic, the intelligent, the hard, the soft, the creative, the inclusive and the exclusive.

After much searching I finally found my tribe in student leadership. These folks had the right mix of intelligence, social skill, ambition, ‘niceness’ and fun. They hit all the right notes for me. These people became my college friends, populated my wedding, and remain life-long friends. They are kindred spirits.


More recently I noticed the attractional dynamic at car shows. My church does a summer car event. It’s my job to go to spring car shows and hand out fliers to promote our event. After a few shows I began to notice that certain cars attracted certain personality types. The British car show seemed to attract nice older people who were mechanically inclined. The Italian car show attracted people who were as brash and colorful as their wonderful automobiles. The Gen Y tuner set was passionate about their Hondas and Subarus. But I struggled at the BMW show. Rather than standing by their cars, many BMW owners parked their cars and went somewhere else. Generally, the people I approached were curt and not interested in discussion. They only seemed taken with their own cars and not the beautiful machines all around them. Now this isn’t to say that all BMW owners are like this . . . it was only my perception of the ones at that particular show. But it made me think.


The car crowd I felt most comfortable with was at the Corvette show. Nearly every owner stood near their car, eager to talk. They knew their stuff. Their modifications were tasteful and intelligent. They were willing to share their car secrets. I’m not a Corvette guy, but there was something about the Corvette owners with which I was intuitively comfortable. They are kindred spirits.


I have found the same thing in church world . . . something that attracts great people. It’s called Orange. Orange is best known for offering curriculum for children’s ministry. But it is so much more.

Orange thinking> Orange is a philosophy. ‘Orange’ is the power of what red (family) and yellow (church) can do when they combine. It’s the advantage of using two colors to create a third option. Similarly, when parents partner with the church for the growth of their children, there is a powerful effect.

> Orange is a lifestyle. At the core of Orange is relationship. Rather than rely solely on silly games and glitzy, ‘Disney-like’ environments, Orange focuses on relationship. It builds connection between leaders and kids . . . and between kids and their peers. God designed us for relationship with Him and with each other. Orange starts kids in constructive relationships at an early age.

> Orange is for servant leaders. Our church has been fortunate to hold two regional Orange events put on by the national Orange organization. I cannot express how impressed I was with their national leaders and their team. Orange could have remained as a high-quality program at Atlanta’s North Point Church, but instead, its leadership set out to help other churches. Every year they spend a lot of time on the road (at great personal cost), meeting hundreds of churches and helping them to be effective. That humility, love and spirit of servant leadership has translated into our church. After doing several years of Orange, these same qualities typify our children’s ministry staff and lay leaders. I guess like really does attract like.

That’s why I like people who like Orange.


I guess my kindred spirits would be college student leaders who will one day drive Corvettes and lead Orange at their churches. Do you find certain organizations attract people you like? Share your story in the comments section below.

CHECK OUT ORANGE FOR YOURSELF: I will be attending the national Orange conference in late April and contributing blogs each day. Here’s a short video that explains the conference. If your church is looking for an effective way to do children’s and/or student ministry, I encourage you to join me (and thousands of like-minded leaders) in Atlanta. More information here.

Orange Conference Atlanta


Photos/graphics courtesy Orange.


The #1 Thing That Makes Pastors Unhappy

What makes pastors unhappy? It is so valuable to ask questions of the people you encounter, especially when they are experts in their field. Recently I met a person who makes their living coaching pastors. This is a prominent person with an insider vantage point from which to view church leaders.

I used the opportunity to ask, “What is the greatest challenge to healthy ministry?” Without hesitation the person answered, “Misalignment . . . misalignment of pastors’ skills and gifts and the work they actually do.

Wow. It’s amazing to think that of all the challenges pastors face, gift alignment problems are what are making some sick.

Puzzle piecesMy expert gave the example of an unhappy senior pastor. This pastor used to be an incredible associate pastor. In that role the pastor’s strengths and gifts were used every day. He was happy and effective. This happy associate later became senior pastor. It seemed to him (and most people) the next logical step up the ladder. However, as senior pastor, this person isn’t using his strengths every day. He is manufacturing energy to do a job that doesn’t fit him. He is suffering and so his church.

Over time, pastors can become so “others focused” that they no longer consider themselves. They fail to ask, “Am I happy?” or “Do I feel God’s pleasure in doing this?” While self-sacrifice is part of following Jesus, being a mismatched part of His body is not.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ . . . The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.  (1 Corinthians 12:12-23)

Most people have a sweet spot. It’s doing the work that they are called and gifted to do. The work comes naturally and in a way that satisfies.

MismatchOn either side of that sweet spot is work we can do, but it requires unusual amounts of effort. These are the areas in which we are capable but not gifted. These areas may get us a paycheck, but they will never get us awards. If we continue to work outside our sweet spot we become weary, worn down and burnt out. This mismatch of skills and work assignment isn’t good for us or our teams. Just because we are capable of something doesn’t mean we should do it.


Aligning our strengths with our job really isn’t hard. Here are some simple tools that will help you determine your skills and gifts. Once we know what they are, it’s relatively simple to find the kind of assignments that play to our strengths.

JOURNAL FOR A WEEK: Strengths expert Marcus Buckingham recommends that we keep a small notebook with us for a week. Each time we do something that energizes and encourages us, write it down. Conversely, when we do things that leave us drained and frustrated, write them down. The things that energize you are the things you should be doing professionally.

STRENGTHSFINDER ONLINE ASSESSMENT: Take this test online for $10 and it provides you with your “Top 5” strengths. I use this with my staff and with all finalists for a job opening. Most people say it paints an accurate picture. It gets illuminating when you compare your results with those of your co-workers. Take it here:

FREE SPIRITUAL GIFTS INVENTORY: In addition to our innate talents, God is at work in us. The Holy Spirit gives each of us special abilities:

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.  (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

To help determine your gifts, these assessments are available free online:

Free Spiritual Gifts Test:

Free Spiritual Gifts Inventory:

puzzle piecesHonestly, how good of a fit are you to your current job? Are you energized when doing your duties? Do you accomplish them with natural ease or forced effort? Do you look forward to going to work? Do you enable your organization to go further or are you holding it back?

Don’t be a frustrated, misaligned cog when you can be an aligned and energized superstar. What we do is so important it shouldn’t be any other way.


How did you discover your strengths and align them with your work? Leave a comment below.


Key Takeaways From The Orange Tour

Some of today’s best leadership thinking comes from a group called Orange. They are primarily known for working with children’s and student ministries, but Orange thinking is easily transposed for leaders in any kind of organization.

Orange tours the country. I highly recommend taking your church’s children’s, student and small group teams to see the Orange Tour. Check here to see cities and dates.


Orange Tour SignOur church had the honor of hosting the Seattle tour stop. Here are some key takeaways from what they presented.

Lead small: We have gone too far buying-in to “bigger is better” (more friends in real life and in social media). Our greatest influence happens when we invite a small number of people around us and focus our energies on them. What we do for a few will always have more potential than what we do for many. Regular availability to a small number of people creates trust, the building block of relationships. We provide healthy influence to our small group of people, who in turn model and pass those healthy influences to the people around them.

Time matters: It’s wise to consider the ramifications of time. Calculate how much time you have left (with your kids, in your job or with your life). This makes you more serious about the time you have left and encourages you to find ways to use time better. It helps you properly prioritize. There is additional benefit to healthy behaviors done consistently over time.

Detailed notes on these conference themes can be found below.


Lead Small – Main Session – Mike Clear

Mike Clear - Orange TourOver half our kids walk away from faith in college because they have a weak faith. . . one that is not tested and not ready for the real world. It’s not just that they encounter professors or other students who challenge their faith. This is our challenge. A small group leader growing an authentic faith in the student is the answer.

Lead small. We get too infatuated with “big”. We like having hundreds of Facebook friends or followers on Twitter.

What if big things are actually accomplished by doing things small?  What you do for a FEW will always have more potential than what you do for MANY.

If you are a small group leader, it’s just as important that you know what you ARE NOT as it is that you know what you ARE.

When you lead small you choose to be present. Being present connects people to authentic faith.

1. Show up predictably. You can’t gain trust without it.

2. Show up mentally. Get off phone and text. Be engaged with people face to face.

3. Show up randomly. Surprise people from time to time by showing up randomly in their life. Never underestimate the value of a phone call, text or birthday card.

Create a safe place. Clarify people’s faith as they grow.

1. Lead the group. Let them know that what we talk about in here is safe . . . it’s confidential. Manage the tensions, don’t solve the problems. Show them love.

2. Respect the process. Your group is made up of different people at different levels of belief. Your job is not to change your group members. There is nothing we can do to change them. Love them (don’t change them).  The bible doesn’t say change your neighbor as yourself.

3. Guard the heart. Set up boundaries and policies that help you lead the small group time. It protects the leader.

Partner with parents. This is how you nurture everyday faith.

1. Cue the parent. Say to them, “Here are a few of the things were talking about this month.”

2. Honor the parent.

3. Reinforce the family. Family time is important time, protect it (humorously extreme example: no group sleepover on Christmas Eve.) Don’t have “the talk” (about any subject the parents should appropriately have) with kids before the parents do.

Make it personal. You inspire their faith by your example.

1. Live in community. What you do for your few, you also need to do for yourself. You need to be in community, too.

2. Set priorities. Let them see that your time with your spouse is important to you. Set priorities. Be authentic. Be who you are.

3. Be real. You don’t have to be cool to influence kids and students. Kids aren’t looking for coolness; they want people to show up in their lives.

Move them out.

1. Move them to someone else – the next small group leader.

2. Move them to BE the church. Be the church of tomorrow, not today. Let them have responsibilities.

3. Move them to what’s next. Set up good transitions between elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to college. Give them lots of information that will help them transition well.

Your people are not problems to be solved; they are your people to be loved. Give them a place to belong and someone who believes in them.



Reggie Joiner Teaching1. Time matters. When you see how much time you have left, you tend to get serious about the time you have now. Wisdom is connected to knowing how many days you have left. This is a biblical principle.

2. When you see how much time you have left, you tend to make what matters matter more.

3. When you see how much time you have left, you tend to value what happens over time.

What you do this week matters. At the same time, you can’t do it all in a week. There is something special about the collective momentum when you are there every week. (This is why long term leaders have a different kind of influence). You make history when you consistently repeat your presence in people’s lives.

Words have power. Words over time can change the direction of someone’s life.

Words over time create an influence direction. The words you say can ultimately impact someone’s direction and destiny.

Words over time = direction. This includes positive and negative words.

Encouragement. Each of us has a ratio of words of encouragement to words of criticism. The average person experiences one word of encouragement for every seven words of criticism. This explains why there are so many dysfunctional workplaces, poor marriages, insecure children, and poor churches.

We can change this ratio.

He who refreshes will himself be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25)

If we will breathe refreshment into others, we will be refreshed. Encourage people more than criticize them.

We live in a world where people are suffocating from self-doubt. As a church, no one is better positioned to help with this.

Every man wonders: Do I have the right stuff to be a leader? Ladies, don’t underestimate the value positive words can have on your husband.

Ladies ask: Do they notice me? Do they think I’m pretty? Men, tell your daughters and wives how beautiful they are (over and over and over and over again).

We get it right at funerals. We say all positive things about a person and nothing negative. Don’t wait until the day of the funeral to gives words of roses.

Ask your employees/volunteers “How are you doing?” at least twice as much as “What are you doing?” This will give you permission to speak positive things into them.

Are you a feared leader or a followed leader? In the business world the feared leader has been respected for years. This is a joke.

A followed leader knows how their staff is doing.

Write three thank you notes a day. Send it by snail mail. Use these lines to start a thank you note: I remember when . . . (you started you were nervous, look at you now) . . . I have noticed . . . I hope you know . . . I’m really glad . . . I’ve been thinking . . .

Write a note of encouragement to your kids/wife every week.

Many people don’t feel good enough about themselves to let you feel good about yourself. You have to go first when encouraging people. Replenish others and you will be replenished.

You can encourage someone so many times that when you are gone your voice is still in their head.



Reggie Joiner Orange TourWhat do you want someone to BECOME? You can begin teaching with that end in mind.

If the kids who grow up in your ministry get baptized but don’t get the concept of love, they won’t have anything more than religion. Sometimes we, as leaders, don’t think through this lens.

Love has been talked about so much that it has lost its zing. Love really is the one thing that matters most.

Your theology without love is religion.

Your teaching must connect back to a love relationship with the Father.

Kids don’t walk away from relationships. They walk away from religion (religion is teaching without love).

It’s sad that some of the harshest critics are those who claim to know Jesus.

Do you think you would have liked hanging out with the Pharisees? Today kids feel judged and guilty. Kids think things like, “The church discriminated against my friends.” Some see the church as being run by a bunch of Pharisees. But when love is in the mix it changes everything.

Are you operating out of love or as a Pharisee? Do you teach kids the bible or teach the bible to kids? If I have a relationship with you, I will take an interest in making sure you understand the meaning of the bible.

Do you fight to win an argument or do you fight to win a heart? You can win an argument and lose the heart.

Since when has God called us not to be messy? Jesus was so engaged in humanity that it caused the Pharisees to have a crisis. If you look at how God changes, it’s by love.

If we don’t talk about love enough it discredits the truth. People don’t believe because we don’t care. If Jesus maximized it (love) and you minimize it, you are probably wrong.

Jesus answered the question, “What do I want kids to become?” with the great commandment.

God proved to us that He loves us through time. He proved it over and over and over again. People kept messing up and God keeps trying to redeem us. God created time as a platform so his consistency and predictability proves that He loves us. You prove to a kid you love them over time.

Love over time equals worth. When you love a kid over time you instill in them a sense of worth and of value.

The way you love kids while they’re kids can dramatically affect their future.

Orange Tour - Parking Lot GuyYou may be the best chance a kid has at knowing they are valuable to God. The best way for kids to know they are loved by God, is for them to be loved by someone who loves God.

Maybe the best way for kids to learn how to love God is for them to learn how to love the people who God loves.

This is the reason why love over time is so important. God says, “I am going to demonstrate who I am through the people I created in my image.”

Tribes. The power of organizing your ministry around relationships.

Tribes matter. They give everyone a sense of belonging.

There are TWO TRIBES that are strategically positioned to help kids know they belong: the family and the Church.

If kids or teenagers only show up one time, experience one environment, or participate in one activity every week in your church where would you tell them to go? Many churches say it’s in a small group. Make sure your church answers this question seriously. If your church is about small groups, make sure it is happening. All age groups should be experiencing relationship like this. Does your church act like relational small groups are important?

Answering these questions changes how you do programming (programming should be a step to get people into small groups).

Should I stop doing something so other things can work better?  We have got to prune some branches (even non-dead branches) so the strength can go to the important areas.

Create a stop doing list.

You will never have to work as a team at getting misaligned. (You have to work on being aligned).

Small groups change how you recruit volunteers.

Small groups change the way you see teenagers. Put them in small groups together and have them lead a group.

Small groups change how you create environments. What happens in the small group after the sermon is more important than the sermon.

Small groups change how you partner with families. Other adult voices becoming increasingly important to kids as they grow up . . . the church can provide those voices through small groups.

Remember it’s harder, not easier to create a small group culture. It will always be messy (because you are inviting leaders to be in relationship with kids.)

Some will probably get mad. Anytime you change something someone is going to get mad.

Changing to a small group culture will take you longer than you think. You will never be done. It will be worth it.



It’s ok to have fun with kids, just for fun.

The joy level measures how strong your home and church is.

There is a spiritual issue at a church where there isn’t fun and celebration. Maybe it’s a sin not to have fun.

When you have fun over time something unique happens. Fun over time = connection.

Orange Tour FunFun over time convinces kids you actually like them; it is one of the first steps in showing you love them.

When they know you like them they will better listen to what you have to say. Having fun connects what has been disconnected. Don’t underestimate the power for fun.

We Christians have a rap for not having fun.

Fun fosters resilience.

Kids will encounter a degree of pain (divorce, break up, etc.). A merry heart does good like a medicine. There is a healing quality when around people who love life.

Fun authenticates forgiveness. Have you ever had fun with someone you haven’t forgiven? If you say you have forgiven me and you still won’t hang out, I think you haven’t forgiven me.

Fun over time makes friendship grow deeper.

What you do every week in a kid or student’s life will matter more than you think it does. You can’t see the spiritual growth in a seven year old . . . because it’s spiritual. You can’t predict which moments are going to be big moments. You can’t measure progress because it’s gradual.

Marble Jar - Orange Tour

Each marble in the jar represents one week remaining with your kids until they leave home. When the jar is empty, your kids are gone.

If you start imagining the future of a child, you will start investing more in them now.

What you do every week in a kid’s life now will matter more than what you do (for them) as adults. The earlier you begin making investments, the more return you will have (like compounding interest over time).

Your greatest work, your most important investment, should be in kids and teenagers.

What you do every week in a student’s life will keep your church from dying. Creating environments for kids will force you to learn, as a church, and keep you up to date.

It matters because it will last longer than you will. You are going to die, sooner than you want to. You will be forgotten. You are only about 100-200 years away from being forgotten.

Time over time leaves a legacy. You aren’t trying to make a name for yourself. You are trying to give kids a relationship with God. Let the next generation know that God loves them and they will pass that on to future generations.

You will only be remembered by those who are with you now.

One day your kids will be packing their bags to leave home. What things do you want to be in those bags? Put them in while you can. Don’t underestimate the power of the weeks you have.



Jeff Henderson & Reggie JoinerThe two ways you improve yourself are the books you read and the people you interact with.

Create an annual reading list for yourself.

Create a personal advisory board for yourself.

Read all kinds of books from all kinds of areas, including non-Christian books. All truth is God’s truth.

Don’t let the church outgrow you.

Only compare yourself to your own potential.
What we do is important. We must improve ourselves to lead. Learn and grow (the other guys are).

Humor shrinks the gap and draws us closer. Thoughtful audio interview on this: Jerry Seinfeld on Comedy.

The average person thinks a sermon should be 24 minutes. They would rather do yard work than listen to a sermon. (It’s worth the work to do an engaging, short sermon.)

Tip: Practice your sermon or presentation out loud. Video record it on your iPhone and watch yourself give the talk BEFORE you present it in public. This isn’t fun, but it will improve your presentation dramatically. I have preached some really bad sermons in front of nobody (only my iPhone).

Our crowds can tell when we are prepared and when we are not.

If we were to go out of business, would the community even know?

Many people know what the church is against but not what it’s for.

We worry that if we embrace it, the messiness of culture will hurt us. It’s better to have a conversation than to make a statement.

The children will decide what they think of your church based on how you treat their parents.

We will sabotage the discipleship of a generation if we don’t give young people a chance to serve.

You aren’t discipled by sermons, you are discipled by doing ministry. The younger generation wants to serve. Re-imagine your church using teens to serve.

If a teen has 3-5 adult Christian’s active in their life, they will be 10 times more likely to keep their faith.



Northshore Christian Church - Orange TourThe most important things when leading a small group are to be present regularly and to create a safe place. Ten mistakes leaders make:

Mistake #1. Lead every kid the way you’d want to be led. THEY AREN’T ALL LIKE YOU. They don’t like the same things you do. Give them permission to not be like us. Preschoolers think you are amazing and will imitate you. Middle/High don’t idolize you like that, but you can have a lot of influence. Give them permission to connect to God in their own way. God has wired us as unique and we relate to God differently. The Naturalist sees God through nature. Some people like rituals and symbols and traditions. Some feel that activities draw them near to God and they love to serve. The Enthusiast . . . they love worship. The Intellectuals like to ask the deep questions. The way that you connect with God is okay . . . same with others. This doesn’t minimize what you do as a leader. Be comfortable with who you are and give them permission to be different.

Mistake #2. Create a group you would want to attend – right now. YOU AREN’T THEIR AGE. Be aware of where they are developmentally. Preschoolers . . . if it is not happening in this present moment it is not real. They can’t relate to something last week or something a week from now. Elementary school students ask questions and want the right answer. They are in “concrete” mode. 5th grade and higher students are into more abstract thinking. They ask questions just to throw it out there (testing the waters). When you take care of preschoolers physical needs you are teaching them that they can trust The Lord. It’s spiritual. Children want adult approval, then peer approval. Affirm them. Peer to peer comparisons are important to them. They are concerned about how they look in comparison to someone else. Be sensitive to where they are emotionally. Where they are at emotionally this week is not where they are next week. Every week become a student of where they are emotionally. Be open to where they are spiritually. They are on a journey. It’s okay that they don’t lead or accept Jesus or become a missionary. It’s okay if they don’t get there. You are together for a season. God will use this and the future leaders to form students. Celebrate the growth steps they take. They are on a long journey. Whatever you are doing in their life now is okay

Mistake #3. Lead the group as if they are all alike. THEY AREN’T ALL LIKE EACH OTHER. Find what they have in common. Don’t be too fast to throw out what they have in common. Desperate people can have a lot of people in common. Be interested in what makes them different (we are all parts of one body).

Mistake #4. Always give an answer. YOUR EXPERTISE IS IRRELEVANT. You shouldn’t always be the expert that you are. Encourage them. Have them answer their own questions. Recognize that some questions don’t have answers. It’s completely fair to ask why your dad died. You can say that you don’t have the answer . . . but I can tell you that God is good. God is going to see you through this. You can still trust him despite this. We are still going to be the body of Christ and support you through it. When you respect the process you ask more questions than you answer. Invite them into a relationship with a God that is bigger than your own understanding.

Mistake #5. Have a personal agenda. THEIR WORTH OUTWEIGHS YOUR AGENDA. Love them through their mistakes. The church is critical because it gives kids adults that will forgive them. Love them through their mistakes. Point them to the truths they need. Speak the truth in love. Trust that God will move in their life regardless of the sin or of their circumstance.

Mistake #6. Let them lead. KIDS ARE STILL KIDS. If you let them lead completely you will end up with chaos. Guide the conversation. Sit next to the talker and sit across from the one who never speaks. You can then put your hand on the talker’s knee and stop them while drawing out the person across the circle. Provide structure and purpose.

Mistake #7. Never chase a rabbit. YOU CAN GO OFF SCRIPT.

Mistake #8. Be really popular. THEY AREN’T YOUR SOURCE OF SECURITY

Mistake #9. Never interrupt them. YOUR GROUP IS PUBLIC. What is said in group will get repeated out of group . . . even if you say it is a safe place.

Mistake #10. Fix the mistakes the speaker made. THEIR ATTENTION IS LIMITED. Give them a chance to process what the speaker said. Don’t waste time fixing.


Notes by Cheryl Kneeland, @CherylKneeland on Twitter

“We can create weekly environments where kids can trust in God’s character and live out God’s story.”

Prelude – Setting the tone for the experience.
> “It’s about controlling the things that we can control.”
> How does it look? Is it clean/not clean? Sound? Feel?
> Think about it through fresh eyes.
> “Your environment will start to tell your story before you even start to tell your story.”
> Social- Providing time for fun & interaction.
> Great opportunity for small group leaders to connect with their few.
> Who is welcoming the kids?

> Engage the kids, connect them to their small group leader right away.
> Create the tension, the interaction.

Transitions-Moving smoothly from one thing to another.
> “Variety can be distracting if we haven’t spent the time to make sure we transition and take them on a journey.”
> Engaging Media- Music, Video, Countdown
> Strategic Leaders
> Host – Helps with transitions. Get the group hyped up, excited, be strategic to go into storyteller’s time to tell the story, and announcements.
> Needs to be someone who is lively, engaging, and not afraid of the microphone, the right personality.
> Carefully crafted words – Be strategic.

Stories over time give us Perspective.
> Story – Communicate God’s truth in engaging ways.
> Stories help us SEE
> Stories make us CARE
> Stories give us HOPE
> We have the greatest story ever told; our story is true.
> We need to communicate the story to the kids in an engaging way.
> Capture their imagination.
> Learn how to become master storytellers.
> “The worst thing you could do as a leader is to make the Bible boring and irrelevant.”
> What did it help a kid see?
> How did it help a kid care?
> How did it give a kid hope?
> How will you retell the story so a kid will remember it?

Worship – Helps the kids see what’s true about God.
> Worship lets kids see other adults respond to God.
> They need to see YOU worshipping.
> One of the most powerful things you can do as a small group leader is to be right there with them, worshipping.
> Group – Creating a safe place to connect.
> You can’t have a video small group leader.


Notes by Cheryl Kneeland, @CherylKneeland on Twitter

•    The whole idea of Family Ministry is getting the people in charge of each area in the same room, on the same page. Strategy.
•    If everyone has their own strategy, it can become confusing.
•    Ask yourself . . . What is our strategy? What do we want to focus on?
•    Get together to talk about the message, the curriculum.
•    Make sure you have a comprehensive plan to go from cradle to college.
•    Refine the message, what do we want to elevate?
•    Jesus told us the greatest commandment.
•    Elevate your message/strategy.
•    Be careful that you don’t spend so much time on talking about and writing curriculum that you forget about the environment and the people.
•    Partnering with parents will look different in each ministry area – preschool, student ministries, etc.
•    Tell each other wins/stories; what’s going on in each area. How can we help each other (in terms of Family Ministry)?
•    The first step is meeting regularly with your team. Weekly is best if you can, or bi-weekly.
•    Integration with big church (How do you lead up?)


Notes by Trevor Lee, @TrevorMcLee on Twitter

Orange Tour FunMost parents don’t want more information, they want better information.
Sometimes we push too much on our parents . . . focus on equipping parents with resources that align with your strategy. Most parents don’t want more activity; they want their activity to matter more. Smart parents don’t want more to do, they want to do a few things better.

3 Key Influences for Parents
– Someone who can inspire (family pastor, lead pastor, etc.)
– Someone who knows their kid (small group leader)
– Someone who is in their life (support parents)
How can you cue parents?
– Use social media (Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc)
– Implement a strategic curriculum (leverage your strategy)
– Create family experiences
– Host an open house
– Do a family sermon series
– Schedule a family vision Sunday
Develop a SEASONAL plan.
– Fall season (back to school . . . cast vision, host an open house, etc.)
– Winter season (family experience, parenting group studies, etc.)
– Summer season (more family experiences, VBS, etc.)
Develop a WEEKLY plan.
– Sunday (give out physical resources)
– Monday-Saturday (use digital resources, encouragements & reminders)
What do you cue parents?
– Cue them to know what’s most important
– Cue them to known what is happening
– Cue them to know what they can do this week



Orange umbrellas.Very few times in life do you come across an organization that you feel just “right” about. You know the kind . . . they’re well run, they have impact and you look forward to your association with them. But what really makes an organization special is what’s behind. There’s a special odor that permeates the organization’s people and the projects. For me, Orange is one of those rare and very special organizations.

Reggie Joiner and his team are leaders of leaders. They lead with infectious passion, intelligence and authenticity. It would have been easy for the Orange folks to simply keep to themselves. . . running a very successful mega-church ministry to children. Instead they created a mechanism to share what they’ve learned with the Kingdom.

The Orange team travels much of the year. They endure travel hassles and time away from their families. They do it only because they are sold out to God and to doing their part to strengthen churches. And in the end they will. Their legacy will be handed down by the children they influence. We will all be the richer for it.


Has Orange had an influence in your life? Leave your story below.

A special thank you to Cheryl Kneeland and Trevor Lee for sharing their breakout session notes with me.



Legacy Countdown – The Insidious App That Tracks Time Remaining With Your Kids

If you were immortal, how would you view the coming year? It probably wouldn’t mean much. You would have an infinite supply of years that would follow. While many of us feel that we have many years ahead, reality is that the clock is running. Life is sweet because it is finite.

photo 4Our friends at Orange have just come up with an crafty little app. It’s called Legacy Countdown. It tracks the time you have left with your kids.

Okay, you’re probably thinking that’s a little dark. It’s like those movies where the villain runs an hourglass and something bad happens when the sands of time expire.

Legacy Countdown is simply a vivid illustration, set in the language of our mobile gadget society. Orange’s Reggie Joiner previously used marbles to make the same point. He encouraged parents to figure out how many weeks you had until your kids graduated, then put that number of marbles in a jar (one marble for each week). He then asked you to remove one marble each week as a reminder of how precious time is. Legacy Countdown is the same thing on your smart phone.

The Legacy Countdown experience starts by asking for your child’s name and graduation date. It then calculates how many days you have left until he/she leaves home.

photo 3As soon as you press “submit” the next screen appears. There it is. The undeniable truth. The number of days your child will be under your roof. These are the waning days of your maximum influence as a parent.

When my kids were in diapers this app might have been encouraging. You mean there’s a definite end to this endless cycle of mess and sleeplessness? But my kids are busy independent teens. Between academic commitments, sports, church and social events it already feels like they’re gone (regardless of what Legacy Countdown may indicate!).

Before kids I used to spend huge chunks of time playing golf. After we were expecting our first child, people would say to us, “Enjoy your kids while they are young. They grow up fast.” It sounded like a platitude to me, but I took it seriously anyway. I gave up golf because I thought it would take me away from my kids for too long. I was right. I didn’t know it at the time, but I have come to view that decision as one of the best of my life. Indeed, children grow up MUCH faster than I could have imagined. Those hours away from the golf course and with my children are when our family memories were made. It’s when I instructed. It’s when we bonded. It’s when I was a parent.

When you count the weeks you have left with a kid, you stand a better chance of making your weeks count.” This is the premise of Legacy Countdown. One parent to another, it’s my hope that you will use the finite number of weeks you have left to revel in your children.

Legacy Countdown – Free For iOS

Legacy Countdown – Free For Android

NEXT: Top 10 quotes from the Orange Conference.




Orange Blog Rob Cizek

Top Quotes From #CLA13: Christian Leadership Alliance Conference

This year’s Christian Leadership Alliance Conference was held in Anaheim, CA. Here are some of the most popular quotes from the #CLA13 Twitter feed (the tweet author is mentioned first):


@CLALeader: @DrHenryCloud “prune to make yourself more fruitful.

@ShannonDBarnes: Peter Drucker called the pruning “passionate abandonment.” That abandonment is absolutely key to strategic/mission progress.

@ShannonDBarnes: Leaders – prune your life, prune your teams, prune your programs, prune your organization to focus on what is most fruitful.

@kosts: @DrHenryCloud  There is a time to end things. Necessary endings are part of leadership.

@HurleyTravis: There are seasons of restoration that brings us through over and over in our lives. ~ Dr. Henry Cloud

@ShannonDBarnes: Leaders, God initiates endings and new seasons. We must be willing to end something to begin another.

@HurleyTravis: You need faith to create a necessary ending to your current season, so God can bring you into the next one. ~ Dr. Henry Cloud

@jennylockwald: Leadership is full of necessary endings. We have to be willing to let go.

@ShannonDBarnes: Leaders – why don’t we make the changes that are necessary? Often it’s because we’re emotionally attached to what used to be.

@jennylockwald: If God is calling us to let go, are we holding on because we don’t trust the source?

@kosts: @DrHenryCloud   Leaders fail to prune because they are hoarders–fear of loss and control.

@HollyMDuncan: Leadership growth steps are taken when we let go of the good stuff to make room for the great stuff @DrHenryCloud

@HollyMDuncan: Leadership Courage means stepping up to do the hard stuff.  @DrHenryCloud

@ShannonDBarnes: Acting to restore, AND acting to remove, both take leadership courage.

@ShannonDBarnes: Leaders – are we willing to address the people/situations that are bottle-necking our mission outcomes?

@ShannonDBarnes: The 80/20 rule says that a small part of our efforts produce the majority of our results. Focus on the high-impact part

@ShannonDBarnes: Christian leaders often take “the faith card” & hold it in front of their eyes instead of making hard choices.

@chadw5Q: “Whatever you do, finish strong.” – @TamiHeim

@iandavidbanks: Less than 25% of Christian nonprofit leaders have any theological training. Thoughts?

@iandavidbanks: As a Christian leader you must be able to serve your people with spiritual mentoring. It also helps to be mentored.

@benitateems: RT @CLALeader: I am greatly flawed, fully forgiven, and highly favored. @ellielofaro

@ScottBrownCLA: Dr. Bruce McNicol: it is up to the leader to nurture an environment of trust

@iandavidbanks: Be intentional about developing the character aspect of people -Donald Mountan

@AnitaStadler: Your calling is where God is inviting you to invest.

@MarkTjernagel: “Humility is trusting God and others with me.” bruce mcnicol

@jasoncaston: Happiness is about the circumstance, the externals, and based on situation. Joy is so much more – Ellie Lofaro

@CareNetCadillac: You can use words to change the directions of someone’s day. Phyllis Hendry

@matthewnasekos: “The measure of an authentic leader is how similar the leader reflects Christ.”

@donnalwilson: All things work for good, not all things are good–Ellie Lofaro

@TamiHeim: Spiritual mentors connect us to what God is doing in our lives. – Leighton Ford

@ShannonDBarnes: Great question for leaders: “What is your vision? What would it be if you had one?

@CLALeader: What are your dreams, what are your fears? @leightonford

@HurleyTravis: Spiritual directing is not spiritual dictatorship. ~ Dr. Leighton Ford

@jefftanner: Your calling is not always logical. What great “mistake” are you being called to make?

@ShannonDBarnes: Is frenzied busyness our number one value? What do we talk about?

@CherylLeeDavis: Dr. Leighton Ford says deep listening is best way to practice spiritual mentoring. Called it hospitality of the heart.

@jgelliott62: We are in a state of continuous partial attention. Leighton Ford

@ShannonDBarnes: Being challenged to “cease striving” – stop, wait, listen, and walk alongside others in that same journey.

@jefftanner: Leaders: our task isn’t to keep people busy but to keep them from being so busy that they can no longer listen to their calling.

@matthewnasekos: Are we so busy that we do not listen to God?

@Craig_Dutch: It doesn’t have to be well with your circumstances to be well with your soul. Ellie Lafaro

@jeremydjohnson1: The job of the leader is to get reality ~ Dr John Townsend

@TamiHeim: We need spiritual mentors to disrupt the busyness of our life and help us turn back to the voice of God.

@iandavidbanks: Definition of the hard way: doing what is best rather than what is comfortable to achieve an outcome @drjohntownsend

@jefftanner: Leaders: repeat things, work plans, listen more, ask for help, delegate, initiate hard talks, disappoint others. J. Townsend

@CLALeader: Good is an enemy of great. @johntownsend

@ShannonDBarnes: Leaders, there’s a difference between a gift and a responsibility. Live into both.

@iandavidbanks: Just because its not on your strengths finder doesn’t mean you can’t do something @drjohntownsend

@TamiHeim: A leader must do what is best, rather than what is comfortable, to reach on outcome. – @drjohntownsend

@ShannonDBarnes: Habits, under-resourced, entitlement or fear of failure? What is the reason you and your team are taking the easy way?

@iandavidbanks: People identify with a vulnerable leader. @drjohntownsend

@SLitton: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

@ShannonDBarnes: The saddest people in the world are the people who avoid pain.

@matthewnasekos: Leaders do things the hard way. There are no shortcuts! @drjohntownsend

@matthewnasekos: There is great cost in doing things the easy way @drjohntownsend

@matthewnasekos: Leaders do what doesn’t come naturally @drjohntownsend

@iandavidbanks: Stewardship decisions are made based on what you have, not what you do not have. – Gary Hoag

@DerrickHoog: “If you had to do your entire ministry online what would you do?” @maurilio @Agroup

@DerrickHoog: “Be intentional about your digital strategy. Your website is not just an expense. It’s a ministry must!” @Agroup @maurilio

@CLALeader: Authentic leaders are identified by others. If you are the real thing, you do not have to say it, others will. @israelgaither

@CareNetCadillac: You can use words to change the directions of someone’s day. Phyllis Hendry

@TamiHeim: You can hear the Voice of God through the voice of an authentic leader. -Israel Gaither


@iandavidbanks: In 2012 smartphones pass 50% mobile market share (thats smartphones vs. normal phones)

@iandavidbanks: 48% of people surveyed never turned their phones off.

iandavidbanks: 29% of tablet users are 55+.

@iandavidbanks: Do you know what the mobile usage on your website is?

@ErikMorsehead: “Many #brands know what they do, not why they do it.” -Elizabeth West

@iandavidbanks: An authentic leader is genuine and reliable. – Ellie Lofaro

@TamiHeim: The environment you create as a leader makes a difference.-P.Lencioni

@ShannonDBarnes: Behaviors always proceed results. Patrick Lencioni

@ShannonDBarnes: Henry Blackaby: “Servant leadership allows humility to overcome incompetence.

@iandavidbanks: Start paddling before the wave hits you. But get the timing right.

@ShannonDBarnes: The more you want to be seen as genuine, the less genuine you’ll appear.

@ShannonDBarnes: Authentic leaders are present with us and help others pull their own real selves out.

@ShannonDBarnes: Authentic leaders know their strengths and are committed to using their strengths. They also know where they weak & need to work.

@hamstra: “Your CEO, executives and board are not your customers!” – @coreyagordon

@DavidgCurry: “Behaviors always proceed results” Patrick Lencioni

@CareNetCadillac: War generation, boomers, Xers, Millenials. All audiences give differently.

@TamiHeim: Instruction for life: pay attention, be astonished, & tell about it. -Mary Oliver

@CareNetCadillac: A ministry should never stick it’s head in the sand.

@TamiHeim: You will impact the world thru people not programs. -Leighton Ford

@ShannonDBarnes: “Being in over your head as a leader keeps you reliant on God.” @JenniCatron

@magictwicks: To leaders: If your team cannot mimic you when you’re not around you’re not communicating enough -P.Lencioni

@chadw5Q: “Great leaders are great CRO’s = Chief Reminder Officer.” @patricklencioni

@matthewnasekos: Org. Health: minimize politics & confusion, keep high morale & productivity, low turnover @tablegroup

@Agroup: People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed. ~ Samuel Johnson

@hamstra: Patrick Lencioni emphasizing what I’ve seen over and over: the touchy-feely human element is crucial to getting good work done.

@ShannonDBarnes: “No” is the second best answer. Clarity, decision making…is your team empowered to do do it?

@Kyle1219: “Love isn’t always nicety nice, its kind and honest” – Lencioni

@donnalwilson: Joy is the permanent possession of every believer no matter the circumstances-Ellie Lofaro

@ShannonDBarnes: The world is full of organizations that stray from their mission/purpose for other, lesser demands.

@ShannonDBarnes: Key filter for organizational choice: Is this true to the reason we started this organization.

@Shawnmanley: RT @davidgcurry: “Healthy teams create clarity.” Patrick Lencioni.

@Shawnmanley: Tech advantaged used to last 20 years. I think it’s now about 3 weeks. @patricklencioni

@matthewnasekos: Just spoke with @patricklencioni – key takeaway from him personally: demonstrates sincere interest in people.

@danalbyers: RT @tamiheim: Give people freedom to engage in healthy confrontation. – P. Lencioni

@TamiHeim: Give people freedom to engage in healthy confrontation. – P. Lencioni

@RomneyRuder: Prayer is the bed rock of all leadership initiatives.

@ShannonDBarnes: We have confused Joy for the modern idea of happiness. One is about circumstance and externals. The other is not.

@matthewnasekos: Joy has nothing to do with our circumstances

@Hansensays: Recollection is an ingredient of joy – Ellie Lofaro

@ShannonDBarnes: Leaders, when you reflect, what do you choose to remember? Is it painful, or a source of Joy?

@ShannonDBarnes: For all of us, in all parts of our lives and ministries, what do we choose to remember? Recollection is a method of Joy.

@mike_gerlicher: Next generation is looking for a passionate Cause … they will join in. The day of Hierarchy is gone. Partnerships are the future.

@jwhandley: “Humility is the gateway to authenticity” – Bruce McNicol CEO Forum

@TamiHeim: If I don’t trust you, you can’t love me, no matter how much you love me. -Bruce McNicol

@iandavidbanks: If you don’t have people who can collaborate, it won’t matter who they report to…they can’t be effective.

@iandavidbanks: When you put things in the cloud, you need to ask the question, “what happens to my data?

@ShannonDBarnes: We must spend time in the shoes of the people we serve. Empathy is essential for solutions.

@AaronZiebarth: Our organizations should be safe communities, not soft communities – Dr. Bruce McNicol

@mike_gerlicher: If you can’t, or won’t, work with a TEAM your leadership is doomed.  Learn to recruit, develop, resource and lead your team.

@ShannonDBarnes: As the leader goes, so goes the organization. As the soul of the leader goes, so goes the leader.

@TamiHeim: What we do for Christ is not above being in love with Christ. – Israel Gaither

@juliejwoodruff: Jesus said, Do you love me more than these?” What are the ‘these’ in your life? –Israel Gaither

@CLALeader: If your relationship with Christ depends on just fondness, you are a vulnerable prey for the enemy. @israelgaither

@rhbates: I am so glad Jesus looked beyond what I am not, to what I can become in Him. Israel Gaither

@TamiHeim: If the Holy Spirit asks, will you release it ALL over to him? -Israel Gaither

@SynergyWN: God’s destiny for me is greater than all my strategic plans.


@CLALeader: New blog post: Day One #CLA2013

@CLALeader: Check out the photos from day one of #CLA2013

@HurleyTravis: “I recommend ‘In the Name of Jesus’ by Henri Nouwen for meditation on authentic leadership.” – Ellie Lofaro

RT @DerrickHoog: If you’d like to see the video that opened the conference one more time here you go

RT @CLALeader: The video from yesterday is now on our blog! @TamiHeim


@chadw5Q: “Time should be our servant, not our master.” @wess_stafford

@CLALeader: Joy is a decision that you make beyond circumstances. @wessstafford

@chadw5Q: “Never say ‘yes’ to something new just to be nice.” @wess_stafford

@chadw5Q: “Hope is not dictated by circumstances.”  @wess_stafford

@KKWildman: If you lead without hope no one will follow you. @wesstafford

@Hope4Bibleless: Authentic leadership majors on joy, hope, giving and receiving like Jesus modeled. Acts 20:35 @wess_stafford

@chadw5Q: “Leaders need to learn to receive, as well as to give. ” @wess_stafford

@HollyMDuncan: “If God gives you courage or strength, it’s not for you–it’s for the others in your life.” Wess Stafford

@ShannonDBarnes: You cannot make people follow you. If you do not earn it, they will stop following.

@ShannonDBarnes: If you don’t love the people that you lead, then you should not be leading them.

@chadw5Q: “Leadership only appears about 6 times in scripture. Servanthood permeated scripture. ‘Moses my servant‘ ” @wess_stafford

@ShannonDBarnes: If you do not have a cause that is bigger than you, that cannot move you tears in 30 seconds, you are not fully alive.

@chadw5Q: “At the core of authentic leadership is servanthood.” @wess_stafford

@CLALeader: As a leader, if you lack integrity, you lack everything. @wessstafford

@ShannonDBarnes: If you do not have a cause that is bigger than you, that cannot move you tears in 30 seconds, you are not fully alive.

@ShannonDBarnes: The front line is the mission-fulfillment line. Leadership exists to serve them.

@ShannonDBarnes: Leadership is a gift. It is what people give you who agree to follow you. If they stop following you, you may be the last to know.

@HollyMDuncan: Authentic Leadership: Higher Thinking. Greater Purpose. Kingdom Outcomes.

@SchreinerPamela: Christians should be the standard for excellence in the marketplace.

@jasoncaston: The call for authentic christian leadership is only getting louder as this world is getting noisier! – @TamiHeim

@branddelight: 5 minutes before God speaks it looks bad, 5 minutes after it is great Dan B. / Oz G. #CLA2013

@CLALeader: There is a greater need for Authentic leaders now more than ever in history. @TamiHeim

@AaronZiebarth: It doesn’t matter how many goals you set. What matters is that your vital few goals are achieved with excellence.

@jasoncaston: Time and flexibility motivate newer generations more than money, they wanna work on their time and location  – @TimElmore

@jasoncaston: The newer generations want to know the “why” moreso than anything. That’s what sets them apart from previous – @TimElmore

@hamstra: Nonprofit industry’s preoccupation for reaching the young, specifically Gen Y, may be wholly misplaced. – Moy & Starks

@TamiHeim: When you share the mirror to your soul, you give others the permission to see their own. – @TimElmore

@AaronZiebarth: Bad Culture eats good strategy for lunch – Al Lopus

@jasoncaston: Methods come and go, missions stay the same. Programs come and go, purpose stays the same – @timelmore

@jameslansberry: What’s not working in the budget process?  Use that list as a roadmap for training needs.

@joshuaclarkpics: If speaking and preaching would have solved the worlds problems, wouldn’t they be solved by now. @TimElmore

@joshuaclarkpics: If I exists to glorify God, how can my business not? @jeremiahcillpam

@TamiHeim: Jesus mentored by way of instruction, demonstration, experience & assessment. – @TimElmore

@jasoncaston: Wise leaders use what is cultural to say what is timeless – @timelmore

@jasoncaston: Jesus I.D.E.A. for mentoring – I=Instruction, D=Demonstration, E=Experience, A=Assessment

@TamiHeim: The next generation is looking for a transformational experience. -@TimElmore

@jasoncaston: With every generation, the demand for speed, space and expectation goes up, change the method, not the message – @timelmore

@jasoncaston: Disney, Chucky Cheese, Starbucks, Nordstrom sells the experience, to reach Gen X we must promote the experience – @timelmore

@jasoncaston: If we are serious bout reaching the world we have to reach the Millennials/Gen Y – @timelmore

@jasoncaston: Part of your job description as leaders is to develop people, prepare a new generation of leaders – @timelmore

@AaronZiebarth: Healthy Ministries tend to be Fruitful Ministries – Al Lopus

@jasoncaston: Current leaders, we are not finished with our job until we have prepared a new set of leaders! – @timelmore

@hamstra: Nonprofits struggle with implementing consequences for employee non-behavior. – Ken Moy

@jameslansberry: Budget needs to be timely, accurate, participatory and strategic.

@jameslansberry: Word budget comes from MidFrench bougette, “bag”.

@kosts: A Brand is a promised user experience; how you treat people in ministry (& fundraising) becomes what your Name stands for.

@iandavidbanks: The non profits that do well are the ones who do one thing extraordinarily well. @PhilCooke

@amyehurtado: “Don’t give them what they want – give them what they never dreamed possible.” @PhilCooke

@TamiHeim: Lord make me a somebody who begs you to touch a needy world.

@dedraherod: Social Media is important. We need to stop thinking about missions in global terms and start thinking in digital terms. @PhilCooke

@jasoncaston: More than 85% of Internet users watch video regularly (20 yr olds and 55 yr olds) – @PhilCooke

@jeremydjohnson1: Awesome Quote – “Old people want to be cool too!” @PhilCooke

@jasoncaston: Video is the most popular marketing strategy for companies – @PhilCooke

@TamiHeim: Speak the language of design. – @PhilCooke

@dedraherod: Everything you do communicates a message. – @PhilCooke

@dedraherod: Does your style and media choices reflect the group you’re trying to reach? @PhilCooke

@iandavidbanks: Understand the power of a name. If your name doesn’t resonate, with so many choices, they will move to a name they recognize.

@iandavidbanks: You cannot brand a LIE – The internet is absolutely unforgiving. In a digital age we need to be more transparent than ever!

@hamstra: “In a media driven culture, visibility is just as important as ability.” – @PhilCooke

@mike_gerlicher: What is your Story? How does your story Break through?

@mike_gerlicher: Today’s audience wants to be a part of a 2-way conversation @PhilCooke

@Shawnmanley: The average American TV is on for 8hrs 18min/day. The average American sleeps for 6hrs 40 min/day. #somethingiswrong @philcooke

@mike_gerlicher: “Do ONE BIG THING in an extraordinary way.” @PhilCooke

@Hansensays: “Great enemy of meaningful communications in the 21st century – clutter” @PhilCooke

@iandavidbanks: How you share your message is just as important as the message itself.

@Hope4Bibleless: Key question in showing authentic appreciation. Ask colleagues, “What is the best specific way to encourage you?” Paul White

@rhbates: We leave a legacy whether we choose to or not. The legacy you leave starts with you.

@SchreinerPamela: Feedback is the breakfast of champions. – Ken Blanchard

@Hope4Bibleless: Giving personalized gifts to staff is one of five Languages of Appreciation Paul White

The Christian Leadership Alliance holds its leadership conference annually. More information:



Top 10 Orange Conference Quotes

Orange Blog Rob CizekEach year thousands of children’s and student ministers gather in Atlanta for the Orange Conference. Orange is the idea that parents and the church work in partnership with each other to develop kids spiritually.

Below you will find top quotes from this year’s conference (as seen in the #OC13 Twitter feed). Pay special attention to the resource section, where you will find Orange Conference notes:


10. @cnieuwhof: “When you see the time you have left you value the time you have now.” @reggiejoiner

9. @mattmckee: “Don’t hold each other accountable. Hold each other close.” – @bobgoff

8. @amochrie: “Look how they love one another, is more powerful than “look how right they are

7. @gina_mcclain: U don’t have 2 make everyone else’s problem your problem. @DougFields

6. @sarahinman: “Let kids create their own faith, not inherit it.” @JonAcuff

5. @iamkylenelson: If God has called you into ministry, he has also called you into facing obstacles – Jeanne Stevens

4. @toddclark: Loving your family is the greatest sermon you will ever preach. – @jimwideman

3. @ninaschmidgall: “Laughter fast forwards friendships.” – @JonAcuff

2. @mattmckee: “Busyness is the enemy of the abundant life and hurry is the enemy of rest.” – @DougFields

1. @katiehlnstnr: The foundation of our faith is an event in HISTORY, not a story from a storybook. @AndyStanley


@nickblevins: Orange Conference: Session 1 Notes

@nickblevins: Orange Conference: Session 7 Notes

@cnieuwhof: Speaking notes for my talk “Gaining Ground: Leading Change Amidst Opposition”from #oc13:

@tapounder: My notes from the “Clarifying the Win” Session at #oc13

@BrianKDodd: 47 Leadership Lessons On Social Media From @JonAcuff – Notes From The Orange Conference ’13

@jimwideman: Going over my notes for #OC13 do you want them? Download here

@CraigJutila: Download The Notes for “5 Reasons Why People Won’t Volunteer For You.”

@BrianKDodd: 41 Leadership Quotes From @AndyStanley – Live Notes From Orange Conference ’13

@erinhanson2000: How many weeks do you have left to influence your kids and leave your legacy?  Download Countdown app

@trevormclee: Follow These Blogs During Orange 2013 –

@Brent_Dumler: If you aren’t yet, you need to be reading this blog. @cnieuwhof

@cnieuwhof: For your team at #OC13 or #exponential: how to avoid 5 conference traps almost every team falls into:

@KidMin360: 7 Great Books For Parents

@RichardsonJohnD: Free for all #OC13 participants – Parent Shift: How to Raise Spiritually Healthy Children.

@BrentMcQuay: Shoot Christians Say. Greatest video ever

@NorthshoreCC: Northwest & BC churches-The Orange Tour is in Seattle  9/16-17! @ReggieJoiner & @OrangeLeaders are at @NorthshoreCC:


@mattmckee: “Kids don’t care about your ability. They care about your availability.” – @PerryNoble

@michael_bayne: Same actions lead to same results. – @jimwideman

@yancynotnancy: Your brain was wired to connect with stories. Jesus taught with stories. @reggiejoiner

@SecondChairLead: God deals with us over-time. He pursues us over-time, loves us over-time, provides over-time. @reggiejoiner

@angelaBedwards: What you do this week matters. What you do for a kid matters. Time matters.

@pastorpdub: Please cherish the time you have with your children because it will not be like this for long!

@ajasonhart: When we love kids over time we give them a sense of worth. @reggiejoiner

@mattmckee: “One kind act is better than 1000 good intentions.” – @ninaschmidgall

@hekirtle: The moment you prioritize the approach over the goal, you’re out of business. – @AndyStanley

@radicalparents: “This culture uses humor as a vehicle for truth.” @jonacuff

@Barbaragraves: You were created to have fun! – @ReggieJoiner

@jeffbrodie: Until you are having fun with a child, they are not sure you like them. @reggiejoiner

@WilliamAttaway: Eliminate all competing programming to the main strategy – do less to accomplish more.

Orange has excellent resources and conferences. We use Orange at our church and I highly recommend it. More information on Orange:



Top 10 Quotes From The Exponential Church Planting & Discipleship Conference

This year’s Exponential Conference was the largest yet. It sold out 5,300 seats at First Baptist Orlando. Another 40,000 people from 90 countries watched the live stream and commented in the #Exponential Twitter stream. These are the top quotes from that stream (tweet author is noted before each quote):

Jim Putman's new book "Discipleshift" debuted at the Exponential Conference. Discipleshift was also the Exponential Conference theme.

Jim Putman’s new book “Discipleshift” debuted at the Exponential Conference. Discipleshift was also the Exponential Conference theme.

10. @ThomasPauk: One who learns from the master is a student, one who’s wanting to live like the master is a disciple. – C. Kalinowski

9. @mosaicpastor: “State your vision. Stage your vision. Staff your vision.” @PastorRay

8. @mosaicpastor: “Jesus didn’t say your church wins or my church wins. He said that his church wins.” – Jim Putnam

7. @justinbowers2: “Teachers hate large classrooms.  Why is it that every pastor wants what every teacher hates?”

6. @churchplanting: Jesus’ mission is not to make converts; it never has been. His mission is to make disciples. – Jim Putman

5. @craigbrown65: If you don’t think you have issues, that’s your issue. – Chris Hodges

4. @churchplanting: We make the church like a theater and are then surprised when people respond like theater goers. – Ed Stetzer

3. @robcizek: Jesus is the greatest disciple-maker in history. How many disciples did he have? – Jim Putman

2. @keruxsm: We teach what we know, we reproduce what we are.

1. @momentumcc: “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom maybe those u r tucking in at night.” Wes Stafford (Your kids are your most important disciples.)

More great quotes:

@RonEdmonson: “Public charisma without private character will ruin you as a leader.” @waynecordeiro

@danieljfick: From leadership perspective, it shouldn’t be “we can do it & you can help,” but “you can do it & we can help.

@johncremeans: People don’t need a perfect example, they need a living example. – @Mike_Breen

@churchplanting: Technology can inspire, encourage, and teach. Technology can’t reproduce. – @waynecordeiro

@mosaicpastor: When we work, we work. When we pray, God works. – @jsorvik

@RobJacobs_: Leaders are creators and curators of culture. You are not just planting a church you are planting a culture.

@SisJessMarquez: “You can’t separate the teachings of Jesus from the methods of Jesus and expect the results of Jesus.”

@MikeCelebrating: Jesus only mentions church a few times in the gospels but mentions disciples 260 times.

@NewThingNetwork: “Live your life as a missions trip.” – Reggie McNeal

@ericbryant: “Never delegate to someone who wants a title. Delegate to someone who wants to do the work.” – @SledgeHS

My notes from Larry Osborne’s breakout session “Discipleship in the Real World” #Exponential13 – @ChurchPlanting

@cnieuwhof: For your team at #exponential: how to avoid 5 conference traps almost every team falls into:

The Exponential Conference is held annually. has great discipleship and church planting resources, including several free ebooks.