Top Leadership Quotes From The reThink Leadership & Orange Conferences

Top leadership quotes from the #RL16 reThink Leadership and #OC16 Orange Conferences.

Orange Blog Rob CizekEach year 8,000 family ministry leaders gather in Atlanta for the national Orange Conference. Another 500 senior pastors meet at the same time for reThink Leadership. They connect with each other and the latest thinking in church leadership. Here are the top quotes, taken from sessions at both 2016 conferences:



OC16_Insta2Monday is coming and everyone will be watching. (Will Sunday church experience help people with their week?) – @JonAcuff

Jesus was Jesus all week long, not just on Sunday. – @JonAcuff

We don’t have a Sunday savior, we have an everyday Immanuel. – @JonAcuff

On Sunday grace is expected, on Monday it is a surprise. – @JonAcuff

Do you have a circle of friends that you will text things to that you would never (broadly) tweet about? – @JonAcuff

The enemy wants us to get caught up in discussions about what counts and doesn’t count. – @JonAcuff

Jon Acuff reThink Leadership Sketchnote

Double click to see large version of sketchnotes.

Even ‘Friends’ had to end. – @JonAcuff

Ask, “How do we get to more for them on Monday?” (Instead of “How we get more of them on Sunday?”) – @JonAcuff

The NFL realized they couldn’t just exist on Sunday and reach its full potential. – @JonAcuff

We can’t just teach them what to believe on Sunday… we’ve got to challenge them to serve on Monday. – @DougFields

What if we changed our emphasis from ‘eternal life when you die’… to ‘Kingdom life while we are alive?’ – @DougFields

doug fields sketchnoteWhat a kid does affects what a kid believes. @ReggieJoiner via @DougFields

When you engage non-Christian teenagers into service, you ignite something in them. – @DougFields

What if we called our students ‘ministers’ rather than ‘graduates’? – @DougFields

What if we changed our language and painted a verbal picture of what could be? – @DougFields

What if we encouraged kids to see their sports team as a mission field (rather than shaming them for missing church)? – @DougFields

We count people because we’re too lazy to figure out something more effective. Attendance numbers are like crack to an addict. – @DougFields

What if we changed the yard stick from sitting to serving. (Measure service, not attendance.) – @DougFields

We can just teach them to attend on Sunday, but to serve on Monday. – @DougFields

A hurt child has never run into the house and cried for dad. Dads don’t care. Funny from – @DougFields

frank bealer sketchnoteWhat if it’s not something wrong with them (our boss) giving us support? What if we improved the way we lead up? – Frank Bealer

Lead up better by being: ready, brief, smart/prepared, passionate and flexible.  – Frank Bealer

Your boss expects you to be the expert. That’s why you were hired. – Frank Bealer

Know the questions and objections you may encounter before you go into a meeting. – Frank Bealer

Passion can be refreshing… or overwhelming. – Frank Bealer


Lead up better by being: ready, brief, smart/prepared, passionate and flexible.  – Frank Bealer

What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? – Ryan Leak

Criticism can make you bitter… or criticism can make you better. – Ryan Leak

Don’t make the mistake of thinking one person’s opinion is everyone’s opinion. – Ryan Leak

Criticism is important to your growth as a leader. – Ryan Leak

Have someone in your life that can help you determine if criticism valid. – Ryan Leak

Mute some people in your life. Who/what do you need to turn down in you life? Turn up? – Ryan Leak

virginia ward sketchnoteWe can live our lives as great big ‘thank you’ notes to God. – @VAwardWOW

If you could distill the main message of most sermons it would be: “Try harder.” – @VAwardWOW

We have to press through the awakardness to get to the real. – @VAwardWOW

Young people are walking in a more diverse environment at school than they are at church. – @VAwardWOW

Jesus is bigger than any mistake. Make this your mantra. – @KpowellFYI

How we are are loved will always impact how you live. How you live will never change how you are loved. – @KPowellFYI

beach ballsYoung people today are running towards, not away, from a Gospel that requires difficult things. – @KPowellFYI

If I don’t see me (someone of my ethnic background) on the stage, the event is not for me. – TD Jakes via @ReggieJoiner

We should number our days. We should pay attention to the time we are given. – @pwilson

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. – @pwilson

There are worse things than failure. – @pwilson

Push yourself beyond the “OK Plateau.” Without challenges and failures we won’t grow. – @pwilson

pete wilson sketchnoteRegret stings more than failure. – @pwilson

Expect difficulties. – @pwilson

Just because you are obedient to God doesn’t mean you won’t have difficulties. – @pwilson

The bigger the dream the bigger the fight. – @pwilson

The bigger fights are the inner fights (within yourself). – @pwilson

Both courage and fear are contagious. – @pwilson

God has plan for your life. But so does everyone else. – @pwilson

At some point you have to decide what voice you are going to listen to. – @pwilson

orange wrapAct on belief instead of doubt. – @pwilson

Don’t be so focused on the gift that you miss the giver. – @pwilson

Make sure that you want more of God, not what God might give you. – @pwilson

You’re God. I’m not. – @pwilson

I can even when you can’t. – God via @pwilson

We can cast a shadow with our leadership that doesn’t allow others to grow. – @ReggieJoiner

You are leading something. It’s responsibility to lead it well. – @ReggieJoiner

Do you have big ambition for yourself or desire for the success of the people on your team? – @ReggieJoiner

Who do you serve? Answer this question to best know how to lead. – @ReggieJoiner

reggie pointingLove is an action word, not a felling. – @CABachelder

Listen carefully. Learn continually. – @CABachelder

Encouragement is a success factor that is right up there with skill set. – @CABachelder

Redirect people to better performance. – @CABachelder

You don’t forget to ask for a pay raise for yourself. Do you forget to ask for raises for those you lead? – @CABachelder

It’s a competitive advantage to put others first. – @CABachelder

What we count communicates what counts to us. – Tom Shefchunas

Attendance doesn’t tell us if people are actually growing. – Tom Shefchunas

Instead of focusing on attendance, focus on active role… those who are active in ministry. – Tom Shefchunas

How does a child/student get on- or off- your roll? At what point do they cross from ‘not our problem’ to our stewardship?  – Tom Shefchunas

You should let statistics bother you.. so long as they lead you to the ‘who’. – Tom Shefchunas

jim mellado sketchnoteWhat is our existing (workplace) culture? What do we want it to be? – @JimMellado

We want everyone to behave like they want to be here. – @JimMellado

We all say we’re 100% for each other. We don’t behave that way. – @JimMellado

Be really careful with the ‘Reply All’ button. – @JimMellado

Let others in (to your life, your plans.) – @JimMellado

Are you willing to risk your reputation on the performance of your team members? – @JimMellado



Treat people the way you want to be treated‘ and ‘Fear not‘ pretty much covers it all. – @AndyStanley

The church didn’t save me from hell. It saved me from me. – @AndyStanley

The church saved my life. (It prevents a lot of pain in people’s lives.) – @AndyStanley

The church informed my conscious and instilled a sense of purpose. (This is what we give the people we lead.) – @AndyStanley

andy stanley sketch noteYou were created for a purpose… on purpose. – @AndyStanley

Church provided the context for life long friendships. Without the church I wouldn’t have my best friends. – @AndyStanley

Don’t attend a church that teaches your children to hate church. – @AndyStanley

How is it that people with less stuff have more joy? – @AndyStanley

We are acceptance magnets. We gravitate towards acceptance. – @AndyStanley

Rich people aren’t generous. Generous people are generous. – @AndyStanley

Following Jesus will make your life better and make you better at life. – @AndyStanley

serious talkThe message of Christianity is the message culture wants to hang on. (It provides the unpinnings of society.) – @AndyStanley

All of the values of society are Christian. Jesus let them loose in the world. The Church is the steward of this teaching. – @AndyStanley

The role government is not to inspire but to protect us from the worst things. – @AndyStanley

Public education has become a value-free zone. – @AndyStanley

The one thing that can change everything in six months is ‘Love you neighbor as yourself.’  – @AndyStanley

Every weekend you show up (to church) you are saving people through the preventative nature of the Gospel. – @AndyStanley

We are stewards of how people perceive the local church and how they perceive faith. – @AndyStanley

Outside of your family, the greatest investment you will make is in the local church. – @AndyStanley

jon acuff yanni shirt audienceEveryone who has accomplished nothing has a video course. – Funny from @JonAcuff

We have enough ideas in the world. We need handles to carry them forward. – @JonAcuf

A lot of humor is admitting to what everyone already thinks and building on it. – @JonAcuff

Satire takes a small issue and makes it big enough for us all to see it. – @JonAcuf

The most important thing you can bring to any team is a healthy you. – @JimMellado

Hell is not just a destination. It can be a diagnosis of where your soul is today. – @JimMellado

A rotten soul never stays to itself. – @JimMellado

reading thinkingDo people want to be around you because of the quality of your soul? – @JimMellado

Your spirit is what makes you uniquely you. – @JimMellado

Our body is like a little kingdom that God has given us. It’s the part of the world that we can actually master. – @JimMellado

Habits eat willpower for breakfast. – @JohnOrtberg via @JimMellado

Life and leadership alone (by ourselves) are impossible. – @JimMellado

Before you work on your team skills, work on your soul. – @JimMellado

When you share a fresh idea, craft is being able to build on it. (There can be more than one punch line in a good story.) – @JonAcuff

selfie funNo suprises. No leader wants to be surprised. – @HeatherJLarson

Influence matters far more than position. – @HeatherJLarson

Never tell God ‘you’re never going to‘ anything. (He will show you otherwise…) – @JeffHenderson

Nobody wants to work with a ‘yes’ person.  – @HeatherJLarson

Be true to who God has created you to be. – @HeatherJLarson

We are better together than one person on their own. – @HeatherJLarson

Lead well. Love well. (her daily mantra)  – @HeatherJLarson

Leadership is not touch football. It’s tackle football. – @BillHybles via @HeatherJLarson

The very best leader I can be is the one God created me to be. (My style is different than others style). – @HeatherJLarso

paintingWhy do we work? Why do we lead? If you ask people, most can’t say. – @CABachelder

Where are you taking the people who are entrusted to your care? – @CABachelder

How do you think about the people you lead? – @CABachelder

How do I measure my leadership? – @CABachelder

Choose to lead people to a daring destination. – @CABachelder

Choose to love the people we lead. – @CABachelder

Deliver results. (No one will listen to you if you don’t perform.) – @CABachelder

media computerIf you dare and you serve, you will create the conditions where people can perform their best. – @CABachelder

Expect trials. Your convictions come from trials, not successes. – @CABachelder

Declare that talking badly about your team is not allowed. – @CABachelder

High trust is a brand distinctive. It’s our secret sauce. – @CABachelder

Trust is a competitive advantage. – @CABachelder

Look for people who share your values and ask them to come along side. – @CABachelder

Trust is the foundation of everything. – @CABachelder

Investing into an economic downturn results in market share (because everyone else flees). – @CABachelder

Alignment is a powerful thing. – @CABachelder

Pete WilsonYour church culture is either helping your people or working against them. – @pwilson

If you don’t define your church culture it will get hijacked.  – @pwilson

Healthy church culture leads to making better hires. – @pwilson

All of your dysfunction as a leader will trickle down through the organization. – @pwilson

Create a staff value to combat a dysfunction in your leadership.  – @pwilson

Staff values need to be sticky. Make them memorable by adding icons. Make them visible in every staff environment (values leak). – @pwilson

Regret stinks more than failure. – @pwilson

Inside every leader there is belief and doubt. Which do you choose to act on? – @pwilso

Learn how to be a healthy leader now… not on the backside of burnout. – @pwilson

unspecifiedClimate dictates the forecast. (True of weather and relationships.) – @JeffHenderson

The climate of a leader dictates the forecast for the team. The leader sets the thermostat in the room. – @JeffHenderson

What is your emotional climate as a leader? – @JeffHenderson

The climate of the leader stays in the room (even after they leave.) – @JeffHenderson

If you lead out of fear you are abusing the leadership role. – @JeffHenderson

God has never spoken audibly to me. God speaks louder than that. – @JeffHenderson

A leader who leads out of fear is leading out of insecurity. – @JeffHenderson

What’s it like to be on the other side of me? Ask a staff member, spouse & God this week. The answers will encourage, surprise and hurt. – @JeffHenderso

lobbyEarly on I was the leaders I wanted to be. But the load of leadership can decay us. – @BradLomenick

Sometimes as leaders, what’s being seen publicly is not what’s going on privately. – @BradLomenick

As a leader, how are you really? Mentally, spiritually, emotionally, financially, physically? – @cnieuwhof

Leaders take care of yourself. Your church can always get a new pastor. Your spouse shouldn’t have to get a new partner. – @cnieuwhof

God’s going to build his church, but you’ll forfeit your role in it if you burn out. – @cnieuwhof

breakout crowdThe goal of leadership is not to survive, but to thrive (to be more alive in Christ with each passing year.) – @cnieuwhof

Ministry is a series of un-grieved losses. (Deal with this – it’s unhealthy) – @cnieuwhof

Faced with significant disappointments, leaders often embrace 1 of 4 options: quit, morally fail, stay too long or thrive. – @cnieuwhof

See life for what it really is, but keep your heart fully engaged. – @cnieuwhof

Are you living in a way today that will let you thrive tomorrow? – @cnieuwhof



monday coming acuffLeaders watch what you say. Off hand advice can grow over time to become practices and rules. – @JonAcuff

You don’t have to work at getting misaligned. It happens naturally over time. – @ReggieJoiner

You can’t get your team on the same page if you’re never in the same room together. – @ReggieJoiner

To develop strategy ask: 1. What do we want someone to become? 2. What is the optimal environment for their life change? – @ReggieJoiner

It’s not your vision that determines your success. It’s your strategy. – @ReggieJoiner

A strategy is a plan of action with an end in mind. – @ReggieJoiner

leading worshipYou have enough vision. You have a strategy crisis – @cnieuwhof

Most leaders can cast vision but few have a clear strategy. – @cnieuwhof

Strategy initially divides. but ultimately unites, every congregation. – @cnieuwhof

Strategy is bigger than vision & ultimately determines where you end up. – @cnieuwhof

Mission & vision determine intention, but strategy determines direction. – @AndyStanley via @cnieuwof

What’s your strategy? What are you doing about it? – @cnieuwhof

stage with ballsOrganizational change will move from the center out. – @LeonceCrump

Vision is taught. Culture is felt. – @LeonceCrump

Every person wants consistency in their leaders more than anything. – @LeonceCrum

Do you know who you are and consistently communicate that? – @LeonceCrump

Ignore the wrong people and invite the right people. – @LeonceCrump

Strategy forces you to acknowledge limitations. – @JonAcuff

In God’s Kingdom, one or two are as important as one- or two- hundred. – @BradLomenick

lighter appThe people closest to me were getting the worst of me. (A warning sign for leaders). – @BradLomenick

Who we are: Identity, Calling & Assignment. Most of us get calling and identity confused. – @BradLomenick

Hand-off as much as possible. Everyone should think, “How can I replace myself.” – @BradLomenick

Your best expression of your leadership is what happens when you leave. – @BradLomenick

Model handing off or responsibility. – @BradLomenick

teachingLeadership going forward is not about position. It is about coaching… creating a culture where the highest level of achievement can take place. – @BradLomenick

Midlife crisis… when people figure out their calling at age 40 and can’t do anything about it. – @BradLomenick

You’ll attract rock stars if they feel they will be empowered on your team. – @BradLomenick

Right or wrong… The reality is A-list players today see a job as a season of assignment on the way to greatness. – @BradLomenick

Balance, rhythm, margin & spiritual discipline allow me to be healthy. – @BradLomenick

Build platforms that other people can stand on. – @BradLomenick

exterior buildingA warning to leaders: Once you taste a little influence it is intoxicating. (Counter by building into others.) – @BradLomenick

Almost nobody will tell you the truth if you pay them. Find people who will tell you the truth. – @BradLomenick

The best way to find a new gig is to kick yourself out of the the gig you just crusted. Keep moving up & to the right. – @BradLomenick

As leaders, the reason we have jobs is because of uncertainty. – @AndyStanley via @BradLomenick

The best way to succeed: “Long obedience in the same direction.” – @EugenePeterson via @BradLomenick

The best way to find a new gig is to kick yourself out of the gig you just crushed. Keep moving up & to the right. – @BradLomenick

planning worksheetThe new generation wants transparency in leadership, collaboration, mission, authenticity & messiness their church – @GeoffSurratt

Communicate the ‘why’ behind the need. – @JoshGagnon

Have seasons where you DON’T run 100MPH… so that you have seasons where you CAN run 100MPH. – @JoshGagnon

While Jesus is changing hearts around you, make sure He’s working on yours as well. – @KevinMyersPK

badgeSmoke what you are selling & sell what you’re smoking. If we’re selling Jesus we out to be smoking Jesus. – @KevinMyersPK

What’s my current word form the Lord? What is God whispering? – @KevinMyersPK

You think too small & you pray too small. God’s recent message to @KevinMyersPK

The more casual I become with obedience, the more professional I become in ministry. – @KevinMyersPK

What do you do when nobody is looking? – @KevinMyersPK

There can be sacrifice without obedience. But rarely is there obedience without sacrifice. – @12Stone pastor via @KevinMyersPK

paintingLeadership is like parenting… First you say it, then you say it again, and again… and again… – @KevinMyersPK

Leaders build better lives. (Better parents, better business leaders, etc.) – @KevinMyersPK

Every leader knows when they are pulling chips off the table to protect themselves. – @KevinMyersPK

A great way to learn is from individual conversations with the right people. – @KevinMyersPK

Staff members should have contacts at churches larger than ours & contacts with experience 3-5 years out from the season we are going through. – @KevinMyersPK

lead small cupsMake sure that what’s on the wall (mission) is in your words and actions. – @KevinMyersPK

(In leadership) what’s in you comes out. – @KevinMyersPK

The next generation needs everything the current generation has to offer. (Invest in internships). – @KevinMyersPK

Choosing empathy is cheap. Losing empathy (relationship) is expensive. – @JonAcuff

seatsWhat people want is empathy. They ask, “Do you see me?” “Do you create things to meet my needs?” – @JonAcuff

Read less minds. Ask more questions. – @JonAcuff

If you ever see a pacifier by itself, pray for the parent. Funny from @JonAcuff

Care about what the people you care about care about. – @JonAcuff

Empathy is understanding what someone needs needs and acting on it. – @JonAcuff

The church is calibrated for a world that doesn’t exist. – Fuller friend of @KPowellFYI

writing on wallEmerging adults (late 20s) are delaying marriage and children by 5 years. We have to rethink our ministry because of this gap. @KPowellFYI

76% of LGBTQ people would return to the faith community. They need Informed, respectful conversations. @KPowellFYI

Churches cater to extroverts. One third of the population are introverts. As such churches miss reaching 1/3 of people. – @KPowellFYI

I long for the church to be known more for what we’re for than what we’re against.- @KPowellFYI

You cannot help the person you’re not around. – Kellen Moore

People visit (church) on Sunday and live on Monday. (Help them make it through through the week.) – @JonAcuff

reggie joiner sketchnoteYou naturally feel the pressure that Sunday is coming. Thinking of Monday changes how you think about Sunday. – @ReggieJoiner

You have to imagine someone’s Monday (life) before you can re-imagine what happens on Sunday (church). – @ReggieJoiner

You can have a great vision. But if you don’t have a strategy you won’t win. – @ReggieJoiner

The truth matters when love matters. – @ReggieJoiner

Sometimes what you say doesn’t matter, even if it is true. – @ReggieJoiner

You can’t really speak the truth in love if you don’t know who you are speaking to. – @ReggieJoiner

textingIt’s easier to speak truth than it is to love somebody. – @ReggieJoiner

It’s easier to fight for the truth than it is to fight for the heart. – @ReggieJoiner

It’s not your job to fix someone. It’s you’re job to love them. – @ReggieJoiner

Empathy: The ability to press pause on your own thoughts & feelings long enough to consider someone else’s thoughts and feelings. – @ReggieJoiner

Empathy doesn’t change the truth. It enhances the truth. – @ReggieJoiner

Click here for more information on the Orange Conference. Click here for more information on reThink Leadership.

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