Orange Conference. I think this year could be my 5th? year attending. I hear the mumblings and grumblings of many youth pastors I bump into when I mention or ask about going to the Orange Conference in Atlanta. Many of the
excuses responses could be boiled down to these 4 things.
We don’t have the money. I get it, ministry budget can be very tight and even my own team has considered this year whether we have the money to allocate toward OC16. Here’s what I know to be true though if you are a youth pastor…if you want something bad enough you will go to any length to make it happen. Getting yourself to OC16 will be worth the hustle, hard conversations and perhaps even some of your own personal money if it comes to that. It’s an investment I’ve seen return 10 fold for me and my ministry year after year.
We don’t use their curriculum. I do use Xp3 and it’s a game changer…but that’s beside the point. Just because you are or aren’t loyal to a curriculum doesn’t have much to do with attending a conference. The curriculum is great like I said, but this isn’t about curriculum it’s about the people you meet, the breakouts you attend and the questions you ask. Don’t let a loyalty to another curriculum prevent you from signing up for this conference.
It’s just not a good time for us. I find it is very rare that there is a “good time” to step away from ministry. The inconvenience outweighs the daily tasks that might have to suffer a week of you being out of the office. Work ahead, put it on the calendar now, schedule guest speakers, etc. If you simply cannot attend OC16 because you have a date conflict, consider attending one of the OC tours this year or next, be on the lookout for one in a city near you.
I’m not sure my senior leadership would understand me asking to go. Let me cut straight to the chase…invite them to go with you. If they “don’t understand” where you are coming from or the strategy of how you desire to run your ministry OC16 is the place for them to be. It’s really a strategy. Did you know that there are multiple breakout that are designed solely for senior pastors? Let them rub shoulders with others in their shoes, I think they will thank you for the experience. This will also create a platform for conversations that may not have existed beforehand.
It’s simple. Register yourself and your team tonight by midnight and save big money… do it now before you forget or get lost in reading my blog, attending the Orange conference is probably much more worth your time, although I do appreciate your
readership…uh, is that word, readership?
Can’t register by tonight? Set some reminders, I’d love to see you at Orange Conference to talk shop. It’s the reason I go. Every year I get to meet someone else that does what I do (youth ministry). And because everyone has different gifts and experiences, I often find that many answers I’m looking for in youth ministry are found when I meet some youth pastor from California or Virginia…or even another one from my home state (shout out to Ian Rock if you are reading).
So…are you planning on going this year? Let me know! I’d love to meet you and your team.