It has been an amazing 2 days so far at the orange conference (http://www.theorangeconference.com ) this week. Yes, it is called orange and the idea behind the conference is that 2 combined influences in a child/teens life is greater than either one alone. we families and the church link arms in helping kids see and embrace Jesus Christ the influence is stronger than either one alone. If you ever get a chance to be a part of this conference it is so worth your time. Listen to how RETHINK describes the conference…
100 years from now the only thing that will matter in someone’s life is their relationship with God.
Those of us who host and participate at Orange are committed to systematically evaluating why and how we do ministry. We make an assumption when we create a conference for Christian leaders, that those who attend really are CHRISTIAN LEADERS. Therefore they want to have an honest discussion about how to reach and inspire the next generation to BE the church. They don’t mind if we engage in a healthy debate about the methods and practices of the church. As long as we are all driven by an UNCOMPROMISING MISSION to influence children, teenagers, and families to grow in their passion for Christ, then we should fight hard for the best ways to do just that. If that discussion is filtered only through conventional models or led by self-promoting entities then it doesn’t create the kind of authentic experience that challenges us to RETHINK what we do and implement the necessary changes.
There is just too much at stake to sugar-coat, water-down, or tip-toe around the issues.
That’s why we invite a special breed of leaders to speak at Orange.That’s why we value unfiltered debate.That’s why we ask hard questions.
Just amazing…I have sensed God presence here in this place in so many ways. Every session and every breakout is packed with people hungry to see this generation come to Christ. There is no fear of asking questions or rethinking how we do ministry here and there are over 48 denominations here gathered. Preschool, Children, Youth leaders all together hungry for God to use our churches to lead this generation to the cross. There is nothing we can do in our own strength, God must lead the way and together over 5,000 of us have begged God to show us the next step. There are so many thoughts that have surfaced for me, and so many moments this past week where my heart has screamed YES as the speaker spoke…
Reggis Joiner, helped us look at Luke 15 and ask our selves are we loving those away from God, prodigals, like the loving Father in the story or like the older brother. Go read that…think about it in terms of our churches. Loving father mindset or older brother? Jesus in this chapter is addressing the judgement of the Pharisees as they were mad that Jesus was eating with sinners. read it and think about it.
Francis Chan, helped us examine if our churches really look like the church birthed in the book of Acts. Do we make excises for our churches and dismiss the power of community and the Holy Spirit because of our American context. Can our churches look more and more like a place Jesus would be welcome in? Are we willing to embrace the risk having God lead us to live more and more like his Son?
Donald Miller, helped us look into the life of a leader, a servant leader. Jesus modeled this idea. Jesus influenced so many but LEAD a few disciples. Jesus allowed people to participate in God’s mission to bring redemption. He helped those around Him be a part of God’s plan. Will we really know the people we lead, will we help people do more than they think they can for the Kingdom? Will we dream and lead with out fear?
It is sweet to worship with so many people hungry to see God move in this generation right now with all their hurt and pain. it is wild to ask question and dream about what can be. It is great to get away and dream and refuel!