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Orange Conference 2013 kicked off today and I have to say that I am pretty excited about it!  If you’re not familiar, Orange is a family ministry strategy responsible for a huge paradigm shift in many churches.  I highly recommend you read up on it.  The organization behind it provides an incredible set of resources, including a three-day annual conference with several thousand attendees from around the world.  If you weren’t able to make it (or missed out on today’s pre-conference), I’ll be summarizing my notes throughout the week.  Here are the key points that stood out to me today…

CAREY NIEUWHOF || CREATING AN APPETITE FOR CHANGE IN YOUR CHURCH

  • People crave what they already like.
  • Leaders have a greater appetite for change than those who follow.
  • Unimplemented change eventually becomes relief or regret.  Leaders at least want to know that they tried.
  • Incremental change ushers in incremental results.  Do not make a few small changes and feel like you should see drastically different results.
  • Plot the trajectory of where your current state is leading you and where you could be if you do change.
  • Create discontent out of the urgency of your mission.
  • Focus twice as much on WHY you do what you do than HOW you do it.  Why unites.  How divides.
  • Don’t look for consensus.  Consensus kills courage.  Change never happens when everyone has a say.
  • Reserve decisions exclusively for the body that must make decisions.
  • To lead change effectively introduces drama into the church that is necessary to bring the change about.  Embrace the drama.
  • People will want to know when the change process will be over.  The right answer is never.
  • You can read more of Carey’s thoughts on change in his book, Leading Change Without Losing It, and on careynieuwhof.com

BRIAN WHITE || LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP FROM DISNEY

  • Disney thinks Orange —  The big idea: Parents and children having fun together.
  • Honor the past without living in it.  Disney still honors bold moves from throughout its history.
  • A brand is like a bank account.  Everything you do either adds value or takes it away from that back account.  Every decision you make affects the brand.
  • Cheap and safe may be less risky but it decreases brand value.
  • 2 types of people Disney does not try to please: Demanding fans (people who love the brand but have a limited view of it) & Haters (people who do not share its values and hates what you do).  Do not worry about the opinions of these two types of people in your church.
  • If you have a bad ideation process, you will never create innovative products.
  • Concentrate on psychographics, not demographics.  Psychographics include the needs, wants, stereotypes, and emotions of potential customers.
  • Brian shared an awesome project management tool used by Disney called the Scrum.

JEFF BRODIE || KEYS TO AN EFFECTIVE ORANGE STRATEGY

  • Align your team around families first and strategy second.
  • The fastest way to get people working together is to put multiple departments’ budgets together.
  • Move from Vision to Strategy to Clear Steps.  Clear steps give parents confidence to act.
  • Always communicate information in the context of your strategy.  70% of communication should be vision and strategy.
  • Illustrate the strategy in stories. (i.e. baptisms)
  • Decide what you want families to do first THEN choose the right tools (curriculums, resources, etc.).
  • The quality of the small group leaders in your Children’s and Student Ministries dictates your ability to influence families.
  • Samuel, Jesse, and David: Samuel stood in the gap between father and son and saw the king that the father did not see.  That is the role family ministry leaders must take.
  • You can read more of Jeff’s thoughts at jeffbrodie.com

JEANNE STEVENS || THE LOST ART OF SELF-LEADERSHIP

  • Know thy God, know thy self, and know the story He is writing through you.
  • Are you staying focused on your holy discontent?
  • Clearly identify, articulate, and embrace your personal values.
  • Do you actually know how to rest?
  • Remember the specific gifts, passions, and personality that God has given you and stay within them while you lead.
  • Make friends who do not come to your church.  You need the relational safety that comes with it.
  • What are the scripts (lies) you tend to listen to about yourself?
  • What are the things you tend to hold up rather than submitting to God?
  • Who do you still need to forgive?

REGGIE JOINER || MAIN SESSON ONE

  • The amount of time we have before a small child becomes an adult is shorter than it seems.
  • (1) When you see how much time you have left, you tend to get serious about the time you have now. (Ps. 90:12)
  • (2) When you see how much time you have left, you tend to value what happens over time.
  • …You tend to make what matters matter more.
  • …You start to see every week building on top of each other to make a greater impact.
  • Create a sense of belonging that no matter how far a kid runs from God, he or she knows that he can always come back.
  • Everyone needs someone in their life who knows what they’ve done wrong and still shows up when they need them.
  • (3) When you see how much time you have left, you tend to be more present for a few [as opposed to everyone].
  • You can learn more about Reggie and Orange at whatisorange.org
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