My day started about 4:00 in the morning…granted, my day yesterday ended about 1 AM. I’m a student pastor, so of course I started my laundry at 8:30 PM the night before I left. I’m excited to be on the road back to ORANGE conference for 2012. A year ago, this conference marked the beginning of my ministry at my current position, and I’m stunned that it’s already been a year.
As I sit in a Starbucks in Tupelo, MS taking a break and refueling on caffeine, I thought it’d do me some good to reflect on what I hope to put into Orange Conference, and what I hope to take away!
2 THINGS I’M GOING TO PUT IN
- TIME. I’ve been to my fair share of conferences, and no matter the conference, one thing remains. You reap what you sow (#jesusjuke?). There’s little purpose in spending time alone, seeking out solitude, and avoiding conversations at something like Orange. Granted, there’s a time and a place for everything, but when I’m at a conference, I want to use as much time as possible talking with other people in ministry, soaking up wisdom, and doing everything I can to walk away changed.
- NOTES. I’ve got a pen and my moleskin ready to be used. The worst thing ever is walking away from a breakout session awestruck by the wisdom you’ve been facesmacked with, and then forgetting it 3 hours later. I don’t know if I’ll be “that guy” with my computer out during sessions or not, but I’ll take as many notes as possible. Hopefully throughout the day, I’ll also be able to post a lot of them on here, so be sure to check back.
3 THINGS I WANT TO TAKE AWAY
- ACTION POINTS. It’s easy to go to a conference like ORANGE and walk away completely overwhelmed. My goal is to walk out of every coffee appointment, lunch meeting, breakout session, main session, or anything else with an action point in my evernote. These may not go into play until next year or next decade or next week, but hopefully narrowing down a large concept to one concrete idea will allow me to have this conference be more than drinking from a fire hydrant.
- LEADERSHIP. I’m excited about a lot of my breakouts. One thing I feel I can improve on by leaps and bounds is leadership over my volunteers. Most of my breakouts are geared toward recruiting, training, and retaining volunteers. It was a hard decision, with YS having a special youth ministry track this year, but it was a decision that I thought would best serve me and best serve my ministry.
- NETWORK. This year, I have a dynamic I’ve never had before, one that can be good or terrible. Every other conference, I’ve gone as part of a team. This year, I’m flying solo more or less. My campus pastor will join me Wednesday evening, but I’m still not along for the ride with the typical 5-7 person entourage. I’m hoping to walk away having met youth workers I hadn’t, put faces with twitter names, and a better list of guys I can bounce ideas off of! This may come at the expense of being in all the sessions, but that’s half of conferencing!
What about you? Who all is going to ORANGE? What are things you look to take away when you hit up a conference?
That’s all from me, I have a lunch appointment in Birmingham I may end up late for. On the road again!