My Orange Conference 2008 Review

My buddy Daryl and i started a tradition last year of attending one ministry conference a year together. last year we went to 'Thirsty", a college pastors conference hosted by North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA and run by Louie Giglio and Passion.

This year we chose to attend The Orange Conference in Duluth, Ga led by Reggie Joyner (on staff at North Point). Not being what to expect I had no (high or low) expectations. So what I got was an amazing time of teaching and worship.

5,000 people
Gwinette Arena (yes, the same place I just was for Passion '08)
5 Main Session
4 Breakout groups

Not to bore you with all the details I will just hit my highs and lows from last week:

Donald Miller - This was my first chance to hear Donald live and he far exceeded any expectations I may have had about him. I've loved all of his books an I was afraid he would be a below average communicator because he is such an amazing author. Listening to him speak was like reading one of his books. He was funny, engaging, and you didn't want him to stop talking. I was blown away by how deep some of his theological thoughts were. I was privileged enough to hear him speak at a main session and at a breakout group I attended.

Francis Chan - Anytime I get to hear Francis speak is a score. That guy is hands down my favorite speaker alive today.

Steven Fee & Kristian Stanfill - I've heard those two on some of the Passion cd's but never live. I'll honestly say I haven't been to impressed with what I had heard up to TOC but they blew me away with their worship leading. I went out and bought the new Fee cd as soon as I got home. If you are a fan of Crowder, Tomlin, or Hall then you'll love these guys.

Stuart Hall's Breakout on "Mobilizing the next generation" - One of the best breakout sessions I have ever been to at any conference.

Our "1 Good Idea" - More on that in later blog.

reThinking Student Ministry Breakout - One of the worse breakout sessions I have ever been to at a conference. They basically put 3 people up front that knew nothing but "theory" as it pertained to youth ministry and rambled for and hour.

Random Band - They (the powers that be) would have this random band come out and do a secular song. Which was fine but it had nothing to do with the worship service.

Discombobulated Worship Service - The music and speakers were great, everything else they tried to do during the service wasn't. Don't be cute and funny. Don;t waste out time with random bands. Just do what you got to do and move on with it.

Overall we really enjoyed our experience at TOC. Although if Passion decides to offer Thirsty again next year we both agreed we'd chose it over TOC.


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