Last year's Orange Conference was my first. My first conference ever as well as my first experience with Orange. It was exciting, inspiring, encouraging, overwhelming, and as I look at the above picture time for a very bad hair color choice (red? really?).
I signed up for some incredible preconference workshops and breakouts. Loved hearing Michael Chanley speak on leadership and Sherry Surratt speak on innovation. The keynote speakers were fantastic. Loved hearing Doug Fields speak and Perry Noble speak. Was even able to watch a family experience live which was over the top cool. Oh yeah and Lecrae...nuff said.
It wasn't just about the being informed though. It was about being in a room with thousands of other people all of us united in the vision that together with the family we could impact the lives of the next generation.
Children's ministry, Youth Ministry, and Senior Pastors together.
We worshipped together, we prayed together, we learned together.
We were united asking God to pour into us and empower us.
Yes that all ranked really high on the oh-my-gosh-loved-it-scale, but I have to admit that none of that was my favorite part of Orange.
My favorite part of the conference was the people I was able to meet, the conversations that happened, and the lifelong friendships that began during these three days. That was priceless.
From hanging out with Sarah and Barbara (pictured above) having loads of fun and some really great chats to spending time with Amy and hearing her heart for people in kidmin to meeting Crysti and Kim at Chick-Fil-A and pulling out napkins to brainstorm to meeting a bunch of my Twitter friends at a coffeehouse...those moments and more were memories I will treasure always.
Thinking on last year's conference makes me even more excited for this year. I have already signed up for preconference workshops and the breakouts. I have my ticket ready and my hotel reservations made. I am so looking forward to seeing all of my friends again this year and meeting new ones too.
I'm ready! Are you?