Orange Conference is all about getting your entire church staff (children’s pastor, student pastor, senior pastor, family pastor) together under the same roof, at the same time. This core value of Orange is called Integrated Strategy. But where does the student pastor fit in at Orange Conference? What are the key advantages for a student pastor to attend?
As a fellow youth worker, I think it is important to highlight what student pastors will find interesting and relevant for their student ministries while at Orange Conference. So, here are five topics that we’ll deal with at Orange Conference that will inform and encourage student pastors. These five topics will give student pastors practical solutions to some of the current challenges they face in the student ministry trenches.
(1) Student Serving –There will be a huge emphasis on why it is imperative to have students serve. Reggie Joiner asserts that the best way to stimulate faith is to give someone an opportunity to have a personal ministry and to serve others. Bubba Thurman, the Family Pastor at Lake Pointe Church (Rockwall, TX), will have a breakout to share about Lake Pointe’s decision to cancel their midweek program in order to mobilize their students to serve within the local community.
(2) Social Media – Mobile technology use is rapidly spreading amongst our teenagers. The question is: How are we as student pastors addressing technology within our student ministry contexts? Are we embracing it? Rejecting it? Ignoring it? There will be a few breakouts in the pre-lab that will aim at how to best utilize social media practices within our student ministries.
(3) Sticky Faith – Kara Powell, Assistant Professor in Youth and Family Ministry and the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute, will share their latest findings as to why students are not attending church after they graduate high school. This research—and what we do with it—is a part of Orange’s current discussion on how to keep students engaged past graduation day. It will challenge your current perception of how you do student and college ministry and encourage you to think past the finish line of senior year.
(4) Student Pastor Networking (aka “Party”)–On Thursday, April 28th, at 7pm there will be an opportunity for student pastors to connect, hang, chat, and bowl a few rounds at Dave and Busters (5900 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Lawrenceville, GA 30043) This will be a relaxed and relational way to gather student pastors who are thinking Orange.
(5) The Strategy–Honestly, the student pastor population is one of the most disconnected staff bodies in the church today. It’s rare to get a student pastor and a children’s pastor in the same room. The beauty of Orange Conference is that everyone will be reminding each other that aligned church leaders lead with the same end in mind. Orange Conference is not just an ordinary “training” conference. Orange Conference is all about executing the Orange strategy. This not only means getting all players to the same table, but figuring out how to get two combined influences (Home and Church) to make a greater impact. The biggest advantage of going to the Orange Conference is getting your church staff synced up and brainstorming about how the church and family can collide to create the greatest impact for Christ within your youth community.
We at Orange believe in the power of strategy to best impact the life of a child for Christ. Strategy comes from unity—from getting everyone on board with the same vision and working in the same direction. Orange Conference is a chance for you not only to connect with other people on your own church staff and other youth workers from around the country. Orange conference also gives you the opportunity to learn how to connect with the families that you serve everyday to make a lasting change in their personal journey with Christ. And this is the best way to impact your student’s lives and draw them deeper into a relationship with the God who created them and called them to live lives of wonder, discovery and passion.