by Cindy Fiala
The first time I ever attended an Orange Tour it was in Dallas, Texas. We had just started using this new thing called the “Orange Strategy” to teach kids and influence families. We were total newbies and were primed for some creative injections and mentoring to make this all it could be.
We had no idea what the “tour” was, if it would be worth our travel to the neighboring state of all things big and awesome, but one thing we did know, we loved Orange and we couldn’t wait to learn more!
Since that first Orange Tour (I can’t even remember which year it was), we’ve attended every year. The Tour is pure juice—nothing added, no fillers, just pure goodness.
I love to learn, to be motivated and to glean information from other people and their experiences and mistakes—the Orange Tour is a great no-nonsense place to do that. Every year, we leave with new ideas, new friends and a team that is bound together with a clear vision and direction.
Because the tour is more regional and local, it allows us to bring more than just our staff, it allows us to bring our team members too. The affordability and accessibility of the regional Tour is a perfect opportunity for leaders to bring their core or even their entire serving team to experience the “Orange goodness.” For those team members that are new or have entered your ministry with a different ministry perspective, coming to a regional Tour will align your team and give you great topics to discuss, unpack and refine for your team and local ministry.
One thing that I’ve come to learn is not to allow my expectations of last year’s Tour or Conference dictate what I will or will not “receive” from this year’s experience. It’s easy to want the mountaintop that took me to a new spiritual awakening or to yearn for God to reveal a huge new system or policy that will revolutionize our ministry or even answer our current “hot button issue” that needs to be addressed, but really all that does is keep us from what God wants to teach us this year. Some years, the combined content from the breakouts and main sessions have nothing to do with ministry and everything to do with how God is trying to refine me and grow me personally.
Our entire team and staff are excited about attending the Tour this year here in the Dallas area. We’re praying already that God will reveal what He wants our team to glean from the Tour and how it will propel us forward to influence kids, students, and families to find and follow Jesus Christ, and to be a force in their neighborhoods and communities.
The Orange Tour will stop in 12 cities this fall: Tampa, Fla., Seattle, Wash., Los Angeles, Calif., Lancaster, Penn., Washington, D.C., Detroit, Mich., Indianapolis, Ind., Kansas City, Kan., Austin, Tex., Dallas, Tex., Nashville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C. “Playing For Keeps,” this year’s theme, will help attendees discover how to make the most of the time they have with the children and teenagers in their ministry. Orange believes what ministries do each week matters because there is a short window of opportunity to make a permanent imprint on the heart of a child. For more information and to register, please visit OrangeTour.org.
Cindy Fiala is the family ministry pastor at Preston Trail Community Church in Frisco, Texas, a fast-growing church in the north Dallas area. Cindy and her husband John are having a blast with their ever-growing family, which includes four grandchildren that they are stupid-in-love with and being part of the crazy, amazing ministry God has plopped them into! They love a good celebration!