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4 Things Volunteering At OC15 Will Teach You

Leslie Galema
Leslie Galema Wednesday January 21, 2015
<? echo $type; ?> 4 Things Volunteering At OC15 Will Teach You

This year will be my ninth Orange Conference. When I leave the conference each year, I am changed, encouraged, recharged and ready to get going “back at the ranch.”

Last year, I decided to volunteer, and I started realizing that The Orange Conference isn’t ONLY amazing session after session but it’s actually a volunteer training on steroids!

You see, as leaders we go home and will inevitably hold a volunteer training for our teams. It is always hard to know how to make our team feel appreciated and how much their influence truly matters! We might order pizza or provide donuts and maybe giveaway the occasional Starbucks gift card in hopes that our small gesture will carry our team through the rest of the year—we don’t want them to burn out and leave our teams for good . . . this time (wink.) We pass out worksheets and try to make the most engaging PowerPoint presentations and lead our training with as much energy as we can muster up (after staying up all night working on an engaging PowerPoint that we had no time during the week to make.)

For me, it seemed like everything went from black and white to color while I volunteered at OC14. I started noticing EVERYTHING!

When you attend The Orange Conference, you have access to some of the top voices in church leadership—but that’s not all there is! When you volunteer, you get a firsthand look at the inner workings and how you can better your events back home.

Here are just some of the things you will learn about leadership when you volunteer at Orange Conference 2015!

Planning. You guys, the organization that goes on behind the scenes is like a well-oiled machine. Volunteers are definitely a big part of how the wheels turn at the conference—and not just any volunteers! We are talking about people who do not know each other or even live in the Atlanta area. People like you and me from all over the country—and world!—show up, get their marching orders, and the wheels begin to turn. Close your eyes and think about your time at Orange Conference. Those people at the doors, volunteers! Those people working the registers at the store, volunteers! Volunteers are everywhere and they all seem like paid employees! Why? Because it took planning and careful preparation to make sure everyone could be trained on the spot and know exactly what to do. If volunteers felt like they were thrown to the wolves and had no idea what they were supposed to do, then nobody would ever volunteer again. Isn’t that true for our own teams? We want to know what we are signing up for, and when you volunteer at The Orange Conference, you are coached on exactly what is expected of you. When we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail. When you volunteer at The Orange Conference you rethink how prepared you are with your team.

Atmosphere. Whether this is your first Orange Conference or your tenth, you will notice an engaging atmosphere BEFORE you walk in the door! Think about those colorful and exciting OC15 mailers you received in the last year. They certainly didn’t make it seem like The Orange Conference would be a boring place to be. Those mailers made an impression just by inviting us to come to their party! Think about the “patio” of the Gwinnett Center, there are food trucks, tents, coffee, interactive games and music greeting us before we step foot into the building. There is a feeling of excitement that fills you as you walk in and see the displays and books and merchandise set up like something you have pinned on Pinterest. It’s all so exciting, and you are not sure what to look at first. Then you see the stage and how it is set, and you can’t help but get your phone out and snap a picture. When you volunteer at The Orange Conference you rethink how you set the stage for your team.

Fun. Over the years, we have seen some funny stuff at Orange Conference. Parody songs about volunteering, Tripp and Tyler’s presence in general, games, giveaways, animals, motorcycles, orange avatars, and awesome concerts. What you may not see is the fun that volunteers are having—probably because you are busy sitting just outside the restroom charging your phone! (No? Just me?) When you volunteer at OC15 you don’t have to make awkward eye contact with everyone coming out of the restroom as you charge your phone. WHY? Because inside the secret world of Volunteer Central you will find numerous electrical outlets, snacks, drinks with tables and chairs to hang out between sessions. You also have access to free lunch and free T-shirts to wear during your time volunteering. When you volunteer at The Orange Conference you rethink how fun it could be to be on your team.

Growth. It’s no surprise that we all will leave OC15 changed. We glean so much from the sessions that it often feels like our heads might explode with all the vision we’re gazing upon. The question I always ask myself is: “How am I ever going to tell my team about what I just learned?” What I have learned is that you don’t tell them—you show them! You show them by the way you lead differently. You show your team by how you plan better, how you set the stage for them, and by how you honor them. When you volunteer at The Orange Conference you grow.

If you’d like to volunteer for OC15, to be held in Atlanta April 29–May 1, please fill out our form. If you’d like to attend, please register by February 19 to save $40 off the regular rates, plus receive a $50 Orange credit. TheOrangeConference.com

Leslie has been leading children’s ministry teams in some capacity for nearly 15 years. In 2015, Leslie joined The reThink Group as an Orange Specialist for 252 Basics and considers it a dream job come true! Leslie enjoys blogging, interacting through social media, and building networks for local Orange Leaders to connect! Leslie lives in Noblesville, Indiana, with her husband Adam and their three children: Cassity, Jared, and Ryeligh.