by Dana Spivy
“Have you thought about volunteering for the Orange Conference?” she suggested with a helpful grin.
That’s the question that led to this great opportunity. I’m a children’s minister, and part of my time is allotted for conferences and personal growth. Since we implement Orange strategies and use Orange materials, I usually attend the Orange Conference (OC) to get great coaching and learn how to serve our parents better within our system. There are lots of conference opportunities available—and sometimes it seems there is never enough time or resources available for all the places I want to go and learn—but I like to keep OC in my schedule every year.
Last year, I found myself feeling in a rut with where and how I’m learning. I was kind of going through the motions at the same places with the same advice. I needed to shake up my time and resources so I could look into other options; new ways to grow and expand as a minister and a leader. But budgets got tight, and everything couldn’t fit. I wasn’t sure how to make the best choice for what I wanted to keep and how I wanted to change. I shared my struggle with a friend, (a wise and Orange-y friend) and she asked the question:
“Have you thought about volunteering for the Orange Conference? You can still attend parts of the schedule and you don’t have to pay for registration because you are serving.”
Well, no, I hadn’t. How is it that I spend 60 percent, or more, of my ministry life talking about volunteering, training volunteers, recruiting volunteers—totally immersed in volunteering—and it never occurred to me that I could have my Orange cake and eat it, too? I made that plan to explore other avenues of learning and when the resources ran out, I jumped at the chance to be a volunteer for my beloved annual trip to this conference. I’m so excited for the opportunity!
To keep it simple, here’s my top three reasons for attending Orange Conference as a volunteer:
- I won’t have to miss out on an experience I know will help me grow, will provide some fun and will encourage me to make connections, even though my budget is tight. Volunteering lets me attend without a registration fee, and I still get to take advantage of the conference for part of my time on-site. Score!
- I get to help the Orange community. It’s rare to have a chance for giving back to the publishing companies and leaders that develop content and coaching we use. Volunteering to help make this huge event happen is a small thanks I can offer for all they do.
- I cannot miss this year’s theme. When I heard Kristen Ivy talk about “Just A Phase” at last year’s event, I couldn’t wait to hear more. So much of how I serve families with children is guided by their stage of life, and their child’s developmental stage. If a team I already trust and support is going to do the incredible work of bringing in this kind of specialty to my ministry resources, I want to be a part of that. I want to bring that arsenal of good things to my church and community.
Now I’m counting down the days to arrive in Atlanta and get the boost I need for my ministry year. What are you excited about for Orange Conference? I look forward to meeting and serving you there!
Dana Spivy currently serves as the children`s minister for Maury Hills Church in Columbia, TN. She`s been meeting her call to ministry by helping families blend spiritual formation into daily living for almost 15 years. Dana is passionate about how God feeds our bodies and souls, and spends her free time in the kitchen baking out her prayers. She blogs about life and bread at www.danaspivy.wordpress.com. You can follow her ministry on Twitter @Paradise_Pier.
Join the Orange Conference team! Great benefits—free T-shirt, free meals, free exercise. Easy interview process! Sign up to volunteer now! #ThinkOrange