So if you're new to the Orange Conference, you will know that today was information overload. It's ok. They have a great resource called the Orange Conference Influence Kit. It has all of the audio from the breakouts and main sessions. You NEED this resource. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about the kidmin breakouts that I attended today and some brief takeaways from each.
My first breakout today was with Chad Ward from Browns Bridge Church. Browns Bridge is a part of North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. Chad talked about moving kids to be neighbor to be neighbor minded. Chad presented us with 3 big opportunities:
1. Create meaningful generosity and compassion opportunities. We simply need to be presenting our kids opportunities to show generosity and extend compassion to their neighbors. On a side note, did you know that 1 in 6 kids across America go hungry on a daily basis? Create some opportunities within your ministry to help improve and dissolve that statistic.
2. Create meaningful invest and invite opportunities. The challenge to this for us is that we have a lot of full calendars with no focus or purpose. Let's change that!
3. Create meaningful conversation opportunities. Get a good curriculum that will guide conversations to help kids become neighbor minded.
My second breakout was about Leading Elementary Volunteers to Weekly Influence. This breakout was presented by a very influential person on this topic Adam Duckworth. Here's the 4 big points that he made.
1. We must have a STRATEGY.
2. We must look SIDE TO SIDE.
3. We must be CONNECTED.
4. We must CELEBRATE.
Session 3 featured the Jingle Jam FX. What an incredible production it was. We will be doing our first of hopefully many Jingle Jam's this upcoming Christmas season. It's worth the investment.
Session 4 was without a doubt my favorite of the day and quite possibly of the entire conference. It spoke on Reimagining VBS to Reach Your Community. The Executive Director of Orange VBS Amy Fenton led this breakout and provided some valuable information that helped me reset my focus on why our church does VBS but even more important, it helped shape up my vision for our VBS in July. Here's the statement she made that shook me up and made me push the reset button on my vision for VBS: Leverage VBS as an opportunity to build relationships with kids to tell them about Jesus.
We hear a lot about evangelizing and how VBS is such an impactful tool in doing that. Our approach is so crucial. We've got to leverage VBS as a relationship builder and not just another event. You and I have the opportunity to help kids who need to be known, who want to connect with others, and who want to come back on Sunday. Let's keep this in mind as we lay out vision over the next few weeks with our volunteers.