8 Things We Learned at Orange Conference

Orange Conference is one of the largest youth pastor conferences and it draws thousands of people every year to Atlanta.

This past April, Xorbee was delighted to once again be the seating partner for the conference. Our staff spent four days at Orange meeting people from across the country. They all had one thing in common: they were passionate about helping youth and enthusiastic about their youth fellowship. We had several wonderful conversations with youth leaders at Orange, and we also loved meeting other partners and vendors at the conference.

Here are ten things we learned at Orange Con 2017.

#1. Building a better community requires focus 

“You can make excuses, or you can make progress. You can’t make both.”

Those words came from Carey Nieuwhof, a pastor from Ontario, Canada, and a speaker at Orange Con '17.

What do we make of that quote? It inspires us at Xorbee to focus on doing things right and doing things better. It inspires us to refrain from making excuses. It made us think about the ways we're holding ourselves back by saying "we can't."

“You can make excuses, or you can make progress. You can’t make both.”

Wise words.

#2. Everyone looks good in orange

We saw lots of people wearing orange (and we mean LOTS OF PEOPLE). And you know what? They all looked marvelous. People say they like red. They claim to love blue. Some people go crazy for yellow. Prince loved purple. But orange takes a backseat to no color. It's the Most Handsome Hue of Them All. Orange M&M's are the best, and orange is the only color that works in a knock-knock joke ("Orange you glad I didn't say banana???") It's the only color that's also a fruit. Are you kidding me? Orange is the best, people.

Orange man at Orange Conference

#3. Doug Fields really does think orange

Doug Fields at Orange ConferenceA speaker that we always try to catch is Doug Fields, the Executive Director of HomeWord’s Center for Youth/Family at Azusa Pacific University.

Doug is always spot on with his thoughts on faith and leadership. He's a treat every time we see him at Orange Con or elsewhere in our travels.

#4. Coffee is the beverage of choice for people who attend Orange Con

Phoenix Roasters Coffee at Orange ConferenceThe folks at Phoenix Roasters kept everyone functioning properly during the long hours of Orange Con '17. Most impressively, they did it with a big smile!

"We had the best time serving 15,000 cups of coffee over four days at Orange 2017," Britt Mooney of Phoenix Roasters told us. "Everyone at Phoenix Roasters commented on the amazing energy at the conference this year, and it wasn't just the caffeine. We met new friends and partners and reconnected with ones we've met from previous years. We were encouraged by all the conversations about ministry, and we thank everyone for allowing us to share the things God has been doing for the Kingdom through Phoenix Roasters and a great cup of coffee."

How many cups did we have? Don't ask, but we loved every drop from the good people at Phoenix Roasters.



#5. Baptists really can't dance

Are we telling you something you didn't already know?

#6. Big kids like tricycles 

Did you see the tricycles in the registration area and at the entrance to the arena? You didn't get run over, did you?

The focus of Orange Con '17 was Kid Ministry. As a result, there were a lot people in attendance who are kids at heart. We quickly witnessed a lot of "big kids" having fun on three wheels at Orange Con. Many wheelies were popped.

That's @juicegeraghty (and her orange hair) riding a trike in the rain at Orance Con '17.

#7. "Whooo" doesn't love Ollie?

Ollie the Owl is a beloved character in youth education. The big-eyed owl was at Orange Con. We saw him peeking out of backpacks, resting in the arms of conference attendees, and we even saw him dancing to the DJ during the kickoff party. At least it looked like Ollie. Whoooo can tell? 

We are all neighbors #oc17

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#8. A good time was had by all


#fridayfeeling Heading to #theorangeconference Can't wait!

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