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Every year, our company somehow manages to host The Orange Conference here in Atlanta. It is a vast undertaking that requires months of planning, a bevy of volunteers, and four straight 17-hour (or more!) workdays for the whole staff. And after it’s done, and we’re returning home weathered and worn, we wonder if it was all worth it.
For me, it definitely is. The Orange Conference represents one of the few times in the year when I get to meet our subscribers face to face. I’m encouraged to hear about what’s working in their churches. I’m challenged to make better the things that aren’t working. People from all over the world show up, and I personally met men and women from Belize, South Africa, and the Philippines in the space of a couple of hours. The Orange Conference experience will give me the spark I need to keep wrestling with words day in and day out.
But it’s not just me that gets something out of it. Time and time again, a church leader told me how they had been moved during one of the breakouts, how the worship made them feel alive, how the speakers made them laugh or inspired them to think differently. Mostly, I think it’s just the camaraderie of having over 5,000 people in the same room, called together for the same purpose that makes the experience so worthwhile.
This isn’t a commercial for the conference, though. While I certainly think it’s something you should attend at least once in your life, I understand that circumstances and finances sometimes make that impossible. What I’m hoping to say with this blog is that sometimes people in ministry need a little Orange Fuel—little reminders to keep up the good work or try harder or to shift your focus. Ministry is hard, folks, and we shouldn’t be doing it alone. So, remember to fuel up on a regular basis. Pray together. Worship together. Share your frustrations and fears together. The work you’re doing is definitely worth it.