Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
More than 500 church leaders gathered at Calvary Church on Jan. 24 for the Orange Tour, a one-day event for family ministry teachers and pastors. The stop in Irving was the last of a 12-city national tour where Orange Conference/Tour founder Reggie Joiner talked to church leaders about “Leading Change” and “Leading Small” in churches.
“What you do for a few will always have more potential than what you do for many," Joiner said to an auditorium of church leaders in Irving.
Joiner was discussing a transition in ministry - that from trying to fill the pews on Sunday morning to trying instead to build relationships with a handful of people.
“The content this year is about change and how is happening in churches,” Kevin Benson, marketing director, said. “We can let it take us where it will, or we can change the things we do to reach the community.
“Things are always changing around us and people and churches are looking for ways to deal with that.”
The tour is a more personal and relaxed event for Orange, which sponsors the annual Orange Conference in Georgia. For local ministry leaders, the tour is a chance to hear the Orange strategy in their own area.
The Orange strategy, which includes embracing change, also pushes developing personal relationships with people in the church.
“Real change happens in circles, not rows,” Benson said. “Twenty five percent of the US population goes to church, and a lot of the time the church is so focused on that 25 percent because they don’t want to lose that 25 percent, whereas if we changed, we could attract the other 75 percent.
“We have this fear of change and we don’t reach those other people who need answers.”
Even as churches struggle with a transitioning world, Joiner said it is important that ministries stay focused on staying connected to “circles.”
“God hasn’t called us to do ministry in the most convenient way,” Joiner said. “We are supposed to be in the mess with people.”