It has been a powerful week of learning and team-building in Atlanta at the Orange Leaders Conference. Three ministry partners and I were able to stay in Duluth at the beautiful home of my Aunt Helen, who truly has the gift of hospitality. Our Executive Pastor said, “She is the perfect person you want to have in your church…cheerful, energetic, positive, committed, available, vibrant and encouraging.” My Children’s Ministry Director said, “Your Aunt Helen is a treasure.” Our Youth Ministry Director said, “Do you think she can get us backstage to meet Andy Stanley?”
It was a great time of bonding for the four of us–we became more like siblings as we figured out one anothers’ walking speeds, observed one anothers’ eating habits, and tested one anothers’ pet peeves. I believe we became even more thankful for our own spouses and more prayerful for the spouses of the other three.
It was enlightening to have personal conversations such as “What does ‘We’re leaving at 7:50 mean to you?’ ‘I think it means we will hopefully leave by 8. Why…what does it mean to you?’ ‘It means engine running, butts in seats and wheels rolling at 7:49.” Fascinating. Educational. Unrealistic.
Or “I’m not trying to torture you….” “Too late. She’s tortured.”
Or “My sleep deprivation is free entertainment for all. You’re welcome.”
Besides our soothing and blessed time with Aunt Helen and over & above the actual content of the sessions and breakouts, and in addition to the uplifting worship, our time together as a team was worth the time, effort and money spent on the trip. I believe we will see the benefit of our days together at the 2013 Orange Conference in our ministry for years to come.