the Monday Morning Debrief: What I learned at OC ’14

images-21I love conferences!  I know they are jammed packed with tons of insights and information.  Although it can be a little overwhelming at times, I never regret going to them…especially the Orange Conference.

This year was no exception.  From the very moment I walked into my 1st Preconference session til the very end, this conference might have been the most fruitful of all of them. Here is some of what I learned:

  • In order to help children understand social media, Jon Acuff encourages parents to give them a “real life filter“.
  • As I have blogged about it before, but Jon Acuff also highlights how students use social media to feel wanted.
  • Matt McKee and Gina McLain encourages us to use social media to prepare leaders for the week and keep the conversation going at home for parents
  • I was reminded by Reggie Joiner that just because something is TRUE doesn’t mean someone will hold onto it.  That is why it is so important HOW we teach students…not just what we teach them.
  • Mark Batterson kicked my butt on prayer.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt this convicted about how little I pray and how much God can do through prayer.  “If you pray to God regularly, irregular things will happen on a regular basis.” Reimagining happens when you pray! I need/want to be a man of prayer.
  • I learned from Perry Noble that “It’s ok to not be ok but it’s not ok to stay that way”.  The healing process begins when you talk about it out loud.
  • Kara Powell said, “When young people have the opportunity to express their ‘doubt’ they have stronger faith”.  My youth program needs to be a safe place for students to express their doubt so that they can have stronger faith.
  • On that line, I learned from Andy Stanley that “Church should be the safest place on the planet for students” to talk about anything.  Am I providing that safe place?

As I process, I’m sure I will continue gain more insights and probably post about them. But, for now, those are my initial learnings.  What about you?  What did you learn?

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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