Our 12 Favorite Orange Conference Breakouts and 5 Ways to Maximize Each Experience

If you work long enough in kids or student ministry, you’ll eventually hear about the Orange Conference. That’s mostly because it’s one of the best ministry conferences that happens each year.

Grant Glas
February 14, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

Like most conferences, it can be a lot to take in, especially for first-time attendees. There are incredible main stage speakers, worship experiences, sponsor booths, resources on sale, and networking opportunities with other ministry leaders.

One of the best elements of any Orange Conference are the incredible breakouts. These are smaller gatherings to discuss a specific topic, led by a ministry expert in that area. Since there are dozens of breakouts to choose from each year, we wanted to give you a guide to choosing the right experiences and maximizing your time in each breakout.

Details for Orange Conference 2022

Orange Conference website intro

Before we delve directly into breakouts, let's get an overview of this year’s Orange Conference. The event looks a little different every year, so here are some of the main details you’ll want to know:

  • Dates: April 27-29, 2022
  • Venue: Gas South Arena
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Theme: Be Human
  • Website: theorangeconference.com 

The main theme for the Orange Conference in 2022 is Be Human. The focus is to reset how the next generation sees the church by being “kinder, more empathetic, and more aware of what is happening in their everyday world.” 

Being Human will play out in small ways across the conference, including through each breakout. Don’t worry if you’re not able to attend in person — Orange is also offering a virtual version of the event, complete with behind-the-scenes access and breakouts.

Attending virtually certainly isn’t the same as being on-site experiencing the sights and sounds (no need to travel, but also no fun swag), but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of a digital event experience.

4 Breakout Categories

Breakout groups at Orange conference

Because the Orange Conference is for the entire ministry team, there are many different job descriptions represented — youth pastor, kids pastor, family pastor, and even senior pastor. For that reason, Orange categorizes the breakouts into four distinct buckets:

These are distinct tracks built with each type of ministry in mind. Here are a few of our favorite upcoming breakouts from each of the categories.

Kids ministry breakouts

  • What Everyday Leaders Can Do for Kids’ Mental Health: How are our ministries and volunteers equipped to respond to the growing mental health crisis of children and preteen humans? This conversation is lead by authors Will Hutcherson and Dr. Chinwe Williams.
  • Digital Discipleship for Kids in 2022 and Beyond: Lead by Keturah Boston, this breakout will explore the new and developing digital tools and platforms kidmin leaders can leverage to inspire faith in the next generation. 
  • Gen Alpha and What Comes Next: As millennials fill the workforce and Gen Z goes to college, our ministries are welcoming a new generation — Generation Alpha. Let’s meet this new generation with author Dr. Tim Elmore.

Youth ministry breakouts

  • The Social Dilemma of Human Technology: Join Max Stossel, youth and education advisor to the Center for Humane Technology for an open discussion about how technology affects teenagers in our communities, and what we can do about it.
  • Equip Volunteers to Have More Human Conversations: Based on research from the Fuller Youth Institute, this breakout will help you equip volunteers with practical conversation and connection ideas to help teenagers move forward in their discipleship.
  • Reconstructing Faith for a Culture That’s Deconstructing: This breakout will cover what deconstruction is, what it isn’t, and how to help teenage (and adult) humans develop a resilient faith fueled by critical thinking and safe conversations.

Leadership & family ministry breakouts

  • How to Innovate in a Changing Culture: Led by Joseph Sojourner, this discussion focuses on using a creative strategy to keep the church influencing a constantly changing culture.
  • Leading Up: Managing Adaptive Change in Ministry: You’re being forced to adapt to change, even if you’re not in a senior leadership role at your church. This breakout aims to equip you to lead up while still staying a human.
  • Church-Based Community Development: The secret to how your community views your church is connected to how you help others and how you help other churches help others.

New to ministry workshops

  • How to Measure Success in Your Ministry: Good leaders know you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Establishing a win for every environment is essential for an effective strategy.
  • How to Write Your Job Description: Establishing effective experiences requires an evaluation process, a clear calendar, and a plan to communicate what’s happening in your ministry this week.
  • How to Recruit and Retain Leaders: Starting with the right kind of leadership and volunteer culture will give you an advantage as you learn the best practices for recruiting and retaining the talent you need.
  • How to Communicate Your Values and Strategy: You have to be the ministry advocate and cast vision to leadership, volunteers, and parents about why raising the bar for your ministry matters for your church.

How to Do Breakouts at Orange Conference

Leadership breakout group

That’s a lot of breakouts to choose from, and each one is packed with actionable information from an expert speaker. So, how do you capture that inspiration and take it back to your ministry? Here are five tips for making the most out of your Orange Conference viewing experience:

  1. Research breakouts ahead of time. Review the list of available breakouts ahead of time, because you can’t attend them all. Figure out which ones you’d most like to attend and then schedule accordingly. If you’re attending with a team, you can divide and conquer.
  2. Be prepared to take notes. Ideas will be flying fast and furious, so bring a pen and paper or a (fully charged) laptop. Some speakers might also be kind enough to share their slides with you, but don’t miss those brilliant ideas that come to mind.
  3. Ask questions. The reason why breakouts are so awesome is because they’re interactive. You get the chance to ask the experts your burning questions. So, think of some questions ahead of time and don’t be afraid to pose them when the time comes.
  4. Network with other leaders. You know who’s even better than the expert speakers? The thousands of other church leaders who will be attending. Don’t miss your chance to chat with a leader just like you, especially in the smaller breakout setting.
  5. Leave with action steps. It’s easy to get swept up in the energy and excitement, but never actually bring it back to your ministry. Debrief with your team after you get back to swap ideas and decide which ones are immediately applicable at your church.

Are you attending Orange Conference 2022?

Student ministry breakout group

We hope that you’re excited enough to grab your ticket (or two) to join us for the upcoming Orange Conference in April 2022. Playlister is a proud sponsor of Orange and some of our team will even be in attendance in Atlanta. Don’t forget to stop by to say hello — we might even have some sweet swag for you.

Get Weekly Ministry Insights In Your Inbox

* indicates required

Don't forget to share this post!