Orange Conference was personal for me this year. From the opening session to the closing. God was speaking directly to my heart. I was taken back to when I started in ministry 30+ years ago, sitting on a front porch in Detroit, Michigan. I was teaching 5-Day Clubs for Child Evangelism Fellowship as a summer missionary. It was my first of seven weeks teaching four clubs a day. And it happened on my very first day, the first club. A little girl who came, and hit me with the question that still grips my heart, “Who is God?” she asked. I admit, at first, I thought she was being silly but a quick glance into her eyes told me she was stone cold serious. It hit me so hard it almost knocked the wind out of me. I had to learn more about her and so I asked some questions and found out she’d never been to any of the churches within walking distance to her home. She had no clue about the Bible or Jesus. I had to get personal and know more about her and the other children in my club. So we sat on that porch and began to talk. I also shared Jesus with her and she gave her heart to him that day. She cried, I cried. She brought a bunch more kids from her neighborhood that week to hear about her new best friend, Jesus! That night, I committed my life to full-time ministry. I didn’t care who I shared with, children, teens, or adults. I just wanted to tell them about Jesus the life changer.

So when, hearing the story of Jesus and Zaccheus, and how Jesus stopped, called him by name, went to his house, and broke bread with him all because with Jesus it was personal. He loved him so deeply he wanted to change his direction of life, and he did.

What would it look like to invite a generation to make it personal?

During the conference we were all challenged to answer 5 key questions:

during Orange Conference at the Infinite Energe Center in Duluth, Georgia, May 1-3rd, 2019 ©Taylor Zorzi / Zorzi Creative

1)Do you know my name?

2)Do you know what matters to me?

3)Do you know where I live?

4)Do you know what I’ve done?

5)Do you know what I can do?

When you begin to answer these questions about the children/students in your ministry it changes things. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it REALLY should change things!

During this week, I was challenged to answer these questions personally and then return back to my ministry and lead my team to answer these questions as they lead their small groups. Ministry can only be life changing when it gets personal. Jesus lived that way, every interaction he had was personal and he understood the answers to these questions. He saw individuals not just crowds.


I want to challenge you and your teams to come to the table and develop a strategy to make ministry personal on Sunday and throughout the week. Do you know the children/students that attend your church? Can you answer the questions about them?

I’m sharing my Evernote notebook so you can see some of the notes I took during the general sessions, YouLead Day, and from the breakouts, I attended during Orange Conference 2019. If you’re a podcast listener, be watching the Kids Ministry Collective Podcast for a Collective Recap episode coming soon!

This year was filled with so many take-aways, I’ll most like do another post with those and best quotes. If you’d like to see that, you can subscribe to this blog and you won’t miss the.

It’s time for us to make it personal!

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