** Reviewed,  Family Ministry,  Orange

Orange Conference 2012: Success in Children’s Ministry

In ministry we all have our own definition of success. For most of us it says something about following Christ, Serving Jesus, or something along those lines. Society tends to focus on many other things. All sorts of things from happiness to good grades to winning at sports. Ultimately, the end goal for many parents is “well rounded, well educated, happy kids.” Even Christian parents tend to strive for these things. At the 2012 Orange Conference Craig Groeschel challenged ministry leaders and Christian parents to measure success in a whole new way.

“As parents and ministry leaders, what do you think success is for the next generation?”

This is the question that Craig Groeschel opened. He then went on to help us all change the way we measure success. He pointed to societies measure of success as, “raising well rounded, well educated, happy kids.” As the Lead Pastor of LifeChurch.tv he said that his problem is that when he hires a staff member he doesn’t want someone who is average at a bunch of things. Rather he wants someone who is GREAT at a few things.

“Most Americans worship happiness”

For most of us this is true for us and for our kids. We work extra hours, we charge up our credits cards, and go to many other lengths to give our kids things that MIGHT give them temporary happiness. Craig suggested a different definition of success for parents and ministry leaders:

“To unleash single minded, Christ centered, Biblically anchored world changers.”

With this statement you could feel the energy in the room. In a single instance Craig had rewritten the purpose statement for children’s and youth ministries all over the country. Within minutes this was repeated dozens, maybe even hundreds of times on twitter. Even for those that did not intend to change the purpose statement for their ministry couple not help but have their thinking impacted by this one statement.

Craig Groeschel was just one among many GREAT speakers at the 2012 Orange Conference. Stay with me this week as I continue to share from my own experiences from Orange 2012.

PS. Are you interested in winning a FREE subscription to Orange’s Leadership resource, YouLead? Leave a comment below and you will be entered. I will draw a name at random Saturday morning. Leave a comment in each of this week’s posts for up to 5 chances to win.

Matt Norman

Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. To ensure that you never miss a post subscribe using the space on the right side of the screen.

I am a Christian, husband, father, pastor, church planter, nurse, and freelance writer.


  • Werner

    One thing I took away from the Orange one-day Conference, is that each person has their own Story, and we need to realise that God wants to use us broken people to worship Him.
    He does not want perfect people. He does not wait for Perfect People. We need to do it now.

  • Commander Bill

    My “success” recently was launching a family on Sunday mornings for the entire church where everyone can be a part and be ministered to in some way. Orange and 252Basics was a huge part of that.

  • dan haggard

    If all Senior Pastors thought like Craig!
    Most want Children’s Pastors to wear numerous hats to fill other gaps also.
    Craig definitely put the focus back on where it ought to be! Great word.

  • Lindsey Whitney

    Hey Matt! You should put your picture up on this site, I couldn’t figure out who’s it was for a minute! Great post and great vision statement. I agree, so many Americans worship “happiness” and it is so fleeting. We’ve been talking a lot of what “success” is in our Children’s Ministry too… have you read “Deep and Wide” by Andy Stanley? Great thought-provoking book!

    • Matt Norman

      I’ll have to see about putting a picture up. I used to, but changed my set up some. I will have to check out that book. I have not read it.

      Matt N.

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