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For Orange Week 2011, they asked a few of us to answer the question: What’s the best breakout you’ve ever attended at Orange Conference?

In preparation for Orange 2010 last year, I wrote this about a breakout Jenna and I attended at Orange 2009.

Last year this happened during pre-conference. My wife and I were assigned to an Orange Consentrate, a whole day with Mr. and Mrs. Craig Jutila. I couldn’t believe it. Nothing against Craig, the man is great, but a whole day?! I wasn’t thrilled.

I introduced him, took a seat in the back of the room, and figured I’d just grin and bear it.

But then I heard their introduction. The Jutilas team-taught a session on burnout and self-care for ministry leaders and their spouses. This was exactly what we needed to hear! My wife and I soaked it in and had a great conversation afterwards. It was the best thing we heard all week. Good thing God has our back.

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Two years later, I still look back at this breakout as a pivotal moment in my personal development. I needed to hear about taking time to rest and Sabbath. Since then, I’ve worked harder at creating a weekly rhythm that includes a day to do (almost) nothing with regards to church work. Jenna has been so encouraging in helping me stick to the rhythm. Sure, ministry is ministry and some weeks fill up with unexpected responsibilities, but overall we’re “getting there” when it comes to rest.

They also discussed the need for surrounding yourselves with people who invest back into you. This was definitely the most challenging to implement. Thankfully, just this past Fall we entered into a small group community that has been the breath of fresh air that we needed. They challenge us to be better while caring for us with such love and grace. We’re so thankful.

I’m really looking forward to Orange 2011. I know that God will meet me with another challenge to help make me into the person he desires.

What’s been the best breakout you’ve ever attended at Orange or another conference? What made it significant?

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