EDITOR’S NOTE:Today, Theres Haskins shares what it was like to volunteer at the Orange Conference. Links to all of the other Orange Week 2.0 posts are included at the end of this article.
It all started for me in the spring/summer of 2006 when I was invited to participate in a children’s ministry leadership role at our Church- Northside Christian Church rolling out a new children’s curriculum/program that fall. I didn’t fully understand it at the time, but I was excited to work with the most amazing team of leaders I knew-women I knew I could learn a lot from. My initial excitement, to be honest, was having the opportunity to see what leadership involved and being given the opportunity to work alongside these amazing women! I had served in various roles at our Church, but was being afforded the privilege to serve as coordinator of the first hour “production” – which became known as Powered UP! It turned out to be a life changing event for me! God showed me, in a totally different way, where He wanted me to be used. And I humbly accepted the honor and LOVED every minute of it!
In the spring of 2008, I was invited by the children’s minister to attend a ministry conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It was called ORANGE and, at the time, I knew nothing about it. Up until that point, I was not involved in the behind the scenes decision making, nor did I understand the philosophy of reThink. I was only involved in the actual week to week programming (and loving every minute of it). Reggie Joiner stepped on-stage at the conference, and I was immediately changed. His presence was so humbling. I had never seen anyone with such a HUGE following appear so down to earth. As he opened the conference, he jokingly stated his daughter was jealous because he had more friends on Facebook than she did. I had no idea what Facebook was, but KNEW I was going to find out the minute I returned home. And that’s just what I did. I signed up for Facebook and became friends with Reggie Joiner! On occasion I would send him private messages, asking him questions – to be honest, I don’t even remember what they were – but he ALWAYS replied. I couldn’t believe it. Now don’t misunderstand, I didn’t think Reggie was a god, I just knew I wanted what he had, the amazing peaceful presence – and thought I could find out what it was by watching and emulating him.