Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

ReThink Leadership and the Orange Conference: Ten Things I Learned.

ReThink Leadership and the Orange Conference: Ten Things I Learned.

The ReThink Leadership conference is a brand new event that is intended to focus on developing the senior leaders of the local church. It is a partner conference to the Orange Conference, and for three days I saw, I listened, and I learned.

Below are my top ten reflections, in no particular order:


1.     Vision and strategy are different; both of them need to be communicated.

Vision is the picture; strategy is how you paint it. When I heard this quote I realized something: People need to hear both. The people who want to be part of this community need to understand the “how” when it comes to the vision. I can cast vision for days, but what are we doing to make that happen?

2.     A leader’s job is to agitate, and that doesn’t mean we are on different teams.

One of the constant themes of this week was that as a leader we must continually push the status quo. Agitation, the good kind, comes through asking questions and working hard to make sure that what we are doing fits in the strategy. Agitation is meant to be something that is done to the strategy, not towards the individual.

3.     Ministry is messy.


4.     Every church has a soul momentum, and it is directly connected to the leader.

Wow, this was a big one over the last couple of days. So many leaders were open and honest about how their connection (or disconnection) from God impacted the church. In order for the church to have soul momentum, it has to originate from the leader. When the leader becomes disconnected, so will the church.

5.     Lead well, love well.

I was reminded of this over and over again, leading well (meaning successfully) is tied to our ability to love well. Leading separated from love isn’t leading at all.


6.     If you don’t define the culture, the culture will get hijacked.

I loved this message, that culture is something that must be defined. The culture exists, and as a leader I have to decide if I’m going to be intentional about speaking into the process.


7.     Be brave enough to ask the question, “What is it like on the other side of me?”

When Jeff Henderson asked this question I was a bit surprised how much I hadn’t thought about this idea. The reality is that I have no way of knowing what it is like to work for me. And as the leader I have to know the emotional climate of our organization. The only way to know what that is, is to be brave enough to ask the question.


8.     Monday is coming.

This was the theme of the Orange Conference this year, and it was all about how to bring Sunday to the rest of the week. The message was simple and transparent. Take Sunday morning and make it count on Monday.


9.     Teams need conferences.

It was a great event for the team, and the only regret I had was not bringing more people. Learning together, worshiping together, and working on strategy together were great experiences.


10.  Local churches need one another.

I loved seeing the other churches, I loved seeing so many leaders serve Christ, and I loved how the presenters had a heart for the local church. It was both affirming and inspiring.


I found the event to be well done and valuable, so much so, that I’ve already decided to go in 2017. I’m committed that I want to improve as a leader, and I want to be a leader who creates more leaders. There is no doubt that this is one of those opportunities that will help me do that. 

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