Next week, I get the privilege of attending the Orange Conference in Atlanta, GA. This will be my second time there and I couldn’t be more excited. There is always great content and the quality of the event is second to none. There will be literally thousands of pastors and church leaders there being equipped to do ministry better.
However, as a leader, it can be tough to justify attending a conference. Often, the cost is high – between conference registration costs, travel, hotel, and food. Additionally, leaders greatly value their time in the office and view conferences as having a negative impact on productivity. The excuses to not attend a conference can be great, but I believe the argument in favor of attending conferences is greater.
So, here are 3 reasons I think that all leaders should attend conference:
1. It is a time of refreshing.
When I attend a conference, I come back to my job refreshed. Every time. It doesn’t matter if the conference was 14 hours each day – I still get refreshed. Also, I find that I have a fresh perspective on my work. The time away allows me to reflect on what I’m/we’re doing and to adjust my thinking. Leaving the office for a few days also gives those that I lead a chance to refresh as well – because things are different when the leader is gone and it often allows for things to be noticed that wouldn’t have been if the leader had been there.
2. It is a time of growth.
Attending conferences should be a time where you learn new information or some best practices for your industry. It’s a time for ‘experts’ in the field to teach you and give you some hints and tricks that will help you lead better. I would encourage you to approach the conference as a student. Take notes, ask questions, and be ready to engage some critical thinking. I find that our attitude about the conference will be more indicative of the success of the conference for us than the quality or content of the conference.
3. It is a time of modeling.
I know that I, as a leader, expect those that I lead to find ways to learn and get better. I expect them to go to trainings, conference, and local industry groups. I believe that a leader should lead by example and when you attend a conference and bring back new ideas, you’re reinforcing with your team the importance of what you’re asking them to do. And don’t just model through your attendance, but also model through how you speak about the conference, what you bring back in the way of changed thinking or new initiatives, and your attitude about your time away.
I’m sure there are many more good reasons for a leader to attend conferences. It’s time to stop making excuses and start making plans. You won’t regret your time spent if you remember these three points.
Comment below and let me know your favorite conferences to attend…