Becoming Orange is a tall order. Reading through Reggie’s book inspires so many great ideas, many of which you want to implement immediately! Just like Barbara talked about in “The Despair of Too Many Ideas”, it’s hard to know what to do with all this Orange thinking.
After I read Think Orange, scribbling furiously in the margins, I also picked up Collaborate and devoured it. I had so many ideas floating through my head, I made a giant poster, divided it into months and starting filling in all the great family ministry ideas. By the time I was done, I had four potential events in every month – clearly a recipe for disaster. And this was all just in the Children’s Ministry department. I had not even stopped to think what the other directors might have planned for the music department, outreach, or youth group.
Just as Reggie explained in chapter six of Think Orange,
“…one of the problems in church is over-programming. We are competing not only with each other but with the family unit itself” (124).
“Nothing can cause havoc like… independent leaders pointing people in different directions. Frequent communication between all those in charge is essential to avoid potential collisions” (112).
So what has been our brilliant yellow initiative? Staff meetings. I know, it doesn’t sound like much of a revolutionary move, but it has made a big difference in my ministry. How?
1) I know I’m not alone. Our church has been s-l-o-w-l-y growing over the past few years and adding directors (part-time) as we go. We didn’t have any methods in place to strategize with each other and so it often felt like it was “every man for himself.” Now that we’ve begun gathering together – we’re able to discuss, give suggestions, and jump in to help where needed. It’s nice to have an instant support team at your side.
2) I realize I don’t have to do it all. As our kids grew older and graduated out of children’s ministry, I couldn’t let go of my leadership role. I would try to keep mentoring them, stopping them in the church halls, trying to make it to school events, etc. Of course, this would be fine if I didn’t have a whole new bunch moving up into children’s ministry. Pretty soon it got to be overwhelming, especially as a part-time worker. Meeting with the youth group director regularly has given me a chance to share the insights I’ve already learned and to stay “caught up” on these kids without burning myself out.
3) We’re able to build a better overall program. Just what are we after as a church anyway? People sitting in the pews? People returning again and again? Changed lives? By developing and integrating strategy together, we are magnifying our focus.
4) We’re able to clear out the clutter. As we grow, we want to meet the needs of our church members, new families, and the community. What does that result in? A bunch of “random activities sponsored by numerous different departments” (124). By meeting together, we’re starting to clear away the nice but unneeded programs and instead, build a cohesive program that truly impacts those who walks through the doors.
We’re not there yet, but we’re certainly on the right path. I think a common fallacy in “Think Orange” is that we need to get out there and get going right away. However, as Reggie explains, it’s much more effective to build an integrated model first. I love his quote,
“You will never get everyone on the same page until you consistently get everyone in the same room.”
It’s not sensational, but it is essential. And, it’s our first step to becoming more Orange.
Just a reminder, we are giving away three free copies of a new family tool called Cue Box. Here is how we are doing it. The purpose of Kidmin1124.com is to spark conversation and discussion. So, we’re going to offer two different ways to enter to win one of the Cue Boxes. First, leave a comment on any of the Orange Week posts through October 5. Tell us about your experience with Orange, comment on something raised in an article, or just come right out and tell us that you’re commenting because you want to win a cue box. For every comment or reply, we will enter you in the drawing. Also, we’re trying to get the word out if you tweet or retweet any of the articles on Twitter from this series, we will enter your name in the drawing once for each tweet. Just make sure to include @Kidmin1124 in the tweet somewhere so we can find it. The more you comment, and the more you tweet, the greater your chances of winning. We will close the contest on Sunday, October 10, 2010 and draw our winners on October 11.