Introduction to the Orange Concept
At Kidmin1124.com, we were honored to be asked to be part of this year’s Orange Week. What is Orange Week you ask? Let me tell you. Hang in till the end of this post as we have been offered a very special opportunity to give our readers something at the end of Orange Week. More on that later. I should start with a brief explanation of what “Orange” is all about. Spearheaded by Reggie Joiner and his company ReThink, Orange is an approach to children’s ministry and family ministry which rests on one fundamental idea:
Two combined influences can have a greater impact than just two influences.
In this case, the two influences in question are those of the family (represented by the color red) and the church (represented by the color yellow). When those two influences in a child’s life can work together and leverage the influence of one another, they can have an exponentially greater impact on the life of a child. The details of an orange philosophy are presented in Reggie Joiner’s book called Think Orange. That book lays out the five essentials of the Orange strategy. They include:
- Integrate Strategy
- Refine the Message
- Reactivate the Family
- Elevate Community
- Utilize Influence
What is Orange Week?
Last year, a community of bloggers explored each of these essential in more detail in the first ever Orange Week. I summarized those entries in the January 2010 edition of the Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol on Dad in the Middle. This year, the collective wisdom of the participating bloggers was that we should tackle the more practical side of Orange. So, the tentative schedule for this year’s Orange Week is as follows:
- 9/28: Introduction to Orange Week & Red Initiatives Day #1
- 9/29: Red Initiatives Day #2
- 9/30: Yellow Initiatives Day #1
- 10/1: Yellow Initiatives Day #2
- 10/2: Orange Ideas that didn’t work (we may tweak this one a little bit here on Kidmin1124)
- 10/3: Orange Ideas & Dreams for the Future
- 10/4: Past Orange Conference Take-Aways
- 10/5: Special Orange Announcement
Here at Kidmin1124, the perspective we bring to the table is one of volunteers and bi-vocational ministers, and we are planning to bring that unique perspective to Orange Week as well. I hope you will check back each day as one (or more) of our contributing authors weighs in on the Orange Topic of the Day.
Red Initiatives – Day #1
The topic for today is Red Initiatives meaning things we have tried from a family perspective to leverage the influence of parents in the spiritual development of their children. At my church, New Life Church Gahanna, we have been using the 252 Basics curriculum developed by ReThink for going on a couple of years now. One of things I like best about the curriculum is the additional resources that they make available for parents. To kick off Orange Week here on Kidmin1124.com, I thought I would interview one of the parents from our children’s ministry who experienced the power of combined influence in utilizing the parent resources developed by ReThink.
1. What prompted you to start using the Family Time Virtue Pack?
We have always been interested in character building material in relation to raising our children. A few months ago, the Children’s Ministry at church randomly mailed the Virtue Packs to families within the church. We received the virtue pack and our kids LOVED it. We quickly decided that we wanted more of them.
2. What did your kids like about them?
They really enjoy the Virtue Task Force stories.
3. What would you improve or change?
I really wish that they would go back to the CD version of the Virtue Packs. I think that they went to a DVD format thinking that most people have DVD players in their cars or that the children would rather see the stories rather than just listening to them. We don’t have a DVD player in our car, and when we are at home my kids want to watch things other than the Virtue Packs. When it was a CD, I just left it in the car, and every time we would drive somewhere it was always playing.
4. How did using them help you as a parent to teach your kids about God?
WOW! First of all, my children have learned the definitions of the virtues, and it has allowed us to use them in disciplining our kids. We are able to ask our kids, “When you said/did that to that person, were you honoring them?”, “Where you showing them respect?”, “What is Friendship?”, “What is Peace?”, “Are you willing to show your friend that you care more about them than just winning the argument?” And we are able to take it a step further and ask them the same questions in relation to God? “When you said/did that to that person, were you honoring God?”, “Where you showing God respect?” It has been very helpful in showing our children, in very practical ways, that when they sin against others they are sinning against God.
5. Did you see the benefit from talking to your kids throughout the week about the same things they were learning at church?
Absolutely. I think that just like most adults, children show up for church on Sunday mornings, sit through their lesson/sermon, and then go home and put their Bible back on the shelf until next Sunday. Having the chance to reinforce at home what they are learning on Sunday morning is paramount to teaching our kids that our Christian walk is more than what we do on Sunday mornings.
6. What other things do you think the church could do to help you as a parent when it comes to the spiritual journey of your children?
This is a hard one to answer. I don’t think that the church needs to do anything else. I feel that the children’s ministry has created many opportunities for parents to have their children exposed to Biblical teaching/training. Ultimately it comes down to the parents. “Church” is not something that we do. Biblical teaching has to infiltrate every area of our lives as parents in order to be done effectively. Teaching our children to live gospel-centered lives means that we as parents not only talk the talk, but we MUST walk the walk.
7. As a parent, what do you view the church’s role in the lives of your kids?
Just as I view my child’s school as a tool in helping me raise my child, I view my church much the same way. To me, the church is not a “one stop shop”. It is the place we go to 1) Corporately give our worship to God. 2) Corporately learn God’s Word. 3) Fellowship with other believers. Regardless of age. As a parent I cannot send my child to church 1-2 hours a week and expect that they will have all of the training required to insure that they will grow to be a God-honoring adult. There is constantly a spiritual battle going on for my children and my household. At home is where the trenches are.
I have had the pleasure of teaching two of the children in this family. Their parents involvement in, and dedication to, the spiritual development of their kids is obvious. The mother who answered these questions has since started to volunteer in our classroom once a month to help other kids learn more about God. Her recognition of the paramount importance of parents when it comes to the spiritual development of children is refreshing in an age where more and more parents do compartmentalize their children’s spiritual journey and leave it “up to the church” to make sure their kids learn about God. I think she hit the nail on the head when she said,
Teaching our children to live gospel-centered lives means that we as parents not only talk the talk, but we MUST walk the walk.
In the end, children will most likely live out the kind of spiritual life they see modeled at home, and as those who minister to children, we must find ways to help parents to model healthy spiritual habits and teach kids what those habits should look like.
The tools offered by ReThink are a great example of how to help motivated parents teach their children. For parents who are looking for a structure and means to teach their kids, these types of tools offer great hope. Unfortunately, they don’t do much for parents who are not really motivated to take on this role. That’s one of the reasons I am looking forward to reading the other blogs participating in Orange Week for new and fresh ideas.
Other Participating Blogs
In addition to Kidmin1124, there are a number of other wonderful blogs participating in this Orange Week. I hope you will take the time each day to check out each one and learn from their experience and wisdom. Here are the other blogs which we know are participating:
- Children’s Ministry Online (Kenny Conley)
- Sam Luce
- Gina McClain
- Ministry-to-Children.com (Tony Kummer)
- West Coast CM (Anthony Prince)
- Jonathan Cliff
- Dan Scott
- JC Is Online (J.C. Thompson)
- Chad Swanzy
- Youth Leader Stash
- Michael Bayne
- Pete Wilson
- Michael Hyatt
- Ragamuffin Soul (Carlos Whitaker)
- Ron Edmondson
- Craig Groeschel
- Tony Morgan
- Jeremy Zach
- Tom Shefchunas
- Nick Blevins
- Matt McKee
- Elemental CM (Henry Zonio)
- Kidmin360 (Greg Baird)
I hope you will spend some time each day checking out the other participating blogs.
The Exciting Giveaway
That’s right, in conjunction with Orange Week, Rethink has offered to let us give away 3 copies of their new family tool called Cue Box. Here is how we are going to do 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 from today 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.