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September 28th, 2010

by Guest Blogger

12 comments (+ Add)

Guest, Kendra Golden: Orange Week

Over the last two years, our teams have made many changes to reach kids and students more effectively. We’ve tried simple things—like involving youth and children’s staff in the same retreats—and complex things—like aligning our elementary, middle school, and high school content with Pastor Craig’s message series back in May. This month, Pastor Craig invested his whole series I Believe in You to cast vision for how we can fuel the faith of the next generation.

Many of the best strategies we’ve incorporated come from the Orange concept. Orange simply means the church (yellow = light) combining forces with parents (red = heart and home). Reggie Joiner and his team at Orange have brought this idea into reality for churches across the world. On average, they estimate that church gets kids and students about 40 hours per year, while parents have them for about 3,000. To make a deeper impact, we must do less thinking red or yellow and more learning to Think Orange.

This week, check out the posts of several family ministry bloggers who are celebrating Orange Week by posting about their experiences with going Orange.

How Orange is your church? What’s the most effective thing you’ve done to target the next generation?

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  1. Sep 28, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    This book changed my entire view of youth ministry. Our church has done its best at adopting the Think Orange mentality. We have since stopped doing the traditional method of Sunday School for our high school students. Instead they are plugged in serving each week along side of another adult in our church. This has bridged the gap between generations and also pushed out students to be more than spiritual bums.
    Another strategy that has worked for us is that as the youth pastor, I lead a growth group called The Orange Group. The entire purpose is for me to connect with the family (red) and bridge that gap on a more personal level with the ministry of the church (yellow) The group is specifically designed for parents that have students in our ministry.
    These two things have really helped up in bridging that gap. 80% of students walking away from church means something aint right. This is our conviction to slow and stop that 80% from happening at CrossPointe

  2. Sep 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Very cool Colston! Great strategies!

  3. 3Dave Marrett
    Sep 28, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I commented earlier that their are some significant challenges facing those who are pushing hard into a post christian culture where children may attend and their parents don’t. One of those challenges is remaining focused on the intentional ministry to kids and not using them as a stepping stone to reach Mom’s and Dad’s. Yes, the parents need to be reached for the Orange model to be complete, I wonder if this could happen with very intentional use of Social Media aimed at parents, giving them tools and contemporary info on raising their kids, this may peak the interest that the church cares about partnerships with families and begins the process of downloading the DNA of the gospel into the lives of the parents.
    Just my very tired thoughts as I sit at the airport!

  4. Sep 29, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Thank you Kendra for filling us in on what you guys are doing. Our Pastor of Student Ministries preached a sermon about a month ago about our church — LifePoint in suburban Baltimore, MD — becoming more Orange. The following weekend our Children & Students lead our services and did an awesome job. Not too often do you see a church of 2500 in attendance letting that happen. Our ministries are doing their best to connect the family with the church in true partnership.
    We have also changed our high school programing so they can participate more in the life of the church.
    Thanks so much for your post, this is what we’ve been doing to become more Orange.

  5. Sep 29, 2010 at 7:05 am

    [...] KENDRA GOLDEN: Guest, Kendra Golden: Orange Week [...]

  6. Sep 29, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Dave M: That’s funny to think about reaching kids as a means to reach parents since I tend to think the other way–reaching the parents will help you get deeper into the kids’ lives! (Missed seeing you this trip! You’re still my family’s favorite Aussie!)

    Dave B: Sounds like an awesome weekend! We have also been reshaping our student ministry to move students into serving and leadership roles. With my oldest turning 13, I get more passionate about it every day!

  7. 7Rick Whitmer
    Sep 29, 2010 at 10:00 am

    The color needs to be Red-Orange. In other words, churches are still taking a little too much credit for their role in this process. Churches need to MAJOR on equipping parents to take the LEAD AND PRIMARY discipleship role in their kids. The 40/hours a year really can accomplish very little to mold and shape a heart. The priority MUST be with Mom and Dad.
    Parents need to understand that THEY are the front lines of this battle. Challenge them, motivate them, and equip them. But churches must recognize that they have failed to give this message consistently. The message is still “delegate the spiritual development of your kids to the church.”
    Let’s swing this pendulum way over to the parents. Church “programs” aren’t getting the job done.
    I was talking with my very good friend yesterday. We live in separate parts of the country, so we catch up only so often. Yesterday’s conversation was comparing how both of our junior high boys feel like our wonderful church youth groups have so little to do with nurturing and cultivating the heart of our kids. We both agreed that one on one discipleship time with dad and son does far more to move the ball in these kids, then by taking them to the age appropriate church program.
    But most parents don’t begin to feel qualified to do this, any more than they feel qualified to educate their kids, or teach them sports. Parents today “outsource” so much of the development of our kids to other “experts,” including the church.
    This will require a MAJOR cultural shift, that I’m not sure church leaders, or parents, are really prepared for to the shift that is required.

  8. Sep 30, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Here’s my take as a volunteer in student ministry. That the home is biblically (and ideally) God’s first and primary institution for disciple making, there’s no doubt.

    But there also comes a point in the lives of young people when their parents are no longer the primary voice in a student’s life.

    Mom and Dad could say something 50 times to their student about a sin issue or some other kind of spiritual issue needing attention, and it not be heard. But let a student pastor or adult volunteer speak those same truths into that student’s life, and sometimes you will see miraculous results. It’s both/And for me. We all need each other.

  9. 9Jason Seay
    Oct 2, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I want to agree with Phillip here. As a YM for 10 years, students MIGHT listen to their parents but are usually more receptive to a youth leader or mentor. We all had some rebellion in us as teens and quite often would put the ideas and opinions of just about everyone over our parents. If we shift the entire load of biblical instruction over to the parents, fewer kids will actually choose to follow Jesus just because it is coming from the parents. A large majority of kids think their parents are “lame” and don’t want to be anything like them.

    Remember, we are all called to be teachers. Let’s not shift this responsibility off just because a generation is challenging. That’s when we should be stepping up more.

  10. 10Tom E. Snyder
    Oct 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    While it’s true that there may be a gap between parents and children ministers should try to bridge that gap, not become substitute parents. If push comes to shove and the children choose the other rather than the parents then we have a problem.

    Malachi 4:6, the last verse of the OT, should be the guiding verse of those who minister to children.

  11. Oct 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Great comments guys! All that you’re wrestling with is why I love the Orange philosophy so much. In Reggie Joiner’s new book for parents, he talks about that exact paradox: Parents are the most important influence in a child’s life, but they are not the only influences a child needs. He encourages parents to seek out those other relationships for their kids, especially students.

    So glad to see some of these thoughts getting center stage in the series that just wrapped this weekend, I Believe in You. Some good preaching by Pastor Craig and one of his mentors, Dr. Sam Chand!

  12. Nov 9, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    [...] Guest, Kendra Golden: Orange Week [...]