Recently, my husband noticed the scarf I had recently added to my winter wardrobe. It’s colour is …Orange. It is quite bright, and goes lovely with my orange bible, wallet, and a variety of other things that have found their way into my wardrobe. When Jeff noticed the scarf, his first reaction was, “don’t you have enough of that colour.” My answer was -“at the moment, yes, but we’ll see”.
I try to wear orange, somehow, when I am involved in church activities. For me, orange is not just a colour, but a way to look at decisions I am making in our Children’s Ministries.
Orange understands that the impact of 2 forces coming together is far greater than the 2 things separately. Reggie Joiner and the team at Rethink, work diligently to see that resources and encouragement are available for churches who want to go “Orange”. The easiest analogy to understand this is to see it this way:
Red and yellow are bright and vibrant colours all on their own, but when we combine them, Orange is even more brilliant. So, when we take the home (the heart = red) and the Church (the light of Christ = yellow), and we partner together, what results is a ministry that is Orange.
Orange recognizes that the parents are the primary stakeholders in seeing that their children develop a relationship with Jesus, and the church’s job is to encourage, and equip, and reinforce that. This year, I want to leak vision all over the place, and I want to have everyone who is involved, or encouraging in Children’s Ministry where I serve, is thinking Orange. Our children are important, and Jesus longs to walk closely to them. Parents need to have the tools, and the foundations to encourage them in that walk. It only makes sense that we try not to do this separately.
In April, I will again be attending, with a number of friends who are either in Pastoral Ministry, or are Children’s Pastors, the Orange conference (theorangeconference.com), in Atlanta, Georgia. Here the brightest minds in Preschool, Children’s and Student ministries gather together to share learned experiences. Affiliated with NorthPoint Church, it is one of the finest conferences I have ever attended.
My choices of workshops this year (7 plus 5 main sessions), are all concentrated on how to more effectively partner with parents. I’m excited to bring home some of the methods, and begin to better serve where God has placed me.
What is the best way you, as a parent, can imagine the church partnering with you, as you seek to help your child grow in their relationship with Jesus? I’d love to hear from you. Until then, I’ll be drinking that tall glass of Orange juice, and pondering…