I’m home now, after a very full 3 days at www.theorangeconference.com. Words escape me right now, to be able to fully describe, or breakdown all that was presented to us. The Rethink team through an A-1 conference, provided a full experience for us. It was quite something to spend 3 days with 3,000 like minded Children’s Pastors, Sr. Pastors, and Youth Pastors.
I brought home some ideas that can be implemented fairly easily and quickly. Others will require much prayer and discernment for our context, but I am excited to see what God does with the seed He planted. I was challenged by some concepts and expectations that I heard, and was deeply encouraged by a number of the speakers. We are making a difference, even when just one family does one thing new to build into the faith of their children.
One of the most profound moments was during the opening session. Reggie Joiner (he is the founder of Rethink and Orange), spoke to us about 2 approaches to family ministry- “the Better Picture” and the “Bigger Story”.
A “Better Picture” approach is to teach families that they alway have to strive towards the ideal family – you have probably seen their picture…in any frame you purchase. The problem with this ideal, is – it doesn’t exist. No family is perfect (I’ve yet to meet one, anyway). We all have something that falls short of the “Stock” photo family. This is very discouraging for the families that fill your pews. They never measure up, and discouragement leads to disengagement. Reggie challenged us to help our families rip up their “stock” pictures and to embrace the family that God made them.
The second approach is the “Bigger Story”. We all fit into God’s master story. We all have our account of where God has brought us, and how He is working with and through us know. We need to let our families find their voice in God’s story…each one is as different as we are.
It is through our brokenness, that God can tell his story of redemption and reconciliation. Isn’t that a much better story, than fitting into a perfect mold? I’m ripping up my picture, and looking for my storybook…will you? Together we can find God’s master plan for us and the families we serve.