I think I may be seeing orange. I couldn’t tell you for sure because I haven’t yet attended the Orange conference or read any materials concerning the movement. But, from what I have read, I have a feeling I’m may be on to something.
For well over 5 years I’ve noticed that something was terribly wrong with ministry to kids under the age of 18. It wasn’t by any means a disaster, but there was a major disconnect between the children’s and student ministries. I don’t think it was intentional, but it exists nonetheless. Now, I’ve always had great relationships with the youth pastors at my churches. Typically we were the closest in age and we got along well together. However, we were usually pretty different people. We had different approaches to ministry and different ways of doing things. Too often we would run into problems when it was time for 5th graders to promote to 6th grade. Too many kids would be lost in the transition. It was too different. Although we would have many conversations about it, we were not ever really working together. This was a major frustration for me… but something I did nothing about.
A few months ago I got to spend a weekend at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. It’s an absolutely amazing church operating at a very high level of excellence on so many levels. However, I fell in love with their strategy for family ministry. They have a director of family ministry and the Children’s, Jr. High and Sr High pastors of all the campuses came together with him to implement ministry together. They call it “radical alignment.” It’s to the degree that all kids under the age of 18 will get the same message (at lead the main point) every weekend… corresponding with the message in the auditorium. They’re aligning their ministries to accomplish more together and better serve the family. A phrase I heard them use many times was “Were all pulling the same rope in the same direction.” Brilliant! Like I said, I fell in love with the model.
Now I know that wherever I am next, I’m committed to a family ministry model. I know that it sometimes means sacrifice and compromise, but together all of us can do more… and do it more effectively! From what I’m feeling, this is what Orange is about. Am I right? I actually just got a DVD in the mail that should catch me up on this Orange thing.
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