It’s been almost four years since I first learned about the Orange strategy. One of the most compelling concepts was it idea of two combined influences – church and home. This really clicked for me as a long-time children’s pastor who felt such an unbelievable burden to raise and disciple kids yet struggled with doubts about long term effectiveness. Clearly defining the family as the other part of the combined influence wasn’t an “out” for me, but a moment of clarity on how I could use my time more effectivity… or even strategically.
However, as a dad who “knows his stuff pretty well,” I’ve come to realize how much help I really do need. Four years into unpacking the Orange strategy, this stuff has hit home in a new way was my four an a half year old boy has come to an age where what I say and do has significant consequences. I’ve “accidentally” fallen into some really cool “God moment” conversations and it made me realize that I really need to be far more intentional at this age. Because of my experience and role in ministry, I have a bevy or resources at my fingertips, but I find myself in situations often where I honestly don’t know what to do next. It doesn’t take too long to figure out what resources or what conversations to focus on, but I’ve become keenly aware of the fact that as a parent, I need help. I have been able to lean on the experience and resources from others as well as my own ability to do a little research, but it makes me realize that if I feel a great need for personal help, how much more must other parents need a little help.
In addition to being another spiritual influence int he lives of kids, the church really does need to develop a resource list and path for families. Even if we can can convince parents that they can and should be the primary voice in their kid’s lives, they’ll become quickly frustrated if we don’t help them take the lead. In the next six months, I’m developing a resource/experience guide for parents, especially in the kidmin years. I’d be curious to see what others have already assembled or who might be interested in collaborating on such a project.
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Great Post! Seems you and I are thinking similarly in getting something directly to parents to help navigate this thing called Parenthood.
Check out my post from yesterday: http://www.momwithaminivan.com/2012/02/cheering-fans-are-game-changers/
Kenny, I’ve been Orange since it was Grow Up (about 4 years prior to the first Orange Conference)…I’m sold on that philosophy for the church but I’ve never thought it did enough for the parents. I’ve been working for a while to develop a path for our ministry that would let us better partner with our parents…resources, classes and the like.
Sounds like we’re duplicating the work – I’d love to make the load a bit lighter and do some collaborating.
As a father to 3 boys with special needs I struggle with the same things in the process of trying to share with faith with my boys.
Love your honesty, my friend.