Todd Clark planted a church in California that is truly an Orange church. As the senior pastor of this church, he shares about how to create a ministry where family truly comes first. Here are seven principles:
Orange-ify your Senior Pastor
There are many shades of orange. Helping your pastor see Orange may take time, but just take it step by step. Shades of Orange go from Invite to Interested to Open to Influenced to Involved to Invested.
It is important to pay attention to timing. A great idea at the wrong time is a bad idea. Serve your pastor and his vision first. “Promote your leader’s dreams and they will promote yours.” John Maxwell.
Making sticky decisions (budget and programing)
Create reciprocal stages. For example, allow your artists to play/perform/lead on multiple stages. Just because they sing doesn’t mean they’ll always sing on the main stage. They may bounce around from kids to students to the main stage.
Don’t worry, be crappy
It is better to do something imperfectly than nothing perfectly. Use what you have and do the best you can with that.
Celebrate spiritual milestones
Child dedications and family baptisms. Make a big deal out of these things. Give parents a path to follow, something to work towards.
“For Heaven’s Sake” is a great program offered through reThink for baptisms.
Orange honors staff families
Before we can put our church families first, we have to put our own families first.
Orange often “irritates” parents
It’s likely that your doing something right if your parents are irritated with some of your decisions. It may come from using the word “partnership.” Closing environments 15 minutes after the service begins to honor what happens in the classrooms may frustrate your parents. Asking your parents to choose a service and stick with it may annoy some. Not ever decision you make will be family friendly, but it does put the family first. Your job is not to give parents what they want, it’s your job to give parents what they need.
Family dream session
What if a family gave the same time to planning their family as they do planning their job? Give parents the tools and resources to do this.
There were several great principles that I found helpful to what I’m doing at my church. The biggest for me though was the principle of baptism. Currently, we celebrate child dedication as a milestone in a personal and equipping way for parents. Unfortunately, my church celebrates baptism in a way that isn’t always family friendly or allows the child to truly connect why they’re getting baptized. As a result of this breakout, we’re going to begin transitioning the way we celebrate baptism similar to the way we practice child dedication. I’m very excited about this change.