(this picture has everything to do with Yellow initiatives – just keep reading)
When I was a kid, I lived in a rural mountain town in Northeastern California. I spent many a morning waiting for the school bus in knee-deep snow, only to find out that school was canceled and the bus wasn’t coming. During those long morning waits in sub-freezing temperatures, we would have snowball fights, build forts, dig tunnels and catch falling snowflakes on our tongues. But, as much fun as the snow was, there was always an unbreakable rule: don’t touch the yellow snow.
For those of you who’ve experienced a childhood of snowy winters, you know the rule I’m talking about – everyone stayed away from the snow that had been used by animals on their mornings walks or little boys who had one too many cups of hot cocoa before heading to the bus stop. And because of those experiences, I’ve always been a little weary around the color yellow.
So, imagine my first thoughts when I heard that the great minds over at Orange referred to the church as yellow.
However, years of talking with leaders who’ve been a part of the Orange movement have won me over – I’m actually beginning to like the color yellow.
Kenny Conley, who came up with the blogging schedule for Orange Week, posted some great words for kidmin leaders yesterday about the differences between Red and Yellow initiatives. You should go check them out. Here’s the full link: http://www.childrensministryonline.com/family/defining-the-red
Calling it Yellow or Red
Here’s my take:
Yellow initiatives are instances when the church tries to leverage it’s resources to reach families with the light of the Gospel. When churches aren’t seeking out ways to equip and partner with families, when they forget that God’s plan has always included leveraging families, the Yellow begins to leave a bad taste in the mouths of kids and parents. As we watch mainline denominations plummet in attendance, membership and influence, I begin to think of that snow near the bus stop that we all avoided as kids. There is such a thing as being too yellow.
If red initiatives are events, programs and strategies that bring families one step closer to the Church… then yellow initiatives are those instances when the church takes a few steps closer to seeking out and equipping families.
The next post in this series will look at a couple real-life examples of initiatives our church has done to think “family first.”
Again, I’ve heard it said too many times that Orange ministry isn’t practical… tomorrow’s post probably isn’t going to change your mind, but it might get you thinking about baby steps you might take toward the partnership between churches and families.