Orange Week: There is No “I” in Orange
Why Orange shouldn’t be a solo experience
I sat down for coffee yesterday with a great local Family Pastor (and friend) in the area and spent nearly 3 hours talking shop and drinking coffee. My friend has recently expanded his staff and has hired a part-time kids’ ministry director to help lead their church in a more “Orange” direction. Whether he’s meaning to or not, my friend is doing something brilliant this week – he’s dragging his Senior Pastor to the Orange Tour we’re hosting at our church. He understands an extremely simple concept – There is no I in Orange.
2 years ago, our church did something that was a game-changer for the way way we minister to families. I was able to cash in all of my chips with our Senior Pastor and talked him into coming out to Atlanta with me to attend the Orange Conference. In fact, we were able to send a team of 5 of us – Our Senior Pastor, our High School, Middle School, and Elementary directors, and I – across the country for some team bonding and strategy conversations. Because Orange is more than simply a curriculum, we needed as many of the players as we could in on the conversation so that we could tackle the future of kids/student/family ministry at our church with a unified vision.
Now, to be incredibly honest, that trip was the beginning of a process for us – we’re still not as Orange as I’d love for us to be. I’ll also add that it wasn’t even that hard to get my Senior Pastor to Orange – the speaker line up that they have (and reputation they’re building) pretty much sold the conference on its own. With that said, sitting in a room with thousands of other children’s ministry leaders AND youth pastors AND senior pastors began to help us own the fact that a) we weren’t alone in trying to revamp the strategy we use to reach families with the gospel and b) there was a network of other leaders across the country that we could lean on during our transition.
I’ve met guys and gals at Orange who walk around by themselves with their eyes the size of tangerines as they try to take in all that the conference has to offer. Over and over, I hear them asking about how they will EVER get their Senior Pastor to catch the vision for an Orange strategy.
Friends, this might be hard to swallow, but you can’t make your church Orange on your own. Orange is a strategy that works best when there is alignment between departments – when churches stop operating in silos and begin working as a team that believes passionately about passing the faith on to the next generation.
Here’s where there’s a bit of hope – you don’t HAVE to fly multiple people to Atlanta to get the conversation started at your church! I know that part of why this is “Orange Week” is because this is the first week that you can register for the 2012 Orange Conference… but, today’s post isn’t even going to have a link to the registration page. Instead, let me offer a couple steps you can try before asking your church to invest in sending a team to Orange (because, seriously, if your church is going to help you attend Orange… you shouldn’t go alone. It’ll probably just drive you crazy as you wish your team was there with you to process what you’re learning and experiencing).
Step One: Meet Orange thinking People:
How: In the world we live in, you can connect with people online in ways I could have never dreamed of a decade ago when I started out in ministry. If you don’t know where to start or who to connect with, send me a message and I’ll point you in the direction of an awesome Orange-thinking person in your area. It’s that easy.
(you can also check out some other Orange Week bloggers HERE)
Step Two: Read Think Orange
Cost: $15 (HERE on Amazon)
Why: This book will give you the framework that an Orange strategy is going to ask you to consider. Taking steps past this point without having this resource under your belt is going to leave you scratching your head a bunch. And, in all honesty, if you just make it through the first couple chapters before moving on, you’ll at least be starting on the right page.
Step Three: Bring your team to an Orange Tour stop
Why: The step we took before our trip to Atlanta was getting our Senior Pastor to an Orange Tour stop. After a few hours of hearing Reggie Joiner speak, I could see our team starting to get excited about where this new strategy might take us next. Now… we’re half way through the Tour season, but there are still stops you can make it to!
Bethany Community Church
8023 Green Lake Drive
Seattle, WA 98103
1700 Palopinto Avenue
Glendora, CA 91741
3 Speedwell Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
64-34 Myrtle Avenue
Glendale, NY 11385
3100 Bethlehem Church Street
Gastonia, NC 28056
Connection Pointe Christian Church
1800 North Green Street
Brownsburg, IN 46112
The Church at Argyle
6823 Argyle Forest Boulevard
Jacksonville, FL 32244
Woodsedge Community Church
25333 Gosling Road
The Woodlands, TX 77389
** Note: This is a three-hour (10:30am – 1:30pm) event focused on the Orange Strategy through the lens of Wonder, Discovery and Passion with Reggie Joiner. The cost is $15 and includes lunch.
Step 4: The Orange Conference
Cost: $239/person (if you register THIS Thursday)
Why: Ummm… did you read the post up to this point? Getting everyone on the same page is a big deal. If you’re ready to make this step, it’s worth the price of admission.