Stacey Windover is a children’s pastor in Corpus Christi, TX at The Summit Church. In addition to taking care of one husband, three kids, two dogs, a cat, a fish and a frog, she seeks opportunities to introduce Jesus to children and help them grow in their faith. Stacey is also the author of Oh My Stars blog.
What is “Orange?” If you are tempted to say a great color, you are only partly correct. Orange is a way of thinking. Although I have believed wholeheartedly in the Orange vision for a couple of years, the vision is becoming even more clear with the first chapter of “Think Orange” by Reggie Joiner.
It’s all about the advantage of combining influences. “When you think orange, you see how two combined influences make a greater impact than just two influences.” The example Reggie used that combined finding homes for children with great photography and art galleries created a powerful movement that caused inquiries about adopting these children to double. Separately, these two entities were both doing a great job, but together, the outcome is remarkable. Yep, that’s Orange!
The church has an even greater potential to become remarkable! The church isn’t just a small percentage of the population, it’s potential is THE population! My heart is racing after writing that! “Think Orange” is about combining the church and the home for the sake of impacting the next generation. The church is represented with yellow and families are represented with red, combining these two influences creates a radical shift in strategy!
Seven years ago, my mind shifted radically. I believe that each year ministry needs to be evaluated. I have always taken the time to ask leaders, volunteers, parents and students their opinion about what is happening in ministry. Well seven years ago I realized that although that’s good, it’s not good enough. I never considered asking our junior high pastor if we were handing him kids that were ready for junior high ministry. I asked. I found out we weren’t. Our JH pastor wanted students to know their testimony before they got to junior high. Simple, but that’s when the light came on! We needed to change our strategy to combine our influence! So we started meeting together on a regular basis. Not just us, we included the senior high pastor and the Christian development pastor as well! Big powerful ORANGE change!
Instead of working on the same thing at the same time with a different strategy, helping children and students grow in their faith, we all began working on the same thing at the same time with the same strategy. It was challenging. It caused us to redesign our programming. It convinced us that partnering with parents could give children and students a better chance. It was worth it. Advantage….ORANGE!!
Amy Dolan is the founder of Lemon Lime Kids as well as the author of the blog by the same name. Amy has worked in children’s spiritual formation and leadership in several different contexts including Willow Creek Church, The Chapel and the Willow Creek Association. You can find out more about Amy and Lemon Lime Kids by clicking here.
chapter 1: orange-ology
from the first page of this book, it’s clear to the reader that author reggie joiner is passionate about one thing: creating a synergistic approach to influencing faith in the next generation. he writes that both the church and the family are at a crossroads. and that it’s time for a radical change. a new approach. a new mindset. and a new partnership.
his solution: think orange – connecting the church and home.
in this first chapter, reggie joiner paints a picture for the importance of the color orange: the color created when red and yellow (two primary colors) combine efforts. he writes about the importance of creating a third color or a third option, and that most oftentimes, positive change and innovation result when two combined influences merge together.
the two combined influences represent the church and home, and the potential greater impact on the next generation’s faith when the two entities merge efforts rather than continuing to do their own good but separate work. reggie describes the merging this way, “both groups are simultaneously hard at work to build faith in children, but the problem is that they are not working in sync. working on the same thing at the same time is not as effective as working on the same thing at the same time with the same strategy.” (p.24)
even though i was already rather familiar with the think orange concept before reading the book, i really enjoyed reading this first chapter as a reminder that something definitely needs to change. our children and youth continue to leave the church and at times even abandon their faith. i care too much about the spiritual formation of children to be ok with these facts – and i appreciate reggie’s heart and tireless work to change this.
i have always wondered if there could be room for more than 2 combined influences working together for a child’s faith. in my neighborhood, children spend more time at school and participating in sports than attending church and even being at home with their families. i’ve wondered what a partnership with school teachers and athletic coaches along with parents and sunday school teachers would look like – all of a child’s influences working together for the wholistic development of that child. i imagine great things might happen!
now it’s your turn:
1. what comes to mind when you think of the color orange?
2. what might a first step toward a third approach (merging church and home strategies) look like in your church?
You can check out other post in this project: