Today we are looking at the second chapter in Think Orange entitled “Bright Lights.” Our contributor for this review is Theresa Haskins. Theresa is a volunteer in children’s ministry at Northside Christian Church in Yorktown, Virginia. Theresa is also the author of the Passionate Children’s Servant blog.
One thing communicated over and over throughout this chapter (and the entire book) is that every “influence” and “essential” (explained in later chapters of the book) is defined in Scripture. As a matter of fact, every aspect of “orange” comes straight from God Himself (and leaders that must be extremely knowledgeable in His Word).
Chapter 2 outlines the influence and responsibility of the Church in the orange strategy. The author begins by defining one primary function of the church in society-to turn on a light. He provides Scriptural references, as well as various other Spiritual leaders’ opinions, to confirm his point. “The church exists to show the world who Jesus is.” He goes on to compare the light concept with the lampstand of the early church. He explains that the lampstand was the only source of light in the tabernacle of God and that the priest was responsible for keeping it lit; never allowing it to burn out. He points out the relationship of the Old Testament lampstand and the body of Christ, and states the Church’s focus should be concentrated on showing others who God is. He explains that the Church’s job is clearly defined: keep the wicks trimmed, the light burning, and the lampstand in its proper place. The Church will be irresistible if it reveals the sacrifice Jesus made. Its effect will be weakened if the lampstand is moved or compromised in any way.
He challenges all of us to BE the church; not be hindered by the way things have always been. Ultimately, all leaders should refer to James’ statement in Acts 15:19: “It is my judgment ….that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” No matter what our denomination or view-what ultimately matter is someone’s relationship with God.
The statistics prove that what the Church is doing now doesn’t work-kids raised in the Church are not staying after they become young adults (and their parents aren’t making them go). We, the existing leadership, must serve as role models to the next generation. We must BE the church-we must do what Jesus did, give to one another. In that way, by shining His light, the next generation will understand the mission.
Our Church, Northside Christian Church-located in Yorktown, Virginia, has been focusing on “being” the Church for some time. As a matter of fact, we had a huge “Be the Church” launch – where every member of the children’s ministry was given a t-shirt with those exact words on it (and who doesn’t love a cool t-shirt?). The children’s programming is strategically aligned with reaching the lost-huge VBS programs (over 600 children); neighborhood block parties in the summer inviting the children to VBS and weekly programming; collections of food, school supplies, winter items, etc. for the less fortunate-where the children participate in the delivery of items; and numerous collections for ministries abroad (shoe boxes, monetary collections, etc.). Our Church as a whole conducts many no-strings-attached outreach programs in our community (too numerous to mention) and my girls and I volunteer to serve in just about every one of them! I know, from personal experience, that young girls watch their moms! I was so incredibly blessed to have been given a fabulous Christian role-modeling mother. Whether children admit it or not, they want to be just like you, which created in me a deep desire to be a good role model.
With being heavily involved in children’s ministry, it allows you the opportunity to follow the strategic changes taking place in ministry as a whole, which in turn creates a strong desire to make a difference for His Kingdom! I am SO passionate about making a difference in the next generation. And I must say that the orange strategy has changed my life! I am on-board hook, line and sinker!
You can check out other posts in this series:
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10