Think Orange Group Blog Project – Chapter 10: Essential #5 Leverage Influence

(photo originally uploaded to Flickr by charsplat)

Today we are taking a look at chapter ten of Think Orange entitled “Essential #5 Leverage Influence.” The contributor for this review is Diana Loach. Diana is the Director of Children’s Ministries at St. Giles Kingsway Presbyterian Church in Etobicoke, Ontario and has recently joined the team of Resource Consultants with David. C. Cook. You can connect with Diana on Twitter by clicking here.

One of the things that the church has very carefully done in past generations is to create learning environments. We have structured classrooms, and chosen curriculum resources that have our students work through their notes. Chapter 10 has the reader take a look at how we can “Leverage Influence” – a thought-provoking challenge to “create consistent opportunities for students to experience personal ministry”.

Reggie begins the chapter by having us ponder the mountain climbing teaching method that never has the student climb the mountain – just read about the fundamentals, hear from people who have been to the mountain top, and look at pictures from climbing expeditions. Why would one expect the book taught climber to be able to venture up the face of the mountain successfully. It just seems ridiculous, doesn’t it.

Yet, that’s just what we have done with our students experience of God. The truest way to learn where we fit in God’s Story is to actually find our place in it. I have long been a supporter of having teens work with the younger students in children’s ministry. It truly benefits everyone – the younger kids strive to “keep up” with the teens, and the teens develop leadership skills and get to see their faith grow through action. By engaging our teens in active ministry opportunity we ensure for them:

  • a dynamic faith in God (that’s wonder).
  • a personal identity in Christ (that’s discovery).
  • a responsive heart toward others (that’s passion).

It is through these foundations that parents and leaders will “…see the Greatest Commandment show up in their kids lives, and by when that happens, the family wins, and the church has done it’s job.”

We are doing a great disservice to our youth if we never let them develop into the lamp stands that God has called them to be…if we teach them to recite the Great Commission, but never give the hands on skills to live that directive. It’s a little like climbing a mountain after only reading the handbook – we have to learn from someone who’s been there.

You can check out the other posts in this project:

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7 thoughts on “Think Orange Group Blog Project – Chapter 10: Essential #5 Leverage Influence

  1. Tom Bump says:

    having served as both a youth pastor and children's pastor, I have always valued and held in high priority the idea of giving the youth opportunities to serve. I start them serving before they are ever teens. In our children's ministry the kids do as much as I do some weeks. I love having them serve as greeters, game leaders. They run sound, do puppets, lead worship and pray with others. My hope is that as they begin serving in their early years they will develop a passion for serving later too. For the most part, this is exactly what has happened. The kids grow up and lead as teens. I have always believed that this really helps the youth figure out their faith and develop their skills and passion for service. The more they use their gifts the stronger the ministry will be.

  2. Barbara Graves says:

    This is one that we have in place all ready, and are working backwards to establish it as the "norm" for the middle and high school kids. Right now a few of the kids help with the preschool and elementary classes. They help with crafts, lead games, and run the computer. We have established 3 "small groups" to help guide, train and develop these kids, one for drama, one for tech, and one for music. Now, to find the right people to lead those groups….. 🙂

    We are still a young church, and just becoming more organized in our policies, procedures, and planning. We definitely want to plan Orange as we go, and this is the bottom floor. I'm glad that we have naturally "thought orange" in this area all ready. It makes it easier to develop that group that is all ready using what they have been taught, and actually are "climbing the mountain".

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