Last week I attended the morning session of the Orange Tour because my youngest son, Brett, works for them and was leading a breakout session. This fall he has been flying around the country as part of the Orange Tour. I wanted to get a taste of what he does in his new job. And I wanted to see him in action.
Prior to attending this annual event in Indianapolis, I thought Orange was primarily a company that developed great curriculum for children and student ministry. Orange does that, but I discovered that Orange is a WHOLE LOT MORE. My conclusion after listening to two keynote speakers (Reggie Joiner and Jon Acuff) is that Orange is a strategy company that creates curriculum to help accomplish the strategy. It is passionate about coaching, developing volunteers, leaders, and churches to empower the church to more effectively make more and better disciples.
Here are just some of my takeaways:
- If you want people who are not coming to your church to start coming, you probably have to change something. Church is bigger than me and my preferences.
- You don’t disciple people in a class but in a relationship. Are you building programs or investing in people?
- Your local church matters more than you believe. The evils of the world will not be fixed by politics.
- Every family matters regardless of what they look like. Some families don’t think we like them because they don’t think we like what they look like.
- Kids matter more than adults. They aren’t more valuable than adults, but the church only has a shot at them for a window of time. What happens in the life of a kid from 0-18 shapes the rest of his or her life. What you as a local church do for them shapes their life. Discipling kids is THE most important work. It has a ripple effect generation after generation.
- What your church does for kids keeps it from dying. The average age of people in a church is 60-65. Those churches are dying. That is not a knock on adults. We’ve got to get over that. What your church does for kids will make adults better Christians. You will change if you work with kids. You will change more than they will.
- Kids need something to do with someone who cares. It isn’t how cool you are but how much you care.
And I thought Orange was for children and youth pastors. Orange is about discipling people, changing lives, growing volunteers and leaders, and changing the world for Christ. You cannot be a caring lead or associate pastor without being impacted by the sessions I heard. Orange is for people who want to change their world for Christ and through it champion the discipling of kids. It is ultimately about making a huge Kingdom impact across age groups.
Regardless of your ministry role, I want to encourage you to attend the Orange Tour 2017 in Indianapolis. It is usually the second Thursday and Friday in October. In the meantime, check out http://www.whatisorange.org and give Brett’s Orange Blog a look – http://orangeblogs.org/xp3students/author/btalley/.
For more information or to talk about how thinking Orange might influence your church, contact Brett (firstname.lastname@example.org).