I am Orange!

I am Orange!

What is Orange, you ask? It is a strategy that seeks to merge the two primary influences in the life of a Christian child: church and home.

And it is by far the most comprehensive, faithful strategy available for accomplishing this task!

I became an Orange groupie about a year and a half ago after accepting the invitation to assume the position of Pastor to Students and Families at Hillside Church. Since then, my world has exploded to the potential and awesomeness of Orange! At the time, Hillside had just become an Orange-minded church due to the vision and leadership of Terri Woodard, Pastor to Children and Families. Since then, more than 3 years later, the strategy behind Orange has revolutionized not only how our church executes Family Ministry on a comprehensive level, but it has dramatically impacted the lives of our families.

Recently, I was invited to join the Orange Blogger Team, and this week is Orange Blogger Week. I will be posting about all things Orange. It is an honor to share my experiences alongside some good friends who you should get to know here.

Also, you will notice in my sidebar that I am giving away a 1-year full subscription to YouLead, the Orange tool for leadership development. I use this with my leaders, and it has been a fantastic resource for our growth as a leadership team. Get on my sweepstakes, and potentially save yourself 200 bucks!

Let me kick off my Orange Blogger Week post by offering 6 reasons for why I am Orange:

1. You don't do this alone. Every church is supported by an Orange Specialist. This person will walk with you from the beginning at your initial phone call all the way to death do you part! My Orange Specialist is Jeremy Zach. He is a friend, colleague, and resource. Quite literally, I can call him anytime for a chat or Google Hangout, and he has always made himself available to me. Orange offers an extensive community for those who undergo the great task of Family Ministry. You will not be alone with Orange.

2. Reaches out to every kid. Whether the kid is a preschooler or walking into your youth room for the first time as a Senior, the Orange curriculum provides a comprehensive teaching strategy for every age group and background. It is the only curriculum available that offers a teaching plan from birth through college.

3. Easy for Parents to use at home. I always say the best ministry with students is good ministry with parents. And let's face it: parents are busy. In order for them to buy into our ideas and direction, it needs to be as accessible as possible for them to hear and digest. Thus, Orange offers a tool called the Parent Cue, a format for parents to continue the teaching at home. Furthermore, Orange also promotes opportunities for a Family Experience - also knowns as an FX - for families to experience the core truth of that particular month's teaching together with others.

4. Connects kids to caring adults in your church. The latest research done by Kara Powell and the team at Sticky Faith argue that every kid needs at least 5 caring adults in order for faith to 'stick' beyond high school. Orange, too, has adopted this principle. The curriculum is relationally driven. The role of the small group leader becomes an additional clear voice in the life of the student that echoes the good and faithful sayings of a Christian parent.

5. Relevant and up-to-date. The curriculum is written by Orange Specialists who have been active in the field of Family Ministry for years — sometimes decades. These people know their stuff. They understand the challenges of families in America, along with key issues that face the Church. Therefore, Orange believes in a fully versatile, free market approach to curriculum. Every context is different, so upon purchase of the curriculum, Orange includes all of the components used within it, including scripts, artwork, music selection, and more. They hold nothing back, and based on this alone, it is worth every penny!

6. Customizable for every church. Orange works with mega churches and churches of less than 100, alike. It does not market to either one exclusively. In fact, Orange is used most often by smaller to medium-sized churches like mine. It is used in major urban centers and rural farm villages. It is fully customizable and adaptable, which alone makes Orange worth its weight in gold for Family Ministry leaders. According to Orange, you can "bend it, shape it, and make it your own." And truly, they stand by their word! In fact, they often showcase those who do just that the best!

I am Orange because I am for the church and the family. I long for these two entities to join forces together for the sake of our kids. Orange has been created for such a time as this, and I pray that if you are in need of a vision for Family Ministry, at the very least, adopt the Orange Strategy. It will change everything!

Question: Tell us how the Orange Strategy and/or Curriculum has impacted your Family Ministries.