One of the most important events on my annual professional calendar is the Orange Conference.
Why Orange? In sum, when it comes to a student ministry curriculum, I have not found one as powerful, versatile, comprehensive, and intentional as Orange. It cares for the middle school student just as much as the elderly aunt who takes care of him. Orange seeks to equip the entire family, not just the teenage kid, for both individual and familial faith. That simple.
As a user since 2011, I've continually been sold by how well it prepares me to share the Gospel with teenagers and build parent partnerships for faithful ministry in the home.
This post originally appeared on the Orange Leaders Blog on June 22, 2016.
What is the toughest question you’ve ever had to answer, and who asked it?
Given that somehow you made your way to this exceptional community called Orange Leaders, I automatically know a few things about you:
Not long ago my wife introduced me to the best show on television... Chopped. I love it. Hands down noting beats it. A simple show in concept: four chefs compete against one another using a basket of mystery ingredients - yet so captivating!
Why? Because the ingredients equalize the playing field. Whether the chef be a novice out of culinary a school or a multi-restaurant owner veteran, each chef receives the ingredients at the same time and must respond to them.
The ingredients are the star of the show. They call out the character of the chef. Not the other way around. It's the ingredients that define the path.
Said C.S. Lewis, "The prayer that precedes all prayers is may the real me meet the real you."
A great friend of mine from college once shared this quote with me. He and I served in Young Life together, leading high school students toward a growing relationship with Jesus. I can recall that he ended nearly every one of his ministry talks with this quote just prior to closing in prayer:
"May the real me meet the real you."
I probably listened to him share this quote with me dozens of times. I think I also used it. But quite honestly, I don't think I understood the meaning behind it until much later in life. Intellectually I understood it. It's simple in structure, but truly profound in its meaning.
Perhaps I missed it time after time because inherent within this quote lays an assumption that you know the real you.
Know your message enough to find the direction, but leave it open enough to let the Holy Spirit inspire new content.
For humor, build the island, but then make sure that you make a sturdy bridge to and from the island. Satire is about an idea, but mockery is about an individual. We are not called to mockery.
Put handles on ideas so that we can carry them forward. We have enough ideas. Put a handle on them.