To wrap up Orange Blogger Week, I want to share with you why I continue to choose the Orange philosophy and curriculum, even while so many other organizations improve each year on curriculum writing and production.
Over the years, I have written quite a bit about Orange on my blog, and you can view every single article on my Archives Page under the Orange heading. Every time I write about Orange, I realize even more why I value this organization. It is a unique one in several ways, but I want to highlight 6 reasons in particular that feature the hallmarks of the organization. They follow:
1. Orange provides a rich community of leaders, as well as accessibility to the curriculum authors, to walk with you through every single part of the process. Every church is supported by an Orange Specialist. This person will walk with you from the beginning of your initial phone call all the way through the rest of your season at Orange! One such person who has become a good Orange friend is Jeremy Zach. He is a friend, colleague, and invaluable student ministry resource. Quite literally, I can call upon him anytime for a chat or Google Hangout, and he has always made himself available to me. Over the years, he has transitioned from an Orange Specialist to a friend and colleague who know oversees the curriculum production. Furthermore, Orange offers an extensive community for those who undergo the great task of Family Ministry. Through partnering with Orange, you will become catapulted into a like-minded community of other leaders.
2. The Orange curriculum - more so than any other - attempts to incorporate every kid, regardless of her or his faith background, into the teaching series. 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 one of the few curriculums available that offers both a teaching plan from birth through college and a comprehensive faith scope and cycle for discipleship.
3. Orange is designed for Parents to use at home. I always say that good student ministry is good ministry with parents. True discipleship incorporates not only the values and story of the church, but especially, the values and story of the family, as well. It is a both/and! But let's face it: parents are busy. A middle and high school parent is being hit and solicited from every direction, so whatever we give a parent must be as accessible as possible for them to hear, read, and digest. To not do that is to not care for our parents. Regarding Orange, every series includes a tool called the Parent Cue, a format for parents to continue the teaching from church at home. Furthermore, Orange also promotes opportunities for a Family Experience - also knowns as an FX - for families to experience together the core truth of Scripture together in a church community with others.
4. Orange 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. It all hinges upon a called and equipped small group leader to serve as an additional clear voice in the life of the student that echoes the good and faithful sayings of the Student Pastor and Christian parent.
5. Orange is relevant. 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. As a result, Orange offers 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, for you to modify and adapt to your ministry. They hold nothing back and this by itself makes it worth every penny!
6. Orange is customizable for every church. Orange works with mega churches, along with 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. And I would argue, Orange even works best for smaller to mid-sized churches. It is used in major urban contexts, as well as 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 choose Orange because the curriculum frees me to serve the church and the family to the best of my ability. Better than any other curriculum, it joins the church and family together for the sake of the faith formation of your students. Orange has been created for such a time as this, and I pray that if you need of a vision for Family Ministry, at the very least, visit whatisorange.com. It will change everything for you.
QUESTION: If you use Orange, I would love to hear from you about how you use it. And if you are new to Orange, then visit the site and tell me about your initial impressions.