orange books

Rethink Leadership Conference Day 2 #OC16 #RL16

Rethink Leadership Conference Day 2 #OC16 #RL16


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.  

How I Became Orange

How I Became Orange

My journey with Orange began 4 years ago - at a former church in another state on the other side of the coast - leading a ministry with a staff team in a city for which I still an enormous amount of respect to this very day!

I started my employment and pastoral leadership over the Hillside Church student ministry in August 2011. Ironically, I began this journey on the same exact day that my Lead Pastor started his employment, as well. To some, this may seem so bizarre. It was for sure, but for us in our context, it was the best possible scenario, for it opened doors for both my Lead Pastor and me to explore Orange with our Family Ministry Team without any pretense or hesitation. 

6 Reasons Why I Choose Orange

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 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.

Just Consider the Orange Conference

Just Consider the Orange Conference

It will be worth your while. In fact, if I was independently wealthy, then I would offer a full refund to you out of my own pocket if you did not find value in it!!! Take a look at this recap video from last year's conference, and see for yourself all of the potential in store for you at #OC15 (if you are reading this from your email - thank you for subscribing - and please view the video in your web browser):

Making Your Church a Place Where Kids Belong

Making Your Church a Place Where Kids Belong

Today is my third blog post of 3 featuring the latest initiative by a premier family-focused ministry organization called Orange. For more information about Orange, check out their site

This week, the brilliant folks at Orange launched, an online resource of their most recent publications. I highly commend Orange and their philosophy of family ministry to you for a number of reasons, but namely, they inspire, encourage, and equip folks from across the ecclesial spectrum to do better family-based ministry within their local context. Hands down, as a Student Pastor, with more than 10 years of experience in the field, it is the best stuff on the market.

You can read some of my many blog posts about Orange here.  

And who doesn't want to do better ministry?

5 Things Great Student Pastors Choose to Believe

5 Things Great Student Pastors Choose to Believe

Yesterday, I shared with you about a new initiative started by a high-impact family-based ministry organization called Orange. This week, they officially released the launch of Orange Books, a digital library of their most recent publications. 

I highly commend this resource to you, regardless of whether you are a full-time Family Pastor at a large church or a caring adult who loves on your neighborhood kids. These resources will equip you to do better work with families in your sphere of influence. 

In his latest book, Ben Crawshaw outlines 5 things that Student Pastors should choose to believe (really, 5 things that everyone should choose to believe) in order to do great in ministry. He lists them as follows, Student Pastors who thrive choose to believe that:

How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last

How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last

If you have read my posts for any amount of time, you may know that I am quite fond of a family ministry organization called Orange. I have written several posts about Orange, and I highly encourage you to check them out in my Archives. Truly, they have equipped me to lead better in every facet of my ministry - from parents to students to working with my Lead Pastor. I highly commend them to you as a resource and support community. 

A quick caveat for non-paid youth workers: I highly commend this Orange to you as a resource regardless of your capacity in family ministry. I believe that anyone who reads an Orange resource - whether you are a Lead Pastor, Youth Pastor, volunteer, parent, or caring adult - you will be further equipped to support your local church and participate in the work of God in the lives of families living in your community. 

This week, Orange launched a new initiative. They opened to the public for the first time