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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Orange Week: Don’t Just Paint Stuff Orange

In reading through the last couple days worth of Orange Week posts, I’ve decided something: Calling something Orange doesn’t make it Orange.  In fact, trying to make something look Orange that isn’t actually Orange doesn’t help anyone.

In fact, it’s kind of like this:

2009-07-28

2009-11-30

I found this on my buddy’s blog ( Tim Scheidler posted this at tscheidler.posterous.com/yo-joe-0)… and I had to find an excuse to share it.  Orange Week should have a little “funny” involved, right?

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2010 in Kidmin, Orange

 

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Orange Week: Learning to Love Yellow

http://www.telluride.com/files/images/snowball_fight.jpg

(this picture has everything to do with Yellow initiatives – just keep reading)

When I was a kid, I lived in a rural mountain town in Northeastern California.  I spent many a morning waiting for the school bus in knee-deep snow, only to find out that school was canceled and the bus wasn’t coming.  During those long morning waits in sub-freezing temperatures, we would have snowball fights, build forts, dig tunnels and catch falling snowflakes on our tongues.  But, as much fun as the snow was, there was always an unbreakable rule: don’t touch the yellow snow.

For those of you who’ve experienced a childhood of snowy winters, you know the rule I’m talking about – everyone stayed away from the snow that had been used by animals on their mornings walks or little boys who had one too many cups of hot cocoa before heading to the bus stop.  And because of those experiences, I’ve always been a little weary around the color yellow.

So, imagine my first thoughts when I heard that the great minds over at Orange referred to the church as yellow.

However, years of talking with leaders who’ve been a part of the Orange movement have won me over – I’m actually beginning to like the color yellow.

Kenny Conley, who came up with the blogging schedule for Orange Week, posted some great words for kidmin leaders yesterday about the differences between Red and Yellow initiatives.  You should go check them out.  Here’s the full link: http://www.childrensministryonline.com/family/defining-the-red

Calling it Yellow or Red

Here’s my take:
Yellow initiatives are instances when the church tries to leverage it’s resources to reach families with the light of the Gospel.  When churches aren’t seeking out ways to equip and partner with families, when they forget that God’s plan has always included leveraging families, the Yellow begins to leave a bad taste in the mouths of kids and parents.  As we watch mainline denominations plummet in attendance, membership and influence, I begin to think of that snow near the bus stop that we all avoided as kids.  There is such a thing as being too yellow.

If red initiatives are events, programs and strategies that bring families one step closer to the Church… then yellow initiatives are those instances when the church takes a few steps closer to seeking out and equipping families.

The next post in this series will look at a couple real-life examples of initiatives our church has done to think “family first.”

Again, I’ve heard it said too many times that Orange ministry isn’t practical… tomorrow’s post probably isn’t going to change your mind, but it might get you thinking about baby steps you might take toward the partnership between churches and families.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2010 in Kidmin, Orange

 

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Orange Week: What Red Looks Like

(my favorite 3D view master reel growing up was a Transformers slide show.  thanks for asking!)

We’re still at the front end of Orange Week and plowing ahead with some practical looks at the Red side of Orange.
If you want a quick read of what it means to “see Red” check out this awesome post from Gina McClain: I See Red People.

Previously, I quickly referred to our church’s 1:1 Family Events that we’re trying this year as one of our Red Initiatives.  I received a number of DM’s through Twitter (a great way to get a hold of me, btw) and enough messages via email and Facebook that I thought I’d post a more in-depth look at our most recent 1:1 event.

Mother/Son BMX Stunt Show

I was sitting down with my friend and ministry assistant, Staci Travisano (@stacitrav), at the beginning of the year, dreaming about what events parents in our community would want to enjoy with their kids, when Staci informed me that the one event we had to do was a Mother/Son BMX Stunt Show.  One of the things I dig most about Staci is her knack for having a pulse on what is relevant to families in our community – so… the Stunt Show was inked in as our follow-up Family Event to this year’s VBS.  No questions asked (well… a couple questions.  But, that’s mostly because I have trust issues…).

In preparation for the event, here was the information we sent out to families who signed up in advance (we posted this on our church’s website and facebook page for extra publicity): EVENT INFO

The wins for our 1:1 events are simple.  We want to provide a space for parents to spend quality time with their kids.  We want to provide a space for families (churched AND unchurched) with shared interests and stories to connect with each other.  We want to provide tools that will facilitate a conversation that will happen at home.  We don’t want to lose a lot of money (okay… that one’s my bonus win.  but, it’s budget season and that’s where my head is.  just being honest).

Because she planned most of the event and LOVED the heck out of it (I’ll admit, it was one of the cooler things we’ve recently done as a ministry team), I asked Staci to recap the event for you.

Here are her words:

A little over a month ago, we hosted an event at our church that I was so humbled and proud to be a part of in so many ways.  For our Mother/Son event night our team produced a BMX stunt show with a Corn Dog catering truck – families even brought blankets and chairs for seating!  We planned to host the event on the first Friday that our schools would be back in session so that (a) family schedules would not yet be full and (b) daylight and weather would be optimal.

The result – rocktacular success!

The kids (most of whom measure entertainment on a Disney level since we live 30 minutes from the Disneyland Resort and our city hosts the X Games) in attendance were absolutely entertained and inspired by the legitimate world class performance of the BMX stunt team, while the parents marveled at the sheer joy of their children.

The idea was simple and reaped a harvest of rewards in the following ways.
(1) The event created a sense of community as moms compared notes about all things “back to school” and rasing boys. (2) this gave moms and sons a platform for creating memories (3) The stunt team performed their show on the patio,the same spot that leads to our worship center, which creates a sense of “this church is fun and let’s us be who we are!” (4) we were able to publicize fall programs and introduce staff from an exciting and non “church” manner to the unchurched families in attendance.

I look forward to our next event – Father/Daughter bowling on 10.10.10!  Check back for that recap on (or shortly after) October 11th!

Seriously, if you can’t tell, Staci LOVED this event.  And, the cool thing is, so did the other moms in attendance.  Personally, I loved lingering in the background during the event (I didn’t pick up the microphone once!) – watching moms connect with other moms, little guys (my own son included) in awe of the stunts being done in front of them, and seeing families reconnect after what was already a busy and stressful first week of school.  The event wasn’t crazy expensive for families ($10 for adults, $5 for kids) and we provided assistance and scholarships to families who are struggling financially.

All in all, it was a great event for Glenkirk and a great event for families in our community.  There are even a couple families who used this event as a gateway into life at our church.

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Still have questions about our 1:1 events?  Want a PDF copy of the Table Talk we sent home with families?
Contact me – I’m more than willing to share!

twitter (@anthony_prince)
facebook (www.facebook.com/anthonyprince)

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Kidmin, Orange

 

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Orange Week: Code Red

http://www.littlelostrobot.com/images/little_red_robot052206.jpg

(if you were wondering what I want for Christmas, this robot alarm clock would be just fine)

In the world of Orange, Red is the color that represents families.

Red reminds us that the love of a family is one of the greatest influences in a child’s life.  My understanding of the Orange strategy, coupled with the influence of my friend, Gina McClain (currently @ Faith Promise Church), has led me to believe (with all of my heart) that what happens at home matters more than what happens at church.  With that in mind, one of our strategic plans for this year has been to equip and encourage parents and children to live out their faith at home alongside friends and family.

You are not alone

Our first step in trying to go Red this year was to connect families together.  As Henry Zonio (blogging @ Elemental CM) pointed out to me at the Idea Camp a couple years ago, the church often freaks parents out when it tells them that passing the faith on to their kids is up to them.  Parents, at one point or another in life, go through times when they feel like failures.  So, if you tell them that their kid’s decision to follow Jesus is all up to them… and they already feel like they’re in-over-their-head with “regular” parenting issues… parents will often disengage and stop trying to partner with you before they even start.  But, if you can show them that they’re not alone – that there are other parents going through the same struggles and trials – parents are more likely to join the team.  Tearing down the wall of “I’m a failure” begins with getting parents plugged into a community of failures… or, as I like to call us, parents.

Bringing families together

At Glenkirk Church, we started a new thing this year called our 1:1 events.  Well, I’ll be honest, we only call them that behind closed doors.  Instead, we’ve called them Father/Son Monster Truck Rally, Mother/Son BMX Stunt Show and Father/Daughter Bowling (our Mother/Daughter event is still yet to come).  What do Monster Trucks, BMX tricks, and Bowling have to do with each other?  The idea is simple: we’re giving families a chance to connect around shared experiences.  We’re investing in families by investing in the relationships that exist in the unique relationships that exist between parent and child.  We’re investing in families by investing in experiences that are shared with others in the community who have a common thread (one of the best ice breakers for a conversation between parents can be a quick conversation about daughters or sons… we see it all the time).

Sending families home

If connecting families is step one, then giving families an easy “1st win” at home is step two.

At the end of all of our family experiences (1:1 events, Kids’ Camp Wrap-Up Parties, Family Events, etc.), we hand parents a little tool we call a Table Talk.  Table Talks are designed to give families a question or two to discuss during the next meal that the family shares together.  Table Talks are usually quarter sheet take home pages… one side has 4-6 discussion questions (2 for the kids to ask the parents, 2 for parents to ask the kids and 1-2 to talk about together), and the other side has our line-up of 3 “next step” events (usually: our current sermon series, a discipleship event/program, our next family event).  By giving families something they can do at home that a) everyone else is doing and b) isn’t hard to do, we hope that we’re beginning to model my belief that what happens at home matters more than what happens at church.

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Following along with the Orange Week conversation?  Get caught up by reading Kenny Conley’s (www.childrensministryonline.com) post “What is Orange”.

Want to know more about our 1:1 events or other ways that our church is engaging families?  Comment below!

Check in tomorrow to see what “Going Red” has looked like for our church’s Sunday morning experiences…
(warning: we recently changed everything!)

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 28, 2010 in Kidmin, Orange

 

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Orange Week TwentyX: The Launch

http://bluehousetavern.com/blog/research/images/Armageddon1.jpg

(by the way, am I the only one who doesn’t remember that Owen Wilson was in Armageddon…?)

Today is the official launch of Orange Week.  So… what is it?

Glad you asked!

Orange is…

A few years back, Orange began.  Well, not the color – of course.  The color orange has been around for at least a few decades.  What I mean to say is that the foundations of an orange strategy began to form.  The idea that two combined forces are greater than a single force became the foundation for a movement that continues to point toward a partnership between churches (represented by the color yellow) and families (represented by the color red).

You can read the brief (and semi-accurate) history of this movement HERE.

Orange is not…

When I first heard of Orange, I thought it was the blending of kidmin and student ministries – creating a seamless strategy to reach with the Gospel and teach kids about Jesus throughout their formational years.  That wasn’t quite it. Though part of the orange strategy deals with aligning the church’s teams to work together, that isn’t all that Orange is.

I’ve also heard voices in different ministry circles and tables I’ve sat around, that Orange is a dream… that it can’t be a reality.  Those voices are wrong.  Orange is more than just a dream – it’s happening.

So… what is Orange Week?

I am humbled to be a part of some of the conversations I find myself in these days.  Seriously… it’s kind of ridiculous.
A recent conversation happened via email and has led to this amazing roster of bloggers and ministry practitioners who want to share their experiences with Orange.  We’re calling the product of that conversation “Orange Week” – creative, right?  Orange Week is bigger than one church, or one ministry experience, or a dream that only exists on paper.  The series of posts that will be written on this blog and over a dozen others will share the trials, failures and victories of churches and Christ-followers who have realized the potential of partnering families with the church to do more than they could ever dream of doing on their own.

The schedule, across the board, will look a little something like this:

(by the way, I totally hijacked this list from Kenny Conley @ childrensministryonline.com)

Tuesday, September 28th: Intro to the strategy/Red initiatives
Wednesday, September 29th: Red initiatives
Thursday, September 30th: Yellow initiatives
Friday, October 1st: Yellow initiatives
Saturday, October 2nd: Ideas that didn’t work
Sunday, October 3rd: Ideas we’re dreaming about
Monday, October 4th: Take-aways from past Orange Conferences
Tuesday, October 5th: Woo Hoo, Orange ‘11 registration is open!

You can follow along with the conversation on this blog, as well as the others who are a part of this project.

The roster, as it stands now, looks like this:

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This should be a pretty awesome week… though, it’s not for the faint of heart (seriously, there are going to be a TON of posts this week… you’re going to want to revisit some of these posts over the next few weeks because you KNOW you’re going to be blurry-eyed by Friday).

Check back later today for the definition of a Red initiative and what they look like in our context.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2010 in Kidmin, Orange

 

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Orange Week 2: The Sequel

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3655/3595415779_82319be856.jpg

A ton of content will be rolling this way over the next week as I join a community of “Orange-minded” thinkers for our second annual Orange Week.

In case you missed out on the last time we joined forces to tackle communicating the Orange Strategy and how it has impacted our ministries, you can follow these links for further reading:

Orange Week: Intro

Integrated Strategy

Refine the Message

Elevate Community

Reactivate the Family

Leverage Influence

Kenny Conley (childrensministryonline.com) has posted a quick intro to what is different about this year’s Orange Week – and he has a full list of this year’s contributers… you can find that post here:
http://www.childrensministryonline.com/family/orange-week-2-0/

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2010 in Orange

 

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The Order of Things

http://westcoastcm.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/90s_flowchart-09182008png.png?w=300

(I love flowcharts and priority lists… more of that in a moment)

After a brief summer hiatus, posts will start coming more frequently.

I have some deep convictions about what this blog is and what this blog isn’t… I’m not SO into self promotion that I’m going to sacrifice things of lesser importance in order to keep posts regular.

That said, there are just a few times I’ll bail from blogging regularly… and those times are intentional. When I began posting thoughts in this space a few years back, I drew up some guidelines and priorities to help me along the way.

Today, I want to share with you The Order of Things.

I’m no good to the conversation if I’m no good to my church

There are amazing voices in the national conversation who aren’t involved in active day-to-day church ministry. I’m not saying that their voices don’t mean anything. What I AM saying is that, in order for my voice to mean anything (… and, let’s be honest, it should never be the loudest voice in the conversation), I need to focus on my local church and our local ministry.

This last May/June, our Student Ministry Director announced her resignation and I took on the oversight of all programming for kids and youth – cradle to college. The time that I regularly set aside for blogging and other conversations went on hold until we felt like we had things under control and set for the future. Not only did I pull back from blogging, but I pulled back in my pursuit of my 5 People to Meet list (See that list HERE) and may possibly put it off until next year.

At the end of the day, I’m stoked with those choices because I set up a system of checks and balances that reminds me that I’m useless in those conversations if I’m useless at my church.

I’m no good to my church if I’m no good to my family

I’ve seen too many of my ministry friends burn their family out by reversing that statement.  For some reason, those of us in ministry often sacrifice our relationships with our kids and spouses in the name of our church.  It’s easy to do – I think that’s why we see it so often.

It’s easy for me to say that leading a family to know Jesus is more important than bedtime stories with my toddler – and, for the short term, I think you can make that case.  However, if you want to be involved in ministry for more than a couple years, your family has to come first.  I didn’t come up with that idea – but I’m owning it and trying to live it out as much as I know how to.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit (and I’m not just admitting this because my awesome wife reads and supports this blog) that I occasionally miss putting the kids to bed because of church events.  But – it breaks my heart every time.  The minute it stops breaking my heart – I need to check my motives and push the reset button on my calendar.

If I truly think that what happens in a family’s living room is more important than what happens at church, then I need to live that out in my own life.

I’m no good to my family if I’m not right with Jesus

At the end of the day, it all boils down to this.

Ministry and life have to flow out of my relationship with my Creator.  It’s a non-negotiable.  How can I expect my own children to seek out a relationship with God if I’m not modeling that for them with my own life?  How can I encourage parents to talk with their kids about Jesus if I’m not doing the same?  How can I write about equipping families and sharing the Gospel with them if I’m not ACTUALLY doing it?  This is THE first thing when it comes to priorities.

It’s not always easy.

My senior pastor and friend, Jim Miller (pastorjamesmiller.com), spoke this last Sunday (listen to the podcast HERE)  about the consequences of Genesis 3 – one of them being that one of the things that most separates a guy like me from a healthy relationship with God is my work (Gen 3:17-19).

I have to take care of the first things first if I’m going to have a voice that carries in the kidmin world… and having a voice in that conversation can never be a higher priority than my church, my family, or my faith.

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All that to say, I’m back.  Not because I have everything figured out – but because I’m working hard enough on the things that matter that I want to spend some time sharing some thoughts and ideas with the rest of the community.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 27, 2010 in Kidmin, Resources

 

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