If you’re not able to get to the Orange Tour, these notes will almost make you feel like you were there. Long post, but full of great details and Orange-isms! Thanks to Keith Tusing, who regularly blogs at CMBuzz.com
Ok, I’ve just arrived at CCV (Christ Church of the Valley) in Phoenix, AZ. It is an incredibly beautiful day with clear blue skies and the temp at a wonderful 65 degrees. CCV has an amazing campus with their children’s building being their latest addition. It is one of the premier churches in the Valley of the Sun and a great choice for them to be hosts for Orange Tour Phoenix.
Our meeting is being held in the youth building which has all the tech bells and whistles to make the experience first-rate. As you enter the building you notice the over-sized comfy coaches to your left and the snack bar to your right. This is where a very smooth and painless registration takes place. Once we’ve checked in we receive a copy of Reggie’s new book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. If you haven’t read it I would highly recommend that you and encourage your parents to get a copy for themselves.
Once we enter the conference room you see a stage flooded with Orange – surprising isn’t it. The first thing I notice on the stage is the shelving unit littered with several framed family photos – it will become apparent how these are key to today’s discussion. Center stage is a white wooden board with Orange light bulbs spelling out Think Orange – which I’m sure most of us do on a daily basis.
As the program begins Reggie confesses to being a Metro-Sexual and as proof he lets us know he shops when he is stressed. Not sure if that is enough to qualify him for the Metro-sexual label? But the benefit to those in attendance is that he was shopping for gifts to give away to the crowd. After apparently spending his evening in the Scottsdale mall the gifts include shoes, baby clothes, and more. Of course all have the color Orange incorporated into the attire.
Next, we are treated to a video recording of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody performed at the Orange conference. Of course the lyrics have been changed and the song now recognizes the volunteers in a very light hearted way. This was one of the highlights of the Orange Conference and also of the tour.
Reggie, Carey & Sue now begin to share the five issues that drive what Orange is about:
Strategy – a plan of action with the end in mind – you have to be intentional about getting everyone on the same page
Message – how you communicate what is important to the next generation – how it’s packaged determines whether or not it will be heard – teams should wrestle with their messaging – 40 hours makes everything you teach incredibly important!
Community – a belief that one of the greatest gifts that you can give to a child is to put another adult in their life that will communicate the same things their parents are saying – organize your ministry in such a way that consistent adults in the lives of kids.
“If you’re not putting consistent adults in the lives of kids you’re not discipling them.”
They will have a much better chance of having a dynamic faith.
Influence – setting up a life where they are created and designed to fit into a greater story – they should have a sense of mission – attending a program and being the church are two different things – the church is about who I am and who I am influencing
Family – how do we synchronize and partner with parents? If we do not engage the family we will always struggle –
Our potential to influence the next generation is linked to what we think about the family. What needs to change to engage families?
We must recognize that some people are influenced by the church – Everyone is influenced by Family
Somewhere along the way we developed a picture of what we think family should look like. The “stock family picture” isn’t real and doesn’t tell the story of what’s really taking place. 23.5% of families in the United States are defined by married couples who live with their own biological children.
If you hold too tightly to the ideal picture you set yourself up to be disillusioned.
The stories of the real families that Reggie shared were moving and help to point out how we need to adjust our thinking about family. What do the real families do from where they are now? A new vision of how to reach and minister to families is needed!
Dysfunctional Bible Families:
Adam & Eve
Jacob & Esau
David & Basheba
Joseph & Mary – forgot Jesus in the Temple – CPS would have a field day with that one.
There are no scriptural models of the perfect family in the Bible.
God doesn’t use perfect pictures, He uses broken people. God desire is to work through every family to demonstrate his story of restoration and redemption. God is at work telling a story of restoration and redemption through your family. Never buy into the myth that you need to become the “right” kind of parent before God can use you in your children’s lives. Instead, learn to cooperate with whatever God desires to do in your heart today so your children will have a front-row seat to the grace and goodness of God. Parent Beyond Your Capacity
It is a Story not a Picture – God has a story that he wants to write in your life
Families don’t need a better picture, they need a bigger story.
a. The Better Picture Approach
b. The Bigger Story Approach
When you approach parents from a “bigger story” perspective you expand the potential to influence their children.
We are surrounded by a multitude of families who don’t see the church as a viable option.
“The only reason I (Reggie) came to Phoenix – I don’t know your story but I know a lot of us are sitting here holding broken pieces. Throw them away – let God take you and work through a restoration process that will tell His story to families everywhere.” The hope for our families is churches that will say it’s not about a picture it’s about a story of redemption and restoration.
In three words this first session of the Orange tour: Emotional – Powerful – Challenging.