by Karen Malone
Wow! The Orange Strategy has been life changing for our ministry! I began serving as children’s ministry director at Faith Chapel Christian Center in Birmingham, Alabama, three years ago after 11 years of teaching in the Madison City public school system. What an honor to lead such a dynamic team of volunteers in a church that is over 33 years old, and still has a culture that embraces RELEVANT CHANGE!
Serving IN a ministry and LEADING a ministry are completely different, yet both are very rewarding. During the past three years, and even before that time, there has been a strong desire to do more to partner with parents in our ministry; to create experiences for our children in large and small groups more effectively, and to have a strategic biblical growth and development program for our children from infancy through young adulthood. Well, the Orange Strategy provides ALL of that and so much more!
After months of researching and “playing” with Orange online and testing some of its tools with my children at home, I went out on a limb and invited key leaders from our children’s ministry to the Orange Tour in Chattanooga, TN. I was REALLY out on a limb (I’m new in this role, learning so much each day, AND bringing something new that, at this point, I don’t have the full picture of). I’m excited to say that it was well worth the risk and investment. Less than three months after attending the tour, we were implementing Orange in our children’s ministry for the first time. Yes, we are experiencing the learning curves that come with relevant change, but we have a great Orange Coach and our volunteers have connected to the vision and are thriving!
I want to extend a SPECIAL THANKS to Orange founder and CEO Reggie Joiner. Our experience and the experiences of thousands of ministries across the world would not be possible had you not stepped out on this God-given vision!
If you’re wondering IF Orange will work for your ministry, the answer is YES! Here are some simple tips to getting started:
If your systems and strategy don’t support your church’s core values/beliefs, CHANGE THEM.
Orange in ANY MINISTRY: YES. It Works!
Steps that led to change:
1. Prayer and Research:
- Research (free online resources, Orange Tour, church websites, etc.)
- Take advantage of the expertise (talking with Orange Specialists, senior leaders, free online curriculum offers, etc.)
2. Map Out Your Journey:
- Create a timeline with clearly defined WINS along the journey.
- Timeline includes but not be limited to the goal, communication, training, implementation, and feedback.
3. Cast Vision:
- Begin with key leaders/influencers.
- Train/empower key leaders/influencers to cast vision.
4. Make the First Move: (Note: You don’t have to have all the answers to make a move.)
- Give key leaders a better picture (Orange Tour, conferences, coaching, etc.).
- Make a decision to TRY IT! (First Look, 252 Basics, XP3, Coaching, YouLead, etc.)
5. Equip the Team:
- Frequent Honest, Open, Transparent (H.O.T. ) conversations (role clarity, next steps, feedback, etc.)
- Training/curriculum access (Lead Small, YouLead, online curriculum access, etc.)
Karen is the director of children’s ministry at Faith Chapel Christian Center. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Alabama A&M University. Karen taught 11 years and served on her school’s leadership team and the Alabama State Department Accreditation Committee. She trained and mentored staff and student teachers and was named Teacher of the Year before becoming children’s ministry director. Karen’s passion is growing children in God’s Word and developing leaders to facilitate their growth in exciting, relevant, and practical ways. Her greatest joy is being the wife of Minister Tyrone Malone, and mother of their children, Joi and Joshua.