What if the parents you met last week at the ball game showed up at your church this Sunday? What next step would you give them to connect them to a better strategy? Would you be ready to help them engage? Would they see your church as a source of energy for their families? The real question is, how do you see your role as a church when it comes to the family? Not only should you think Orange, you should start acting Orange.
You may have figured out by now that you have influence as a church. Just like you need to be wise in how you manage your time, finances, facilities, and resources, you must also be good stewards of your influence. Thinking Orange is thinking smarter. If you could leverage your influence to make the greatest possible impact, where would you leverage it? You have to consider the home in the equation. If it is the only entity other than the church that God has specifically designed for influence, it is logical that combining the two makes a greater impact.
Carey Nieuwhof is a senior pastor from Canada who has been a proactive Orange thinker in the Toronto area. He had an Orange epiphany a few years ago as he was preparing to speak on a Sunday morning: “As I was thinking about the parents who lived in the community around our church, something dawned on me. They don’t lie in bed at night wondering about the topic that I will speak about on Sunday. They don’t even lie in bed at night thinking about God. They lie in bed thinking mostly about their kids.”
REMEMBER THE LOOP
The Church is in a unique position to give the family hope and direction because most parents would love to know that people other than themselves think about their families. Sundays can be catalysts that give families new beginnings every week, making everyday faith a reality. The power of the church is that it is a place where the family can start over and be reactivated through an ongoing cycle. The magic of the home is that it is a place where the family can start over with the same people every day.
Some parents are coming your direction to get in the loop. Think about that while you get ready for Sunday. You may be putting a large amount of time and energy into the top of the loop. You are writing, creating, organizing, designing, recruiting, and building so the loop can be perpetuated. It’s what you do every week as a leader. Sure, it may seem like it’s a routine. And sometimes you feel you are going through the motions. If you are honest, the closer Sunday gets, the less strength you have. You are putting all your energy into the top of the loop! Sometimes you wonder if it’s really worth it. But don’t stop doing it. Why? Because there are people whose strength is waning. They are getting weaker and their faith is dissipating. And guess where they are coming? They are heading back to the top of the loop.
Parents who are wondering.
Parents who are wandering.
Parents who are worried.
Parents who are broken.
Parents who are tired.
Parents who are alone.
Parents who are hurting.
Parents who are hoping.
Parents who are determined.
Parents who are struggling to win the battle for the future and faith of their children.
I know what you do sometimes feels like a grind, but God promises to add His power to the fuel you give. He has designed us as a people who get energy from one another. It is the potential of what happens when we gather. It re-energizes our hearts. It refuels our hope. It reactivates our families.
Reggie Joiner is the founder and CEO of Orange, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to influence those who influence the next generation. Orange provides resources and training for churches and organizations that create environments for parents, kids and teenagers. Prior to Orange, Joiner co-founded North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA, with Andy Stanley. During his 11 years as the executive director of family ministry, he developed a new concept for relevant ministry for children, teenagers, and married adults. If you end up road tripping with him across the country on Orange Tour, be prepared to stop at every antique store along the way. He has found a way to wear orange for 3,453 days and counting.
Joiner has authored and co-authored books including, Think Orange, The Think Orange Handbook, Zombies, Football, and the Gospel, Seven Practices of Effective Ministry, Parenting Beyond Your Capacity, Lead Small, Creating a Lead Small Culture and It’s Just A Phase.
Joiner and his wife Debbie live in Cumming, GA, and have four children: Reggie Paul, Hannah, Sarah, and Rebekah. For more information about Reggie Joiner, visit ReggieJoiner.com or follow him on Twitter @ReggieJoiner.