I remember when I was a kid Ziploc did a series of commercials promoting their newly developed product that they said would help you ensure that the contents of their bags stayed in the bag. Their new bags had one side of the zipper that was yellow and the other was blue. When you put these two together you get green. Their claim was that if you closed the bag and the strip turned green, then you could count on it being closed. Mixing yellow and blue to make green is a very basic color concept that we learn at a vey early age. Another similar combination is yellow and red which gives you ORANGE. I believe that this knowledge is a key in successful ministry to children, youth and their families.
Ok, if you have not been following be very long you may be thinking that I have lost my mind. What could these colors have to do with ministry? Well, this is the basis for a movement in ministry that is often described as Orange. The company behind this movement is reThink. In an effort to be open here, this company does produce curriculum for preschool, children, and youth. If you are interested you can check it out HERE.
This is not about curriculum.
I have used the curriculum that this company produces and there is much I like about it, but that is not what this post, or this movement is about. This is about having the greatest impact possible in the lives of children. I have used a number of different curriculums and regardless of what curriculum you use, the goal is to have the greatest impact possible in the lives of those you serve.
Yellow is the Church. Jesus said that we, the Church, are the light of the world. We are here to shine the light of Jesus into a dark and ever darkening world. That is why we exist and, when done right, it is what we excel at.
Red is for family. Red is the color often associated with love. The family is the center of love in our world. For children the home and family should be the place where they experience the most love.
Yellow and red make orange. When mixing paint the goal is to get something different than you started with. You mix red and yellow paint to make orange paint. When you mix the LIGHT (yellow) of the church and the LOVE (red) of the home, then you get orange. The idea is that when we work together we can have a much greater impact than either of can have on our own. A grey family and a great church will have a great impact on the lives of children, but when they work together the impact will be even greater.
What does this look like? Well I would love to say that there is a formula for making this happen in your church, but it simply doesn’t work that way. Each church, family, community, ministry is different. As such the way that this works in your church will be different. The specifics of how this works is not important. It’s about an intentional and determined move towards partnership between the church and the family. Spend some time thinking about this. Talk with other leaders in your church. Talk with key families in your church about beginning to build this partnership. Talk with other ministry leaders outside your church and see what works for them. How you do it is not as important as simply that you do it.
Do something. I have a problem where I tend to want to plan stuff to death. In fact sometimes I plan to the point where I end up DOING nothing. I just plan and plan, never starting for fear of not having every detail addressed. Here’s the deal YOU WILL NEVER HAVE EVERY DETAIL PLANNED OUT. So, spend a some time planning, but then jump into it. Focus on consistent evaluation and improvement and get to work.
How do YOU partner with families?
I’d love to hear how you are currently partnering with families to have a greater impact in the lives of children.Matt Norman
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