CONTACT: Rev. Dr. John Regan email@example.com or 405.341.3544
Last week, 8 members of our church and childcare staff traveled to Dallas for a one-day conference called the Orange Tour 2018. The Orange organization is dedicated to finding new ways to equip congregations, parents, and church leaders to guide this generation of children and youth into a deep and abiding Christian faith. I think the thing that Orange does the best is bring brutal clarity through data and questions about what you are doing with your time at church, at home, and in the community. They are not trying to get you to do more with your time. They are simply trying to inspire you to do better things with the time you have. They know that two forces working together will have exponentially more influence than either entity alone. That means parents and church leaders working together can do more. And best of all, they give you better options to choose from than you can think of yourself!
To the untrained eye the Orange Group can look like nothing more than merchants of religious paraphernalia, but in fact, they are merchants of urgency. Urgency is often the quickest gateway to what is most vital in life. Just before the conference started, I was wandering through the Orange “bookstore” in the lobby of the church where the event was hosted. I found a series of chronological books they call Phase Guides. This 18-part series of books simplify what parents need to know about each phase of a child’s life and gives them ways to discover more about their children, so they can make the most of every phase.
At the front of each book, these words appear: “When you see how much time you have left you tend to do more with your time.” Then they really grab your attention by point out how much time a parent has with their child by saying “there are approximately 936 weeks from the time a baby is born until they grow up and move to the whatever is next.” I was reading in the Phase Guide “Parenting Your Fifth Grader.” They went on to say, “On the day your child starts fifth grade, you only have 416 weeks remaining, and in 156 weeks your child will be finished with middle school heading into high school.” Wow! As the parent of two twenty-somethings, looking back at that era, I can confirm that is how fast your children grow. What I would have given to have a spiritual resource like this when I was parenting young children.
What your church staff believes is that we’re all in this together. We know the most important thing parents and the church can pass along to a child is the knowledge they are made in the image of God, so they will come to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind. We’re committed to investing in those who are raising children. In 2019, we will create better maps, provide better resources, and come alongside parents, surrogate parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents committed to raising this generation of children to know and accept the life-affirming faith of Jesus Christ. And at the appropriate developmental age, we will incite wonder, provoke discovery, and fuel their passion so the children who are part of our family of faith will have a better future. We believe that in doing so, the community that they will one day inhabit will have a tremendous resource—a person grounded in a rich faith who can solve real problems that face any community. What a gift it is to be part of a church that knows we are indeed better when we do life together.
Posted on Thu, November 1, 2018
by Jennifer Humphrey