Why am I so excited about the Orange strategy? Whats so great about it?
I think it goes back to when I was in High School. I know I have probably shared this story before, but it’s true. It’s shaped my philosophy of Youth Ministry, and it made me Orange before Orange even came about.
I lived in Central California from my sophomore year in High School until April of my Sr. year in High School, and during that time, was a part of the greatest youth group ever. We had a whole mess of kids coming on Sunday Nights and Wednesday Nights for Sr. High and just as much on Sunday mornings and Thursday nights for Jr. High.
The Sr. High had a student leadership team larger than many youth groups, and we were a super close knit group of kids. Most of us did practically everything together. Most of us only dated within the Leadership team (even though, technically, that was against the rules if I remember? Oh well, nothing new that High Schoolers break rules).
I say all this to say, I look back on those friends I had, and sure, a Handful of them still are connected to a church, but I also know that many of them aren’t. Many of those students could care less about God or Christianity.
And it has been super tough for me since I started working with youth as a part timer almost 6 years ago. I’ve often struggled with the question of what happened? I mean, I know that several of the guys, specifically, had the same small group I did, same small group leader, same Youth Pastor, same Lessons Sunday Night and Wednesday Night, same one on one times with the youth pastor, same leadership team. We had the same training and up bringing in that youth group, yet what was the difference that kids who , Honestly, were far more on fire in High School than I was are now so disconnected from church/God, and I’m in youth ministry. And please dont hear me wrong, I am not saying “Oh look at me I’m in Youth Ministry and they aren’t” but I truly am burdened with that many nights.
The only answer I know of is the parents. I know that many of those kids parents went to church, but I also know many of those parents considered the discipleship making of the Youth Pastor good enough.
I know that for me, it was always far more my Parents teaching and Discipleship that was then echoed by my youth pastor in a lesson that made the difference.
And thats why Family Ministry has been so important to me, and thats why I love Orange. Orange is so much more than just a book telling you why Family Ministry is important. Ultimately, you need to realize that on your own if its truly going to change the way you do ministry.
But for me, I love Orange because it takes this simple idea I’ve had since high school and gives me so much practical stuff to help in Family Ministry. The tools they offer, the curriculum they offer – its just phenomenal. I know I have talked it up a lot this week and its probably getting old. But Honestly, if you have never looked at their website, DO IT! It won’t take long for you to see how great their stuff is.