Think Orange: Conclusions How to Bring the Family and Church together
Family and The Church
The Think Orange group, outlined in their book how the church and family need each other to build generations of Christians, building stronger families helps the church grow and the Church’s focus on the Word helps build strong families.
They continue to talk about 5 steps that are required to build a healthy church and strong families. They combine the Yellow light of Church with the Orange love/passion of Families to make Orange, a brilliant synthesis of the two that outshines both.
ESSENTIAL 1: Integrate Strategy
(Combine 2 Influences to Create Synergy)
They use traffic cone analogies to talk about the misguided attempts to pair families and church ministry in the past, with both doing their own thing.
Nothing can cause havoc like multiple parking cones scattered across the pavement by independent leaders pointing people in different directions. Frequent communication between all those in charge is essential to avoid potential collisions. If we are going to be effective at creating synergy, we need to sometimes think like the guys who wear orange and know how to handle those Traffic Cones. (They point people where they should go and work in harmony.)
They aptly used the story of Nehemiah to indicate how this is done right. Having a clear purpose, plan and vision, leading to results in knowing what to ask for, how to ask for it and what to do when he got what he asked for.
ESSENTIAL 2: Refine the Message
(Combine to Amplify what’s Important)
They continue outlining the message and accentuate the purpose of how they delivered the mention. They utilize Stanley’s “Communicating for Change” to accentuate these needs. They see synergy between the church and family operating this way:
What the church and the home have in common is the potential to create an environment in which children can be consistently reminded about God’s story. The church can communicate the elements of that story in the context of a society of believers who are called to be God’s light. The family has the potential to consistently demonstrate God’s message to the hearts of children in a nurturing context every day. When we leverage these two environments simultaneously, we refine this message in ways that make it memorable and influential.
Our Message is Important. We have the potential to say things in a way that will make a lasting impression, a bad impression, or in some cases no impression at all.
ESSENTIAL 3: Reactivate the Family
(Build Everyday Faith)
By reactivate the family, we simply mean the way you help parents actively participate in the spiritual formation of their own children.
They seek to ignite parent’s passion, but they also challenge leaders to believe in their parents. They use something similar to the cycle of change to list levels of partnership with parents to these: Aware, Involved, Engaged, Invested,. They discuss the best way to move someone to more engagement is to deal with the level they are experiencing and move them to take steps to get to the next level (rather than demand they reach the finish line).
They believe the best way to simulate rhythm in the family is to create frequent shared experiences with the family. Doing this changes over the years, but they always happen, creating strong bonds.
ESSENTIAL 4: Elevate Community
(Increase the Odds)
Everyone needs to be believed in by someone, and everyone needs to belong somewhere. True community provides both. They point to research that states that those children who make the transition to adulthood have at least 5 adults that they have formed some form of spiritual and personal mentorship. They point to five catalysts for spiritual growth which are:
- Life Changing Truth
- Spiritual Disciplines
- Personal Ministry
- Significant Relationships
- Pivotal Circumstances
These are used to build faith skills:
- Navigate the Bible (survey, locate)
- Personalize Scripture (memorize, apply)
- Dialogue with God (public, private)
- Articulate your Faith (share, defend)
- Worship with your life (serve, invest)
They close: The most powerful thing you can do for parents is to provide kids in your ministry with another adult who will say the same things in their kids’ lives that they’re trying to say as a parent.
ESSENTIAL 5: Leverage Influence
(You Mobilize Generalizations)
Help people see the bigger story, how their smaller stories effect the bigger story. They state that if what they hear doesn’t make it from their heads to their hands, it will probably never make ti their hearts.
I think this book does well to conclude to think of both the church and the family. To engage both the community and the family in a synergistic way and create an Orange church/family environment. They list 5 purposes to end the book, which seem reasonable:
- Synchronize leaders and parents to build an authentic faith in children and teenagers.
- Refine your message so it clearly communicates God’s story of restoration.
- Help parents be more intentional about nurturing an everyday faith in their kids lives.
- Give every child and teenager a spiritual coach or leader who can reinforce what a Christian parent would say.
- Fuel passion in the hearts of this next generation to be a demonstration of God’s love to a broken world.