The Orange Flaw Follow Up

Orange peeledI knew when I published The Flaw in Orange Thinking yesterday that there would be some push back. I was prepared for that. I welcome it because the post was primarily intended to get a conversation started, and I think at least to some extent it’s done that. That said, in hindsight, I would have changed a couple of things to make my point more clear.

1. It was not an article about numbers.

I spent too much time in the article on the idea of 40 vs. 3,000 hours which wasn’t the main point. What can I say? I’m an accountant. I like numbers, but the point of the whole exercise wasn’t to diminish the impact parents have on the spiritual development of their kids. In my ministry to children of divorce, I see the spiritual impact of children not having those faith role models to rely on. Parents are important. Parents are critical.  My goal was simply to point out that there are also other influencers on a child’s faith (beyond the church and parents), and if we’re coming up with a comprehensive plan to minister to families, we need to consider those influencers both from a standpoint of faith development and the great commission. I would have cut that section down or made the point differently.

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The Flaw in Orange Thinking

orange_PNG766If you work in children’s ministry, you’ve likely heard about the “Orange Theory.” Basically, the idea is that when the church and parents work together in the discipleship of their children, the impact on their spiritual development is multiplied. In is a principal and theory that I (for the most part) agree with. In the past though, I have raised a couple of concerns regarding the implementation of that theory:

  1. I believe many churches, in sincerely trying to implementing this theory, have swung too far back towards parents and abdicated the responsibility of the church in discipleship. In other words, to correct was is perceived as overstepping into the arena of parents in terms of teaching and discipling children, the church has overcorrected and adopted a “that’s the parents’ job” mentality. In so doing, many children (including those whose parents are not interested or not involved) may be “lost in the cracks”. Again, this is a problem in implementation, not in theory. I am not an “Orange hater.” 🙂
  2. Building on that, I believe many churches in an effort to implement an orange way of thinking have focused on the traditional two parent married biological family of the norm and/or assumed discipleship works the same in all types of different families. Again, kids and whole families get left out in the cold when this mistake is made.

Recently though, I have noticed what I consider to be a very significant oversight (or at the very least weakness) in the orange theory. Consider the following typical video for “selling” this theory and focus in particular on how parents and the church are portrayed in the video:

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Engage Conference 2014 [What Are You Doing Next Week?]

engage logoNext week this time I will be on my way to Mechanicsburg, PA for the Engage Children’s Conference. This is my third year going, and I am more excited than ever to get the chance to speak to children’s ministry and youth ministry workers and leaders about the need for ministering to kids from modern families.  This year, the five workshop track I am leading is called (wait for it…):

A Generation in Crisis – Ministering to Children from Modern Families

Here’s the description:

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Charge!…Cynthia Crane [Kidmin Conference 2014]

Are we concerned enough with recycling our hearts?

You are not a “Justa…..” anything.

You’re job is big, but spend less time building a program and more time listening to how God is speaking to them and through them.

About Cynthia Crane: As a veteran children’s minister, Cynthia attends and serves at Beachpoint Church in Fountain Valley, California. She offers insight and ideas for how to reach kids in meaningful and energetic ways in conferences and camps across the country.

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Enabled for Kidmin Mastery…Steve Adams [Kidmin Conference 2014]

“It’s not the mountain we conquer ourselves but ourselves.” – Sir Edmond Hillary

Session 4

You Have Been ENABLED

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Victory in Jesus…Devon Franklin [Kidmin Conference 2014]

God gives us victory. The Bible doesn’t say God gave us victory. It’s not about what He did. It’s about what He’s doing.

Victory is success achieved against opposition.

If you want to claim the victory, you have to claim the struggle.

The struggle you are going through isn’t because God is punishing you, it’s because He is preparing you.

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Welcoming All Kinds of Families Workshop…Katie Wetherbee [Kidmin Conference 2014]

What Do We Know?

Stats on Modern Families.

Changing the Culture: The Master's Plan

Speak Their Language

  • Eliminate phrases like (that's so gay; your “real” mom/dad; your “real” kids; gave her up for adoption)
  • Eliminate “”Give this your mom or ad.”
  • Careful what you offer and how you advertise it

Go to them


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