2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

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.

2. It wasn’t about curriculum

My point was never about curriculum or which publisher is better or worse than the other. I should have made that more clear. If you’re staying true to scripture and teaching kids about Christ, I say kudos to you. Different things work and don’t work for different churches. Orange is a great option (I’ve used it), as if The Gospel Project (used that too), as is Group (been there) as is David C. Cook (like it a lot). I actually prefer writing my own curriculum, but I would never argue with you that you should do that either depending on your own circumstances and your church.

3. I don’t hate Orange.

I can’t say it enough. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Reggie Joiner, Sue Miller and many of the other team members at Orange (several of whom I consider friends).  There have been a number of voices championing families, and I believe in Children’s Ministry circles, Reggie may be at the forefront of that group, and I am grateful for him and all he has done. I also never meant to imply that the people at Orange are blind to these issues – only that in the implementation and general parlance when it comes to talking about Orange, they aren’t discussed enough. On an even broader note, when it comes to talking about family ministry in general, they are often relegated to the back burner if they are even addressed at all.

4. I could have used better terminology.

One commenter pointed out (albeit a little defensively) that Orange is a “Strategy” not a “Theory.” My first thought when I saw that? Man, I wish that word had come to me when I was writing the article. He was right. Orange is a strategy which leads to my next point.

5. This was an article about implementation.

The flaw in Orange Strategy comes not in the idea itself, but in the implementation of it. My concern is not with Orange itself (see above), but with churches who either a) try to push all responsibility for discipleship back on parents and abdicate their own responsibility for spiritually guiding and nurturing kids; b) assume that this strategy fully solves the problem and ignores things like meeting the needs of family and evangelism to reach unchurched kids and families; or c) ignores the plight of children in non-traditional families who don’t have the structure in place that fits a “parent/child discipleship” model. I suppose, in hindsight I should have called the article “The Flaw in Implementation of Orange Strategy.” I don’t think that would have sparked the same kind of discussion, so I guess I’m guilty of sensationalist titling.

6. I should have stressed the main point more.

The main point was that there are families out there that don’t fit neatly into the Orange Strategy -whether it’s single parent families, grandparent led families or families where parents are just checked out. That doesn’t mean it can’t work, it just means that the church needs to know and remember who they’re ministering too and adjust accordingly.

7. I probably should have bolded the last paragraph.

So, here my redo:

So, is Orange really flawed? Not really. There is valuable truth there. But like so many things when it comes to the church, we need to make certain we are not “jumping on the bandwagon” and convincing ourselves that this is more important than everything else we have been called to do! What are your thoughts?



  1. katiewetherbee

    Again, great words from a great leader! Thanks, Wayne.

  2. mnormancarguy

    Um, you could have at least MENTIONED me in #5. Pretty sure I said that. LOL

  3. jamiedoyle

    Great follow-up.
    You are a gift to KidMin leaders, Wayne.

  4. Joe Bridger

    Thought your first article was spot on. Glad you are following up. Strategy vs theory…meh.