Last week, our family ministry staff, along with about 10 volunteers, attended the Orange Tour stop in Lancaster, PA. We attend the Tour every year and it was a great experience as always. Unlike past years, we went north to Lancaster instead of south to D.C. and the traffic was way better.
Here are some key quotes, along with actions steps I would suggest, coming out of the 2016 Orange Tour.
“This week matters: if it’s repeated.” – Reggie Joiner
Action Step: If you currently don’t have weekly volunteers in your ministry, create a plan to get there. It’s hard to repeat what matters if you have different people with kids/students each week. Don’t expect to do it in one day, but draw up a plan to transition from monthly or bi-weekly to weekly.
“Kids matter: more than adults.” – Reggie Joiner
Action Step: Analyze your budget towards kids and students. I’m completely biased, obviously, but if you divided up your church staff’s hours into 3-5 core segments, with children’s and student ministry being a segment, it should get the most hours. More than worship. More than groups. More than operations. More. It should get more budget as well (okay, minus facilities).
“Prioritize young people everywhere.” – Mike Park (Kara Powell at some stops)
Action Step: By the new book Growing Young from Fuller. Take the assessment and apply the learnings to your church. Fuller offers some additional resources along with the book and the assessment that are also helpful.
“Church should never be boring” – Reggie Joiner
Action Step: Evaluate your environments weekly and ask the question, was it fun? Yes, our ultimate goal is to make disciples. However, there won’t be many kids and students to make disciples of if their experience is boring, dull and irrelevant.
“Every parent will do something more.” – Reggie Joiner
Action Step: Think of something this week you can challenge parents to do that is something more. Not 10 things more. Not a 6-month project. One thing. What is it? How will you communicate it to them? How will you help them?
“The shortest distance between your church and the parent is a small group leader” – Reggie Joiner
Action Step: Equip small group leaders with the contact information for the parents of their few and encourage them to reach out. If it’s the first contact, I think the best option is to write a sample email for the leader, have the leader personalize it and send it to every parent. Every partnership begins with someone reaching out to open a dialogue.