Orange is a non-profit organization that helps churches by creating strategies, curriculum, resources, leader training, conferences and more to help them serve families. Registration for the 2018 Orange Conference has been open since fall and the price goes up this week (Feb 16). In this post, I’ll share how our church has been implementing one of the best collection of resources Orange has created, It's Just A Phase.
The Phase Project
The Phase Project is a collaborative, ongoing, effort assembling classic and innovative research, with practical application that's all designed to help parents lead their kids through every phase of their life. There are tons of great resources for parents and church leaders, including summaries for each age group, books for each age group, graphics for churdches, and more.
Ever since the Phase Project was announced, our church has been making plans to share the research and resources with our parents. Our plan includes more than that, however, as it's part of an overall strategy to serve parents. You can read about our 4-part strategy for partnering with parents here and the best partnership we have here. Ultimately, this aspect really turns that into a 5-part strategy.
We're in the middle of rolling out our plan now and here's a look at what we're doing.
Step 1: Share Phase
We shared Phase with parents by hosting a parenting event and bringing in guest speakers from Orange to share the Phase concept and materials. The format was simple:
- It was on a Saturday morning from 9am-12:30pm
- There were 3 sessions: Phase Intro, Phase Deep Dive, 6 Things Kids Need Over Time
- We gave away the Phase Summaries
- Parents could purchase the Phase Guides
We had a clear next step for everyone who attended, which was to sign up for more information about Phase Classes.
Step 2: Phase Classes
The next step for parents was to invite them to classes for each phase (preschool, elementary, middle school, high school). These classes are something we have offered previously, but we've integrated the Phase content into them. It's also an opportunity for us to go more in-depth within those phases, including all of the content that is broken down by age group. Parents love the classes and it gives them a taste of something we want them to experience more of, community.
Step 3: Small Groups
After parents experience a class, the next step is to plug them into a small group with other parents. Typically, this would be a 12-week or so small group focused on a specific parenting study. Groups can be made up of parents who are in a similar stage in their parenting or mixed up with parents of all ages and stages. There are advantages to both. In the classes, parents are informed about groups and given the opportunity to express interest or sign up.
Step 4: Tweak, Improve, Rinse, Repeat
There are other elements to the plan, including one-off seminars for parents, possibly a parent orientation, and more. In general though, this is the core strategy and we'll repeat it regularly to help new parents take the same steps. We'll find different ways to kick off the cycle, but the concept will remain the same. Moving them from larger groups to smaller circles in order to help them create community and learn how to make the most of the time they have with their kids.
Why You Should Go to the Orange Conference
This is just one of many reasons as to why you should go to the Orange Conference. Orange is constantly innovating and resourcing church leaders to help us win with kids, students, and parents. The work we're doing to implement this plan would be nothing without the content and ideas Orange provides. I've written before about how Orange helps us help parents, and this is a detailed example of what that looks like.
If you're thinking about registering for the Orange Conference, do so now before the price increases after Feb 15. Click here to find out more and to register.