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Archive - January, 2010

Think Orange Group Blog Project – Introduction


For the next few days, different people will be contributing reviews and thoughts to each chapter in Reggie Joiner‘s book Think Orange.

Why would you want to join in on this journey? Well, I think Reggie put’s it best:

You don’t have to agree with everything that I say. But could you agree with me on the following observations?

There are two powerful influences on the planet– the church and the home.

They both exist because God initiated them.

They both exist because God desires to use them to demonstrate His plan of redemption and restoration.

If they work together they can potentially make a greater impact than if they work alone.

They need each other.

Too much is at stake for either one to fail.

Their primary taks is to build God’s kingdom in the hearts of men and women, sons and daughters.

If you at leas agree with these thoughts, I hope you’re ready to start a conversation with some of us who think Orange.

I’ve long appreciated Reggie’s passion for helping ministry leaders understand that the most effective way to capture the imaginations of children and point them to a life-long commitment to following Christ is when the church and family work together. I was excited to see all of this passion culminate in his book Think Orange.

Whether you’ve read the book or not, I encourage you to converse about each chapter. Share your thoughts and impressions. Share stories of how you’ve tried to implement the principles stated in each chapter. My hope is that is group blogging project will spark even further conversations on how the church and family can work together to point children to Christ.

Now, I know that some of you are like me and have way too much to do and too much to read already. As an incentive for you to keep up with the next few days of posts, I’m excited to be able to offer a free registration to The Orange Conference that is happening in Atlanta at the end of April. I have been asked to be a part of the bloggers lounge at the conference and was offered a free registration. Since I’ve already registered, I asked if it was OK for me to give away the registration during the Think Orange Group Blog Project here on Elemental Children’s Ministry. In order to qualify to win, you have to comment on the posts during this project. Each day that you participate is an entry, so the more days your participate the more entries you get. Here are some qualifiers: you must interact with the posts or comments, if you win you are responsible for your own travel, hotel, food, etc. (this is just for a free registration), and you promise to come say hi to me at the conference :) At the end of this blogging project, a winner will be randomly selected.

(Note: This group blogging project is an independent project of mine. I haven’t been compensated in anyway for this project. None of the contributors have been compensated in anyway to participate in this project.)

You can check out other posts in this project:

Book Blog Tour Call for Collaborate: Family + Church

Later this year, a new book by Michael Chanley along with 34 others is coming out called Collaborate: Family + Church. This book is put out by Ministers Label.

I am really excited about this book because it is more than just “another” family ministry book. It is a collaboration of 35 leaders and how they each approach the partnership of family and church.

I have been asked to put together a book blog tour for Collaborate, which will happen sometime in April. If you are interested in participating (and receiving a copy of the book), please leave a comment below. Those chosen to be a part of the tour will receive a book and be asked to commit to reading the book in its entirety and posting a review on your blog during the to-be-determined time frame near the end of April.


Help Make Stuff Christians Like Book #10 on Amazon!

If you haven’t already heard about it Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like fame is coming out with a book of the same name. The book comes out at the end of March, and I can’t wait.

Well, Jon has put out a challenge out there to bring his book up to number 10 on Amazon in the next 48 hours. If that happens, he will be giving away 2 iPads rather than just 1.

Show some support for Jon and preorder the book!


Video Review: Antonio Meets His Match from Max Lucado’s Hermie and Friends Series

Everyone in the garden looks to Antonio the ant to protect all the bugs so when Angus and his friends move into the garden disturbing the peace and being discourteous to their neighbors, the bugs in the garden look to Antonio to make Angus leave. God reminds Angus, though, that all of us are asked to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Angus and his friends to not make this easy with their bagpipe playing, fruit throwing and golfing wherever they want. Frustrations escalate to the point where Angus suggests that he and Antonio compete in an Olympics of sorts. The loser has to move out of the garden. I won’t ruin the climax, but I will say that Antonio manages to show love to Angus in spite of how selfish and mean Angus is.

I watched this DVD with my two oldest children (10 and 8 years old). They thought it was OK. I agreed. Compared to a few other Hermie videos that I’ve watched, I was rather impressed with this one. I’ve been disappointed by previous Hermies videos at how over-simplistic tough issues are dealt with. This video dealing with loving your neighbor, though, doesn’t do that. Antonio struggles with the difference between what it means to tolerate someone and love someone.

This video and the others in the series are great for pre-school and Kindergarten aged children. If you are interested in purchasing this video, you can get in online at someplace like Amazon.

(I received a complimentary copy of the DVD “Antonio Meets His Match” which is part of Max Lucado’s Hermie and Friends video series from Thomas Nelson Publishing as part of their Book Sneeze program.)


Think Apple… The Fruit Not The… You Know

Go ahead and watch the above video. It’s worth the 9 and a half minutes. It’s from a general session at the Northwest Ministry Conference in 2009 where Leonard Sweet addresses how we look at scripture. I found the clip via the Out of Ur blog.

I like his contrast between taking scripture apart like you would an orange and taking scripture in story-sized chunks. I’ve blogged about it recently, but I do think that there is value in not losing the story aspects of scripture. I do sympathize with concerns over the fictionalization of the Bible, but we do need to be careful. We need both a historical/facts approach and a story/wonder approach to scripture.

  • How do you reconcile making sure kids know the Bible is true with capturing their imaginations?
  • Do you find it important to see scripture as story in addition to chapter and verse? How does that look like in your context?


Attack Of The Orange!

(picture originally uploaded to Flickr by lamazone)

For those of you who might not already know, this week has been declared Orange Week by the wonderful people at ReThink. Actually, it all started when Kenny Conley stated he was going to be posting all things Orange this week over at his blog. ReThink picked up on it, and now there are a number of bloggers jumping in on the fun. Apparently there will be some giveaways as the week progresses.

If you are unaware of what Orange is, here is how it is described on the Orange Leaders site:

Orange is a secondary color, created when you combine two primary colors—red and yellow.

Orange is what red and yellow can do when they combine efforts. If you paint only with red, you will get what only red can do. If you paint only with yellow, you will get what only yellow can do. But when you paint with red and yellow, you’ll get new possibilities, fresh solutions, vibrant outcomes.

We believe the warm heart of the family can be represented by the color red, and the bright light of the church can be represented by the color yellow. When these two entities combine their efforts for the sake of the spiritual growth of the next generation, the result is Orange.

This is something that has evolved over the past few years. I remember reading about what Reggie Joiner and his team were doing over at NorthPoint in a Children’s Ministry Magazine article about nine years ago and then hearing more about it at a conference he spoke at a year after that. It’s been neat seeing this movement gain momentum in the children’s ministry world and working it’s way into student ministries. I have a great appreciation for what Reggie is doing, now through ReThink.

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to take a look at the following blogs and read about the Orange strategy and how some churches are working through it and implementing it. These strategies may not completely fit with your context, but the principle that church and family need to work together to raise children who will stick with their faith into adulthood is one that more churches need to think through and take seriously.

If you want to know more about the above people, Anthony has a great post with bios.

BTW, ReThink hosts The Orange Conference at the end of April where they talk about how to become more Orange at your church. You can register for the conference by clicking here. I’ll be there! Let me know if you are coming. It’d be great to meet you!


Formational Children’s Ministry Book Over At The Jesus Creed

I came across this post at Scot McKnight‘s blog Jesus Creed. He highlighted Ivy Beckwith‘s new book, Formational Children’s Ministry. I was pretty excited to see it show up on McKnight’s blog. Anyway, I encourage you to hop on over, take a look at the post and leave a comment.


New Parenting Blog

(photo originally uploaded to Flickr by Kenny Moller)

There’s a new parenting blog out there! My wife and I have started a blog entitled Elemental Parenting. By no means do we have it all figured out… far from it. We thought, though, that there might be other parents who don’t have it figured out either and need to go to a place that might help them feel better about their parenting :)

Anyway, hop on over there. We are adding more content as the days go by.


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