I got some juicy tidbits from my experience at the Orange Conference 2011 last week. Orange Squeeze is my post-experience series to share with you what I learned. Careful… these posts contains pulp. 🙂
Carey Nieuwhoff is one of my favorite leaders in ministry today. Bar None.
He’s encouraging, approachable, enlightening and overall just great to be around. I want to be like that when I grow up.
Carey led a breakout session titled “Innovative Ideas to Partner with Parents” where he featured a panel of ministry leaders from 3 different churches taking some innovative approaches to connecting with parents. In other words… simply being Orange.
Carey launched into his session by briefly recapping what it means to be an Orange church. I love this and I never tire of hearing it. After unpacking the 40/3000 analogy, Carey made a few comments that were encouraging to me. He said,
“When it comes to Innovative Ideas for partnering with parents the script isn’t written yet. You’re writing it.”
It almost makes you feel as if we’re on the cutting edge of something big. That’s exciting.
Carey provided a few parameters for Innovative Initiatives when connecting with parents:
- Don’t think events, think experiences: It’s not just information but how it’s applied that brings about transformation.
- Don’t just have them come to you, go to them.
- Don’t just facilitate information. Facilitate dialogue.
As each panelist unpacked their Initiatives it was apparent that each event/function were simple in their execution, yet tapped into a felt need within the family. Here’s a little of what they shared…
Jeff Brodie with Conexxus Church recently launched an event called The Great Family Experiment. This event allows families to experience one of the five families values, Create a Rhythm. Participating families received a package with adventures/activities they could explore as a family. You can find out more and download the resource for free.
Kendra Flemming with Northpoint Community revamped their Baby Dedication experience for families. They designed the experience to create the kind of event that allows parents to celebrate the birth of their child and to launch them into a journey to lead their child to love Christ.
This experience (BabyD) now involves some podcasts that lead parents to identify values that shape their families, define parameters around their marital relationship and shape patterns that help them grow personally with Christ as their child grows. You can check that out here.
Kendra’s team also launched a few new products to partner with their monthly KidStuf Live experience. KidStuf Take Out is a tool parents can use. It’s essentially Family Night in a box. KidStuf Take Out includes activities, videos and conversation starters to help parents to create a fun and engaging time with their family in their home.
Kenny & Elle Campbell created an outstanding opportunity to help connect parents with their teens small group leader. Knowing the value of getting parents and small group leaders in the same room, this couple knew they could get them to connect over a common denominator… the child. Using some creative table settings, thought-provoking questions and a good breakfast… Kenny & Elle managed to increase buy-in and community among the adults that directly influence the lives of the kids Kenny & Elle lead. You can download their stuff for free here.
I love these ideas. Will likely implement them in some fashion at FPC. More than that, I’m grateful for ministry leaders willing to share their ideas and products freely with the ministry community. Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Let’s work together to learn from each other. By leveraging each others’ experiences, we can make a greater impact.