11 Oct Orange – More Than a Color
What comes to mind when you hear the word orange? A fruit? Fall leaves and pumpkin spice lattes? The color of your favorite sports team’s jersey? (That one on the right is mine by the way!) All of these and much more could be associated with the word orange, but in today’s post, I’ll be focusing on “Orange” the non-profit organization that helps churches win with families.
An Intersection of Oranges
Last month I was at a conference that Orange (the organization) sponsored called the Orange Tour. Several volunteers from our church attended and one of them was a student that serves on my team. As we walked into the building where the Orange Tour was taking place, everyone was wearing orange. Orange products surrounded us and the Orange logo was everywhere. This student leaned in and whispered to me “What exactly is Orange?”
Now, this is a person that has grown up in an “orange” church. He currently serves as a small group leader on my team. I thought for sure he knew what Orange was. And yet he was confused about what we mean when we say Orange. Honestly, I can’t blame him. Because on any given day, it could mean something different. That may sound confusing, but it’s actually brilliant!
Orange – the organization, with its incredible creativity, has found a way to use their name and the color across everything they do. As someone who has been engaged with Orange for the last 17 years, I am pretty familiar with the various facets of Orange, but I often forget that not everyone sees orange as more than a color (or a piece of fruit).
Clearing Up the Confusion
As I thought about how to answer this student’s question, I realized that Orange does have so much to offer, it’s hard to know where to begin in an attempt to explain all that it is. It also made me wonder if maybe there were other’s out there that were not exactly sure about all that Orange has to offer. Maybe you have a volunteer (or a parent) who you need to explain it to.
I figured I would take a shot at bringing some clarity to what Orange is and how we use it at my church. This way, if one of your volunteers surprises you and asks “What is Orange?” you won’t be caught off guard!
Orange is a Strategy
When you choose to “go Orange” you are adopting a strategy to align the family ministry environments in your church in such a way that best helps you partner with the families in your community. Everything Orange (the organization) does is filtered through the lens that the children in your church have two influences in their lives – the home and the church. Individually, they can work to help a child have a better future. But, when combined, they can make a greater impact. Another way Orange likes to say it is 2>1+1.
Orange offers ideas, teaching tools, resources, and materials to help churches partner with families. This strategy includes practices that parents and church leaders alike can use to help kids know they have a really big God who wants them to be a part of His big story.
In addition, Orange (the strategy) helps align the ministries within your church so that you can work together, synergistically, to transition children from one phase of life to the next. We have loved this aspect of Orange at our church. It’s helped us avoid letting our ministries become silos and act independently from one another. There is no “fighting” about who needs more money, space, volunteers, etc. Instead, we act as four separate environments, but one cohesive team from birth through graduation. That gives us our best chance to help kids learn to follow Jesus at each stage of life and eventually own their own faith as they become adults. It also helps us partner with their family at each phase.
Orange is a Curriculum
Often in “church world” you hear people talk about Orange as a curriculum and that is true. Orange (the organization) does provide curriculum for churches from birth through high school. We use Orange throughout our church:
- Birth thru 5 years old – First Look
- Kindergarten thru 5th Grade – 252 Basics
- 6th-8th Grade – XP3 Middle School
- 9th-12th Grade – XP3 High School
We love that all levels of the curriculum are accessible through the Orange website and everything is digital. In addition, Orange (the organization) gives permission for editing, which allows us to tailor scripts, lesson plans, activities, and at-home resources to fit our church context. Everything can be saved easily and within each level of the curriculum, there are various options depending on your church size and the way you structure your environments.
Orange is a Symbol
Within the Orange organization, orange is also a symbol for why we should partner with families in the first place. The color orange was chosen because it is a great representation of two separate things combining to have a greater impact. Red in and of itself is vibrant and strong. Yellow is as well. But together, they become orange – this bright, beautiful color that pops!
Orange (the organization) takes those color representations a few steps further…
- Red represents the family – home, love
- Yellow represents the church – the light of Christ, the golden lampstands representing the church in Revelation
Together – you get the color orange and a beautiful partnership in which two combined influences have a greater impact than each influence on its own.
Orange is a Conference
During the month of April each year, Orange is a conference in Atlanta, that over 6000 leaders attend. It is fun, energetic, thought provoking, and incredibly helpful. I love the Orange Conference and I attend every year! I wrote a whole series about last year’s Orange Conference that you can read here.
Oh, and guess what! Registration for OC17 opens on Thursday of this week! If you register that day, you get $90 off regular pricing and Insider First Access to Breakouts! Register here.
Orange is a Tour
In the fall, Orange is a tour of cities where leaders from the Orange organization go and meet church leaders from around the country to help them become better at what they do in family ministry. These tours are sort of mini versions of the bigger conference that happens in the Spring.
We love the Orange Tour. It can be hard to get a team to Atlanta each year. Finances and schedules do not always allow for our volunteers to make the trip. But, the Orange Tour comes to a city near us each year. It is a one day stop and it is a great way to help our volunteers learn, grow and have fun together.
Maybe there is a tour in a city near you! Check here.
Orange is an Organization
I am personally very grateful for Orange (every facet of it). It has helped me as a ministry leader and as a parent. I wrote a series about that too. Read that one here.
How about you? What have your experiences been with Orange? The Curriculum? The Strategy? The Conference? The Tour? Or all of it? Jump in the comments below and let us know how you use Orange at your church.