When Church and Family Collide
A few years ago, I read a book called ‘Think Orange’ by Reggie Joiner. It’s all about the church and the family partnering together to raise kids who love and follow God. The ‘orange’ concept comes from seeing the church represented by the colour yellow (bright lights) and the family as the colour red (warm hearts). And we all know what happens when we mix red and yellow. That’s right, we get orange.
In his book, Reggie shares his dreams and passion for seeing the influence of church and family working together for greater impact. He also explores this idea further and gives some practical ways we can do this. The book has 261 pages, so I’m not going to attempt to share everything he says, but I will share a small part that has really stuck with me.
Five Things Every Kid Needs:
A REALLY BIG GOD they can trust no matter what
SOMEONE ELSE who believes what they believe
ANOTHER VOICE saying the same things parents say
UNCOMMON SENSE to help them make wise choices
NOSY PARENTS who know where their kids are spiritually
I love all of these points but I want to focus on the second and third points, starting with the third. Our children need to hear another voice saying the same things their parents are saying. Children growing up in a Christian home hear their own parents talking about God, teaching them the Bible, and encouraging them to follow God. And this is good. But this impact is strengthened when children also hear these things spoken about by other adults. This is especially true as children grow older. If you have teens, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You may have advised your child a certain way only to be dismissed, but if the advice comes from another respected adult, it’s heard!
I’ve seen the faith of my own children impacted by other caring adults here at church. Youth and Kids Church leaders who have invested into their lives and had good, deep conversations with them about God and faith. Our Pastors who faithfully preach God’s word each Sunday in a way that engages, encourages and challenges them. And even just the friendly adults who take the time to say hello to my kids and show them what Jesus is like. I’m so thankful to those people and so blessed to be part of a healthy, vibrant church family.
And kids need someone else who believes what they believe. Of course, it’s possible to be a Christian on your own, but it’s hard! My prayer partner and I often pray that God would surround our kids with good friends who would come alongside them as they follow God and encourage them and build them up. We as adults know the impact and worth of sharing life with other Christ followers. To be able to pray with another, share a burden with another, seek comfort and Godly advice from another, is a blessed thing. And our kids need that too.
At Oasis Church we offer lots of ministries for our children and youth. These ministries are led by volunteers who want to share God’s love with your children, who want to answer your children’s questions about faith, and who want to see your children loving and following God. Just as you do. At these ministries your kids will build relationships with other children who are also exploring what it means to follow God. Friendships formed as a child can last forever, especially as they grow and follow God together.
So, bring your children along to church. Bring them to Youth. Bring them to GEMS, Cadets, D&Ms, and Oasis Kids. We want to partner with you as parents. We want to see all of our children grow to love and serve our great God.