The idea of the church and the family coming together to teach the next generation about God is not a new concept. There have been shifts throughout time where more emphasis has been placed on the church or more emphasis has been placed on the family but in some form or fashion the two have been working together. The idea that you must be strategic in both areas is what makes Orange different. This post will look at the family side or the Red side of things. The Yellow side of things will come later this week.
Why must we be strategic? To many times when we look at families we categorize them in little boxes. For instance we will say, “This family has two kids and a dog and they make this much money. Therefore they must fit in the standard family box.” Or we say, “This family is divorced and the Dad is remarried but the kids live with the Mom. Therefore we will put them into the broken family box.” I think we believe that if we can put families into boxes then we can manage how we communicate with them, how we teach them, and how we partner with them. I think there is some flaw in this thinking. Every family, even mine, is broken. Families will never get it right every time.
Reggie Joiner does a talk where he uses the illustration of the “Stock Family”. You know the family where everything in the stock photo is perfect. Take this one for example:
Doesn’t this family just look perfect? I bet he makes six figures a year and his wife hasn’t had to have any plastic surgery and the kids all make straight A’s. Even the boy in the picture will probably grow up to be a Professional Football Player. Of course I jest and that is the same point that Reggie makes in his talk. None of us are the Stock Family and none of the families that we are trying to partner with are the Stock Family.
Instead we are probably more like this family:
We all have little monsters inside of us that need a lot of help. Families are really messy because they are made up of individuals who are really messy.
Why partner with them then? Because God set up two different vehicles to express his love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, and salvation through. It’s not like Orange woke up one day and said, wait a minute, we could use the family to help us. No matter how messed up families get God still uses this entity in his redemptive story and has all throughout history. It’s not that you would look at the best vehicle out there to partner with because if you did you wouldn’t pick families. Families are God’s vehicle and we can’t ignore that. That’s why you partner with them. It’s our job to get past the messy and help them get past the messy.