Think Orange Group Blog Project – Chapter 3: Warm Hearts

(photo originally uploaded to Flickr by 7meteor)

Today we are looking at the third chapter of Think Orange entitled “Warm Hearts.” Our contributor for this review is Matt McKee. Matt McKee is the pastor of Students and Children at Horizon Church in Cincinnati, OH. Matt worked at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX where he helped and create G-Force, a curriculum for elementary-aged children. He was also part of the dreaming stages of the Elevate elementary curriculum that is currently put out by Fellowship Church. Matt is also the author of Matt McKee Live.

The Title of Chapter 3 from the Think Orange book is Warm Hearts. At first I didn’t find that name very appealing and thought here comes the fuzzy feelings. I don’t know if you could tell but I’m not big on the fuzzy feelings. The thing for me though was that chapter 3 of the book goes into Deuteronomy 6 and backs up the principles and the philosophy for the foundation of Thinking Orange. This part of the chapter is where I will spend most of my effort for this post.

If you are not familiar with Deuteronomy 6 then you can read it now, it’s not that long so here you go:

1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.

3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, promised you. 
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. 
10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied,

12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 
13 Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not test the Lord your God as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers,

19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said. 
20 In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” 21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Before our eyes the Lord sent miraculous signs and wonders—great and terrible—upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers. 24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.

25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

So as you can see this chapter in the Bible is all about parents teaching their kids about what God has done. Parents, I happen to be one, have to be ready to give an account to what God has done. It is the parents job. Of course Reggie speaks to this in a much better manner than I have the past 3 sentences but that’s why you need to buy the book.

Here was the deal for me though. I personally know Reggie and call him a friend. When we get together we are like two school boys just having fun. I’m not saying this to brag but to let you know that I am blessed to have this relationship. While together one evening we started talking about this chapter in his book. Even after reading this chapter and seeing/experiencing the family experience that the Orange philosophy promotes as part of their strategy, I was still confused. Yes at this point you can say that I must not be that quick, but my confusion came in the form of parents and kids worshiping together. For you see when I read this teaching from Deuteronomy 6 and see the Family Experience I thought the end goal was worship. Reggie made it very clear that the end goal is not worship and he actually never says in his book that the goal should be worship. Did you have this confusion? Did you think the way I did?

So what is the goal then of the Family Experience and the goal of this teaching from Deuteronomy 6? Deuteronomy is the mandate that we as parents are to teach our kids about God and all of the great things that God has done. The Family Experience is simply a platform to help the family talk about God and the great things He has done outside of Sunday morning. It is a springboard for Tuesday more than a worship service for Sunday. Parents should be worshiping God on their own. They don’t need a Family Experience to do this but they do need it to have common ground to talk about.

Look at verse 20 again… It says when your son asks you… Equipping the family is not some fuzzy feeling or trying to measure if the family worshiped together. It’s about being able to give an account to who God is and what He has done. That to me is what chapter 3 is all about.

What do you think Deuteronomy 6 is trying to say?

What do you think the goals of a Family Experience should be?

You can check out other posts to this project:


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