Over the last few years, the church has witnessed a movement toward more family-centered approaches in facilitating the spiritual development of children. The most prominent leaders within the movement have been Reggie Joiner and his team at the Rethink Group, who are the organizers of the Orange Conference, an annual gathering in Atlanta that brings together approximately 5,000 pastors, leaders and volunteers from churches throughout the U.S. and beyond.
Key Ministry is honored that our teammate, Harmony Hensley, has been invited to present at this year’s conference on the topics of recruiting special needs ministry volunteers and how to plan special needs space.
After reading “Think Orange,” I concluded that many of the principles discussed in the book are especially relevant as catalysts to spiritual development in kids with more subtle, or “hidden disabilities.” During the lead-up to this year’s Orange Conference, the blog will explore how specific “Orange” principles and perspectives can be applied to ministry with families in which one or more children experience disabilities.
Here’s our tentative schedule:
February 6: To make “Orange”, you need red in addition to yellow
February 13: What does it mean for the church to be “Light” to a family impacted by disability?
February 20: “Warm Hearts”…The family’s role in spiritual development is magnified when kids have disabilities…as well as the church’s role
February 27: Family Values: Partnering with parents of kids with disabilities
March 6: Things every kid…with or without disabilities…needs
March 13: Why programs for kids with disabilities are no substitute for an integrated strategy for partnering with families
March 20: Communicating the message…Seek first to understand in order to be better understood
March 27: Helping parents of kids with disabilities to do a “little bit more” without inducing guilt
April 3: Catalysts for spiritual growth…different for kids with disabilities?
April 10: Families of kids with disabilities provide the church with a unique ability to leverage influence
April 17: We’re hoping to attract a prominent guest blogger to tie the series together
For church leaders or parents interested in following along, we’ll be doing a chapter each week in Think Orange. The book is readily available in Christian bookstores in our area. Here’s a link to to a website to download the Kindle version of the book…the Kindle app allows the book to be read on an i-Pad.