keep the tension.

keep the tension.

Never thought the color orange would ever be a favorite of mine.  {Sorry my Inman friends and family…no offense!}  But–that has changed.  Ever since my very first Orange Conference I attended about a year and a half ago.  So, what on earth am I talking about when I say “orange”?  Why do I love that color so much I was compelled to buy and wear my Orange TOMS?  Why are you going to see this bracelet on me more often than not?

I will tell you why.

There is nothing that makes much more sense to me, than what the color Orange really means for me in raising my family and as a leader in children’s ministry.  Take a look…




To summarize, the importance of church, the importance of children and youth leaders and their partnership with the family–HUGE!!  That’s where you get the color ORANGE.  Because both the church and the family are key components here.  Only when they work together do we see lives changed.  It’s then that we see children and youth grow in their relationship with Jesus.  And ultimately, that’s our goal, right?

Monday and Tuesday I was fortunate to attend the Orange Conference in Kansas City.  And I will say, for me as a parent, the information is just as important.  But one message by Reggie Joiner, rang true for me in this season of raising kids.  And I don’t know if I can really convey how awesome this is to anyone reading.  But for me, it will be important to have this written down again, not just in my notes.


To be the most effective in raising kids to know and have a relationship with Jesus, these things must be true.  Because holding and fighting for this TENSION is imperative.  Otherwise, we reduce the size of God.  See how true each of these statements are.  Do you see and feel the tension?  It is real.  It is true.

You can KNOW God.   <——————————————————————————>God is a MYSTERY

(God is way bigger than anything we can every know.  Hand kids a bigger picture of God–we do NOT know all of the answers)

You can become a Christian in a Moment  <—>It will take forever to figure out what it means to be a Christian.

The Bible is ALL true.  <———————————————–>  Everything true about life is NOT in the Bible

(there are many things in your life that are good and you will experience that are not in the Bible)

Trust leads to stronger faith. <————————————-> Doubt can lead to stronger faith

(create a safe place where issues can be wrestled with–a place to process doubt in order to own their own faith)

You should enjoy going to church <————————————————–>You an enjoy living in the world

(it’s ok to enjoy the world!!  God created the world.  Do not draw a line between the sacred and the secular.   Help kids get the understanding that God is in so much of the world around us—because HE created it!)

Your beliefs matter <————————————————————–> People matter MORE.

(If your beliefs cause you to treat people in a bad way—then your beliefs are wrong.)

God has an ideal <——————————————————>God uses BROKEN PEOPLE

(some day we will ALL mess up.  don’t set up a generation that can’t live up to the pictures)

God is GOOD <——————————————————->You should DO good.

(because God is good and God is in you, be what God has called you to be.  reflect his character.)

We must say YES to this tension of all of these things.  Because if we don’t?  Kids will miss and reject how BIG God really is.

Awesome tidbits from Reggie Joiner

*”You’re not called primarily to teach kids the Bible—you are called primarily to teach kids a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

**”God is bigger than the Bible–OR in other words, He is bigger than your translation of it”



“you will reduce the size of a very big God”




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