Voices of the Phase Project :: Tom Shefchunas

You know you’re talking to a phase expert when they answer the “Why is this the most important phase?” question with a smile and a simple “because it is.” Tom Shefchunas has not only the gift of simplification and sarcasm, he is actually one of the smartest...
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Leading Well Through Seasons of Doubt

Leadership continues through difficult seasons of spiritual growth. Difficult seasons are met with moments of doubt, confusion and anxiety. Yet, these seasons can be leveraged to grow our faith. Those difficult seasons, or “faith spurts,” allow us to grow in our...
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What’s Hindering Your Leadership Effectiveness?

As I write this, I’m listening to our dryer run. It’s a new dryer we had to buy because the old one met a bitter, smoke-filled, smelly end. The old one had given us plenty of trouble over the last few years, but the new one didn’t fix everything like we had hoped. It...
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Growing in Emotional Intelligence

I want my game show. There are game shows about financial intelligence like the Price is Right. There are game shows about intellectual intelligence like Jeopardy. There are even game shows about probability intelligence like the Family Feud trying to guess what a...
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Orange Leaders

Why the Church Needs Less Volunteers and More Mentors

Why the Church Needs Less Volunteers and More Mentors

I’ve been a huge advocate for mentoring for about 10 years and have been blessed to experience being both a mentor and a mentee for the last several. Concurrently, I’ve been working in children’s ministry in the local church and now oversee an elementary ministry that consists of about 300 first-fifth graders and nearly 100 volunteers on Sunday mornings. Believe it or not, I used to keep these two worlds separate from one another. The work I did in the mentoring community was...

Daniel De Jesus

Orange Guest
Elementary

Volunteer Pre-Service Pep Talk for July 9

Volunteer Pre-Service Pep Talk for July 9

Sunday mornings are like game day for children’s ministry. Just like any good coach, gather your team of volunteers for a pre-game pep talk. Answer any questions about the curriculum and ask for prayer requests. Then read the following devotion to kick the morning off: The God of the universe made YOU and has a specific adventure tailor made for you. Remind your kids this week that God goes before (so he was with them yesterday) and God goes in front of us too (so he holds the future). That...

Orange Leaders

Voices of the Phase Project :: Sue Miller

Voices of the Phase Project :: Sue Miller

Sue Miller can most accurately be described as a cornerstone, not just for us at Orange, but for preschool ministry as a whole. For 17 years she led a 3,000-strong children’s ministry at Willow Creek Community Church, and since 2005 she’s developed groundbreaking ministry books, resources and events for preschool leaders, volunteers, and parents. She’s an expert on families and an integral part of our family at Orange....

The Phase Project

Orange Leaders
Preschool

Social Media Plan for Reaching Parents Starting July 10th

Social Media Plan for Reaching Parents Starting July 10th

Here is the First Look Social Media Plan for influencing parents to interact with their preschoolers. If you missed the first post explaining our plan, please click here.  The following information will be 6 tweets, 5 Facebook posts, 2 pictures or ideas for Instagram, and 2 articles to pin on Pinterest.  Feel free to use any and all of this information but don’t feel tied to these updates word for word.  These are simply examples that you could copy and paste if you wanted or you can add your...

Elementary

Social Media Plan for Elementary Parents Starting July 9

Social Media Plan for Elementary Parents Starting July 9

These posts are designed to review the lesson, so plan for them to appear in your ministry’s social media accounts after you’ve taught the lesson in your ministry. Also, if you share social media accounts with other ministries in your organization, coordinate with them to develop a plan for when to schedule posts and how to designate the intended audience. If Pampers and Goldfish are more your speed, check out our First Look blog for the social media plan to connect parents with...

Students

JULY: The Best Month to Set Goals for Your Student Ministry?

JULY: The Best Month to Set Goals for Your Student Ministry?

July isn’t exactly the month most of us think about setting goals. In fact, July is probably the time of the year when goals are farthest from our minds. After all, we’re a full six months past the goals we set in January and six months away from the goals we’ll set next January. Not only is it not goal-setting season, it’s the middle of summer. And summer means our lives are slowing down for a bit—especially after we get back from summer camp with our students. Maybe...

CJ Palmer

Orange Leaders
Orange Leaders

Start Acting Like Everyone Is Invited

Start Acting Like Everyone Is Invited

There’s a party happening. It’s actually going to be one HEAVEN of a party, because the invitation was extended from the Creator of the universe. And the good news is that everyone is invited. This one idea—that God is throwing a party for everyone—could potentially change how we see the world around us. What if you started acting like everyone is invited to the party? Think about it. How would that one idea change your relationship with people you meet every day? Not only is everyone around...

Reggie Joiner

CEO & Founder, Orange
Preschool

September 2017 Editor’s Notes

September 2017 Editor’s Notes

Hello, First Look Friends! It’s time for a favorite of preschoolers and their leaders! It’s Super Kids month! All kids want to be Super Kids, and they can when they realize that God is always with them. Because God is with them, they can be brave. Because God is with them, they can be strong. Because God is with them, they can be courageous. Because God is with them, they can be wise. We want our preschoolers to know that when they know God is always with them, they can be super! This month,...

Elementary

Volunteer Pre-Service Pep Talk for July 2

Volunteer Pre-Service Pep Talk for July 2

Sunday mornings are like game day for children’s ministry. Just like any good coach, gather your team of volunteers for a pre-game pep talk. Answer any questions about the curriculum and ask for prayer requests. Then read the following devotion to kick the morning off: This month is all about uniqueness – discovering who God made you to be so you can make a difference. God didn’t make you to be anyone other than exactly who you are. As much as world screams at your kids to conform to be...

Students

Using XP3 in a Small Church (Part 5): Presentation Matters

Using XP3 in a Small Church (Part 5): Presentation Matters

The XP3 blog is all about you, the student ministry leader. That’s why we love it when we’re able to share helpful ideas and insights straight from student pastors and leaders like you. If you would like to contribute in a future post, send us an email. By Tim Van Dalen Last week we talked about the importance of small groups in your student ministry. However, that does not mean the presentation of God’s Word is unimportant. It is very important! Students need to know what God’s...

Preschool

Connect Four

Connect Four

Remember that amazing game where you put red or black checkers into a vertical plastic game board in an attempt to get four in a row? I always tried to be super sneaky and work on a row unobtrusively, but I didn’t win very often! I recently saw a giant version of the game in a children’s ministry classroom, and it made me think of the connections we need to be making with our small groups throughout the summer. Staying connected during the summer is hard. Someone is always out on...

Heather Kenny

Orange Guest
Elementary

April Editor’s Notes

April Editor’s Notes

Humility is a response of the character of God. God has no beginning and no end. God is the creator and sustainer of the universe. He deserves all of our worship and praise for what He has done and continues to do in our life. On the other hand, we are humans, created by God. And while we are the crowns of God’s creation, we are nothing without our Creator God. Yet so often, we act like we are God. We allow our pride to take over and forget that any of our strengths or accomplishments would...

Dan

Students

XP3 101 | Teaching with XP3

XP3 101 | Teaching with XP3

This post is part of a series of posts called XP3 101. Be sure to check out the entire series! You can check out the previous post in this series by clicking here. Hey! My name is Ashley and I’m the Content Director for XP3 Middle School Curriculum. One of the things I am most passionate about in life and in ministry is communicating to students about the story of God, and the truths of Scripture. That’s why I’m such a big fan of XP3 and why I’ve used it in my own ministry as a student pastor....

Orange Leaders

Is it Possible to Find Balance Between Your Job and Your Personal Life?

Is it Possible to Find Balance Between Your Job and Your Personal Life?

The balance between our work and our personal lives will always be what Andy Stanley calls a “tension to manage.” We need to strive for balance, but we will never fully find it. What we can do, is be as intentional as possible in fighting for this balance. It’s in this daily fight that we can discover how to manage the tension appropriately. Here are three ways we can fight for balance between our work and our personal lives. Fight for balance by giving yourself permission to say...

Orange Leaders

Controlling Crazy

Controlling Crazy

Life can get wild and ministry can get crazy. When you don’t think things can get any busier, they can and they do. Often, busy is a relative term. What one person calls busy is not busy to another. The fact is no matter how you define busy it causes you to be deal with pressure. Pressure can cause you to grow, or it can also expose weakness in your abilities. Either way, pressure is your friend. People are paid by how much pressure they can handle and deal with. If you want to make more money...

Preschool

Preference or Priority

Preference or Priority

I love this time of year! In the South, it means whispers of possible snow and shouts of joy when school is closed as the first flakes hit the pavement. In my life, it means looking back at the last twelve months to see what helped me become more like Jesus, and what pulled me away from Him. Then, I ponder and pray and choose what things to change in order to become more like Him this year. In my home, it means going through cabinets and closets and drawers and pulling together items that no...

Heather Kenny

Orange Guest