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Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Contests, Front Page | 37 comments

Play for Keeps and WIN

What would happen if you spent one day re-prioritizing what you do each week in the life of a kid or teenager?

We asked you this question, and it started a conversation. It began at Orange Conference 2013 and continued this fall on Orange Tour. What you do each week matters because there is a short window of opportunity to make a permanent imprint on the heart of a child.

Over the past few months, we’ve discussed a few core things to focus on every week that will have a significant impact on the lives of kids. You discovered how to make the most of the time you have with the children and teenagers in you ministry.

Now the question is, “What will you do next?”

How will you Play for Keeps?

We’d love to hear how you’ve started thinking differently, acting differently, what you’ve implemented, or what you plan to implement since hearing the Play for Keeps message. It may be from your perspective as a parent or ministry leader. We want to know about your victories and celebrate them with you. Those stories are too good not to share.

Leave a comment below or on Facebook to win a $50 gift certificate to OrangeStore.org. One winner from the comments below and one winner from Facebook will be chosen on Tuesday, December 10 at random.

37 Comments

  1. We have changed up things as parents & ministry leaders since we decided to Play For Keeps! As a family, we now have a family gathering scheduled on our calendar twice a month. We take the correct number of marbles out, talk about what they are learning about following Jesus and the Bible, and plan out dates and other family activities. It has been fun to set that time aside.

    • That’s great, Beth! It sounds like you’re creating meaningful and special times with your family. Great job! ~Jennifer

    • Hi Beth! I just wanted to thank you for entering the contest! As you may have seen, we have chosen a random winner. Keep following us on Twitter and Facebook for more contests! ~Jennifer

  2. After watching the playing for keeps messages, we have decided to maximize our relational time with our kids by focusing and striving towards a 5 kids to each small group ratio.

    I’ve descovered that if you have to prioritize relationships personally, professionally, and for the next generation. If you think there will be enough marbles left over, you won’t. Take them out FIRST.

    • Great points, Ethan! Thanks for entering the contest! As you may know, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Follow Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more contests and giveaways! ~Jennifer

  3. After hearing the Play For Keeps message, I’ve been driving a lot more. My son attends school 35 minutes from our house. With after school activities and sports, he often gets home at dinner time or later. In the past, I’ve been eager to find carpools to share the burden of driving so many miles. But lately, I’ve chosen to drive the entire way just so that I can have that extra time. And now when I pick him up, we’ve started a new habit. Instead of immediately changing the radio to his favorite music, he has to tell me three things about his day. At first I got the eye rolling and attitude. But now, the ‘three things’ have turned into longer discussions about school, friends, sharing and memories.
    I keep this note in my dashboard to remind me of why I am doing it: When you see how much time you have left, you get serious about the time you have now. And I have a marble in a little bag that hangs from my gear shifter. All the extra driving is so worth the time I get to spend with him now.

    • I love this! Thank you for sharing!

  4. As a Small Group Leader and a parent i have tried to take advantage of the time i have with my kids (one child of my own, the rest of my kids i see maybe only once a week.) Also to have fun. I’m not a singer or a great dancer, but in large group i do my best to show my kids God is fun!

    • Fun is important, Tracey! Thanks for sharing and entering the contest! As you may know, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Stay tuned in to Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more fun stuff! ~Jennifer

  5. I am a grandmother and for me it’s the little things…making cookies together…reading a book snuggled up together…a tea party…making a big deal out of their favorite activity and making it a party…entering their world and listening to them…really listening…sending a gift in the mail…but DOING IT! Whatever IT is does not need to be big and glamourous but it needs to be often! And when it is often they will talk and you can listen and share your love of Jesus with their sweet little hearts.

    • Great ideas, Robin! Thanks for reminding us that just doing it is the important part, whatever it is. And CONGRATS, YOU WON! Please email kporter@rethinkgroup.org, and she’ll tell you how to redeem your $50 to the Orange Store. ~ Kristi

  6. I am a youth pastor and picked up the Playing for Keeps DVD study. This fall, I facilitated a Sunday School class for parents using the material and the impact has been amazing. It has opened many doors for conversations with parents and encouraging them around what they could do to make the most of the time they have with their kids. Many of the parents are also teachers at the local public schools and made great connections around being more intentional about the ways they invest in their students.

    • This is great, Megan! I’m so glad that Play for Keeps DVD was useful to you. And thanks for entering the contest! As you may know, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Keep up with Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more contests and giveaways! ~Jennifer

  7. We want to have a Parent/Small Group Leader breakfast in January, has anyone tried this?

    • Thanks for your question! I’ve passed along your question to our Orange Specialist team, someone should connect with you via email soon! ~Jennifer

  8. After attending Orange Tour in Oct. with several from my kids team I have noticed a passion well up in all of us. A fire and enthusiasm to listen to the kids and really be present in small group times with them. To express love in a variety of ways whether it be playing with the little ones or giving gifts. To have fun together. A favorite in our group is when we all have worship time together (even some of the babies) and dance our hearts out. We are a somewhat new church and our kids ministry is really starting to grow lately. One of the moms (who is also a volunteer) commented that our kids may not even realize it but as they interact with one another and the volunteers they have community. All of these moments over time add up to allow God to do something in each of us that we long for and need.

    • Great to hear, Libby! Thanks for entering the contest! As you may have seen, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Keep up with Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more contests and giveaways! ~Jennifer

  9. Four months into a new role as kid’s director at my church and we are working hard on getting our small group leaders to be consistent. Weekly encounters with a 3rd grader over time = a relationship. We’ve started a team huddle twice a month with leaders so they can be reminded that by being there week after week DOES MATTER! And there seems to be power in that when the leaders hear that message together. It’s like we are a team with the same goal. We are taking this serious and playing for keeps at our church.

    • Love the passion, Kim! Great job! Thank you for entering the contest. As you may know, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Follow Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more contests and giveaways! ~Jennifer

  10. As we Play For Keeps, we’ve started a few new things in our family ministry this month, focusing especially on FUN and TIME.

    1) We are now using Studio 252 – it is such a cool online space for our kids. To spice up their regular weekly take-home pages (the GodTime devotional and Parent CUE) we are also sending home the 252 story cards (from Design a CUE XP) to help prompt them to answer the weekly challenge question and explore Studio 252.

    2) We are giving the Know God (28-day devotional) to our children and youth who are being baptized as a commemorative gift and way to spark more intentional thinking, talking, and hanging out with a loving adult over the span of several weeks.

    These are just some of tangible resources we’re using to help us be more thoughtful about planning Fun/Time and Time/Time!

    • Great ideas, Allison! Love the idea of giving the Know God books out at baptism. Thanks for entering the contest. As you may know, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Keep following Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more contests and giveaways! ~Jennifer

  11. We are not over complicating things and sticking providing the best hour of each kids week by reminding our small group leaders that they are every day heroes in the lives of the kids that walk through our doors. We have implemented Sunday Morning Huddles in each of our environments that used to inspire, teach, laugh and remind our team members of the value they have in our community and in the eyes of each child.

    • Thanks, Kristi! As you may know, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. There will be more contests and giveaways in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned to Orange Leaders on Facebook and Twitter to get details! ~Jennifer

  12. I am still sort of new to ministry. I have been working with kids since I was in fifth grade but went off to school and now have a Children’s Ministry degree. I love what I do and love working with kids. Ministry in not just a 9 – 5 job. It is your day, week, year, and life. When we think about time and working with kids, they grow up so fast. We think we have a life time and before we know it they are in college, getting married, and leading other kids in ministry.

    Since ministry is part of our lives and does not have to be just within the 4 walls of the church. It takes time to invest in the lives of the kids. I now take the time to take kids to the movies, get ice cream, and go to their softball or football games. I now take the time to work with and spend time with this kids in their environment. I love watching them and seeing them grow and they love when you show up! It takes my time to invest in the times of these kids life. To seem them smile when you show up just makes me so happy. It takes time to build relationships with the kids!

    • Thanks for your input, Ben! As you may know, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Keep following Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more giveaways! ~Jennifer

  13. We went portable- so we have definitely had to learn how to think outside the box, especially in our small group/parent connections! Making connections with kids, in and out of the walls of church. I’ve been more intentional with time with my own children.

    • Thanks for your comment, and for entering the contest! As you may know, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Follow Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more contests and giveaways! ~Jennifer

  14. Since attending the orange tour and reading “Playing for Keeps”, I feel even more passionate about parenting and being a ministry leader! I’m striving to be more intentional about my time with my kids at home. And my children’s planning for 2014 has been positively affected from the principles I’ve learned. I love how everything rethink creates help point me in the right direction to minister to my kids and the kids in my community.

    • That’s great, Marybeth! As you may know, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Stay tuned to Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more fun stuff! ~Jennifer

  15. My wife and I bought some jars, calculated the number we have left with our two boys, and we know have two marble jars for them.

    My wife had recently started a blog, so back in July, she began blogging about Playing For Keeps in a personal way: http://inthestriving.blogspot.com

    • Hi Kevin! What a great blog. Thanks for sharing the link! As you may know, a winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. But continue following Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more contests and giveaways! ~Jennifer

  16. Playing for keeps starts with our volunteers feeling they are just as important as our kids each week! I try to be intentional every week with a random call to a volunteer to say thank you and share with them something I try to catch them doing RIGHT from that past week! It reminds me and them of the long run and what this moment in time WILL and CAN mean to 1 of the kids in their small group, right now!!

    • Hi Kelly! Thank you for entering! A winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Be sure to keep following Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more contests and giveaways! ~Jennifer

  17. Since OC13 we have started implementing the six elements more intentionally into the life of our student ministry. Upon doing an evaluation we realized that we were teaching our students the Bible effectively but we were missing the “fun” component unintentionally.
    After a couple conversations with our students and volunteers we began to implement bi-monthly fun events into the life of our student ministry. We allowed our students to guide the discussion/planning of these events because they know what they like. Our volunteers loved it as well because there wasn’t a “pre-set agenda” for these events but rather just a time to build relationships with our students, which they love.

    • Thank you for entering, Matt! A winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Keep following Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more fun stuff! ~Jennifer

  18. This past year our youth pastor and I (the kids pastor) of our church have started implementing much of what we’ve gathered from Playing for Keeps. Having the opportunity to attend Orange Tour in October was a tremendous boost for our volunteers! One thing we have really pushed is small groups. It’s been so wonderful to see he connection between our kids and their leaders and to see the deeper involvement of our teenagers. Many of our teenagers have asked to be further mentored and others have stepped up to the plate to BE mentors to younger kids. Once we really began to realize that what we do THIS week matters, things started to change.

    • Thank you for entering, Danielle! A winner has been chosen from among the comments on the post. Follow Orange Leaders on Twitter and Facebook for more contests and giveaways! ~Jennifer

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