As adults, the idea of influencing the faith of the next generation can be daunting — not only is there an age difference to contend with, there’s also the fact that kids these days are experiencing life way differently than when we were growing up. How are we supposed to get through to them on their level?
On Episode 24 of the Think Orange Podcast, our guests, Carrie Hood, Mike Clear and Greg Payne talk about the best way to reach the next generation — through family fun and honest conversations.
Dave introduces today’s topic about the Family Experience, or FX, and how churches can leverage it to reach families (:37)
Ashley defines what Family Experience is — An event a church puts on to bring the parents and children together for an experience they don’t normally get on a normal Sunday (:51)
Dave introduces today’s guests: Carrie Hood, family experience director of Village Church in Hayesville, NC; Mike Clear, executive director of children’s strategy at Orange; and Greg Payne, director of family experience at Orange (1:40)
Carrie talks about when she was asked to start an FX initiative at her church (3:25)
Carrie explains creating an FX is not about having tons of resources or having a stage (4:40)
Carrie talks about starting KidStuf in international churches through Buckhead Church. A team of them helped startup churches start a family ministry event in Brazil, Mexico, Slovakia (5:55)
Carries shares a story about working with a church in Bosnia (6:51)
Carrie defines what FX is and why it’s important for you to be able to explain clearly what it is — It’s a fun, shared experience for families to come together for a purpose (8:38)
FX is created to communicate a truth God wants to teach us — to change us on the inside so we can impact the world around us (11:00)
FX is designed to feed spiritually both parents and kids so they have a shared experience they can go home and have a conversation about (11:47)
Every FX is centered around truths and virtues such as honesty, gratitude, and commitment (12:15)
FX is not a show or a worship service— you don’t sit back and watch. It’s participatory (13:54)
Dave, Mike, and Greg join in the conversation about FX (16:05)
Why would a church want to do FX? (16:40)
Greg says if you want to influence kids, you need to influence those who most influence them — their parents (18:21)
Mike shares how to tell if your FX is effective in your church (22:20)
Greg and Mike talk about the elements of a typical FX program (23:01)
Greg talks about who the target audience is for FX (25:24)
Greg shares how FX can be done with any sized budget and team (29:28)
Mike shares how he was able to do an FX 18 years ago with just three other people, a limited budget, and a backdrop (32:01)
If you’re going to start an FX program at your church, you don’t have to do it every week. You just have to try it once. (36:40)
What kinds of resources Orange provides to implement FX in your church (37:28)
Mike shares why the best time to try an FX is at Christmas (39:23)
How to access FX resources (43:29)
Final thoughts from hosts (45:17)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Mike Clear is the director of children’s strategy at The reThink Group. He graduated from Mid-Atlantic Christian University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, with a minor in ping-pong. Prior to coming on board at reThink, Mike was one of the founding pastors of Discovery Church in Simi Valley, California, where he served as the Family Ministries Director for nearly 10 years. Mike lives in Cumming, Georgia, with his wife Crystal and their two children, Nash and Kennedy.
Carrie Hood is an actress, producer, mountain momma and wifey. She enjoys good food, good friends and Jesus, but not necessarily in that order.
Greg Payne is a creative writer, video producer, and performer for Orange and 252 Basics. He has been married for 21 years. He has two daughters, a grill, a motorcycle, and a strange sense of humor. His dog loves anything from the grill. His daughters like his motorcycle. His wife tolerates his sense of humor with grace and mercy.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
Create an environment kids and parents want to talk about later.
When kids reach elementary school age, they start asking spiritual and moral questions. This is the perfect time to bring both kids and their parents together in an environment that fosters open dialogue. So make it fun and something they’ll remember.
Make your Family Experience family friendly, yet kid focused.
Your target audience should be fourth and fifth graders, though the ideas you’ll be sharing can reach the younger kids and adults in attendance. Be sure to incorporate lots of time for interaction and laughter.
Remember: An investment in the family is an investment in the next generation.
Parents play a huge part in growing the faith of the next generation. FX has a purpose and its approach must be intentional. Think about the moments you’re helping families create — these collective moments form a story that defines the entire family.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
What did our church do for families this week? What can we do next week to raise the bar?
If we had an unlimited budget for FX, in what ways would we use it? What are some ways we can creatively incorporate those ideas in our ministry now?
When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.
Ashley serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the USA Director of Carry 117. She has worked with students in public education, athletic and ministry settings for the last 12 years. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating on stage, developing leaders, working with students and world missions. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.
Join Us Next Week
Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.