It’s the goal of every ministry leader to help kids and teenagers have a relationship with Jesus. But if you want students to hear more truth, then change the way you present it.
On today’s episode of the podcast, Reggie Joiner shares an essential of thinking Orange – Refine the Message. Then, Kristin Ivy and Dan Scott join Dave for a candid and powerful conversation discussing what to communicate, how to communicate and when to communicate. How you present the Gospel and scripture have the power to change a child’s life forever.
Welcome to Episode 004 of the Think Orange Podcast.
(02:18) Reggie explains what it means to refine the message
(09:30) The truth and tension of scripture
(19:23) Reggie’s personal story on why relevance matters
(24:40) Dave’s Interview with Kristin Ivy and Dan Scott
(25:35) Prioritizing the 40 hours a year you have with kids and teenagers
(27:19) What’s the most important message to tell kids?
(30:08) How do you decide what’s applicable for what stage of life?
(35:12) What it means to say less, more often
(40:17) Helping kids work through questions and doubts
(46:35) How busy leaders make the mental space needed to get creative with their presentations
(51:10) Listener Question: How to get your Senior Pastor on board for refining the message?
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Reggie is founder and CEO of Orange (The reThink Group). He has co-written three parenting books, Don’t Miss It, Playing for Keeps and Parenting Beyond Your Capacity as well as other leadership books including A New Kind of Leader and Think Orange. Reggie lives in Georgia with his wife, Debbie, and has four grown children, Reggie Paul, Hannah, Sarah, and Rebekah.
Dan Scott is the Large Group Director for 252 Basics Group at Orange. He spends most of his time leading a creative team of talented writers that innovate our large group environments in addition to writing his blog. Prior to coming on board at Orange, Dan served as the Elementary Children’s Director at Ada Bible Church. He enjoys traveling around the world coaching children’s ministry leaders and speaking to kids and students. Dan and his wife Jenna live in Cumming, GA and have four amazing kids: Liam, Ellison, Addison, and Taye.
Kristen Ivy is the Executive Director of Messaging at The reThink Group, commonly referred to as Orange. She and her husband Matt are currently parenting their Kindergartener, Sawyer, preschooler, Hensley, and newborn, Raleigh, through the phases. At Orange, Kristen has played an integral role in the development of the elementary, middle school, and high school curriculums and has shared her experiences at speaking events across the country. Kristen is a co-author of Playing for Keeps, Creating a Lead Small Culture, It’s Just A Phase, and Zero to One.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
1. Find Your Bottom Line
When refining the message for kids and teenagers, we should prioritize between what’s important and what’s most important. Yes, all scripture is important. But the church only has 40 hours a year with a child. To put it in perspective, they’ll spend 400 hours a year playing video games.
You only have 40 hours to tell them about forgiveness. Only 40 hours to tell them about grace. Only 40 hours to convey the importance of scripture. Only 40 hours to help their walk with Christ.
Because of that limited time, ask yourself: What’s my bottom line? In other words, if your kids were only going to remember one thing when they leave, what do you want it to be?
If you can find your bottom line and articulate it in a short, catchy sentence, then your kids and teenagers will be much more likely to remember it and apply it to their lives.
2. Focus on relevance
All scripture is important, but not all scripture is relevant to each child’s life stage.
Kindergarteners probably won’t be able to relate the story of David and Bathsheba to their lives in the way that kids in junior high could.
Kristin gave us the example of a parenting book. If you read a parenting book before you have kids, you might find it interesting… but you won’t be glued to the pages until you’re actually expecting a kid.
If we want kids to understand the importance of what they read in scripture, we have to make it personal to their lives.
3. Say less, more often
Kids are going to have questions about life. They’re going to have questions about faith. They might even go through seasons of wrestling with doubt. This is okay. Instead of jumping in and saving the day with answers… one of the best things a leader can do is say less.
Show up and be present for them. Let your actions communicate to them “I’m listening to you and I’m here for you.” By providing kids with a safe place to work through their questions, we are allowing them to deepen their faith. As leaders, we shouldn’t short-circuit that opportunity.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
Of the 40 hours we’ll get with kids and teenagers, what’s our bottom line? If they only remember one thing, what do we want it to be?
Choose a story from scripture. With your staff, volunteers, or small group of leaders… walk through the different life stages of kids and discuss how the story could be presented in a relevant way to each while emphasizing your bottom line.
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’ll be back next week with a new episode featuring Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas. They’ll be talking about the importance of elevating community.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.