Well, this is it. The last of 4 posts in our series for Orange Bloggers Week. If you’re just checking in for the first time, we’ve been spending the last few days talking about what thinking orange means to us and how it’s transformed our ministry.

Here are the 4 things we’re talking through…

  1. PARTNERSHIP. Linking arms with others.
  2. LEADERSHIP. Leading teams and mobilizing volunteers.
  3. CULTURE. The state of the Church and family.
  4. MISSION. Engaging others with the Gospel.

As you may have already deduced, this particular post is about MISSION. One of the reason we so love and appreciate the folks at Orange, and the orange strategy in general, is because engaging others with the Gospel is woven throughout everything. Like we saw in our culture post, thinking orange requires us to look outward. It forces us to question and rethink the way that we understand and engage those outside the walls of our church.

Orange compels us to discover and create and experiment with new ways of doing things for the sake of the people and the mission that we’ve been called to.

Earlier today, when we walked through how orange challenges us to rethink culture, we gave you a peek at some of our notes from this year’s Orange TourAnd, to help us talk about mission, we’re going to do it again. Because, like we said before, the content was just so good.

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THE ORANGE TOUR 2012

“Jesus didn’t call you to follow Him to safety. He called you to engage in a mission.” – Reggie Joiner

  • Jesus didn’t die to make you happy. We should never send that message to our kids or students.
  • Jesus didn’t call you to follow Him to safety or be protected. We shouldn’t send that message to our kids or students either.
  • You can protect them or you can engage them in a missionChoose.
  • Many students feel overprotected by their church, protected from being involved with ministry, protected from participating in the church – because they’re “too young.”
  • Engaging kids and students in a mission gets messy. The cross was messy. The Gospel is messy. Faith and discipleship are messy. There’s no way to do it without getting messy.
  • Students won’t believe they’re significant until you give them something significant to do. 
  • Students won’t understand until they experience. So connect them with leaders – not just teachers.
  • Students won’t learn to love until they learn to serve. So give them consistent opportunities to do ministry.
  • Students will never really live until they go. So help them see that they are an integral part of the Body of Christ and help connect them to a mission.

We love the passion behind the folks at Orange for connecting kids and students to a mission. Absolutely love it. And we believe in it. It’s something our church believes in, too – that we’re all the Body of Christ. That we’re all called to live “on mission” – even our kids and teenagers. That you’re never “too young” to make a difference for the Gospel. We love that Orange is a champion for helping our kids and teenagers get connected to a mission – something significant, something bigger than themselves.

One of the ways we’ve tried to put these ideas about mission into practice is by giving our middle schoolers ways to “be good news” and share the love of Jesus with others through their actions. We try to tell our students often that  we think they’re significant – that we don’t care if they’re ten or eleven or twelve or thirteen years old. We believe they can turn the world upside down for the Gospel, right now. This fall, our middle schoolers decided that they believed us. And then they did something pretty stinkin’ cool. You can read all about it right here.

We’re grateful for Orange for a lot of reasons. But their passion for seeing kids and students embrace their roles as important members of the Body of Christ is a really, really big one.

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Hey, thanks for hanging out with us on the blog this week. It’s been pretty fun for us to chat about all this thinking orange stuff. We hope you found some info that was helpful and some ideas that were inspiring.

And, listen, we’d love to hang with you in Atlanta this April at The Orange Conference! For real! If you’re coming, let us know. We’ll be there, and I’m personally really excited because, this year, I get to help out our friend Matt McKee with one of his breakout sessions on social media! REGISTER BY FEBRUARY 14 and you’ll get a $50 credit and save $40 on your registration.

And hey! Don’t forget! We’re giving away a FREE 1-Year Subscription to YouLead TOMORROW! YouLead is a complete, done-for-you leadership development plan, for you and your team. Today is your LAST day to enter! Winner will be chosen tomorrow at 12:00PM EST.

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THE YOULEAD GIVEAWAY QUESTION OF THE DAY: What is your church doing to engage children and students in “living on mission”? What kinds of significant ways have you seen children and students get involved in ministry?