Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kiddos bored every Sunday? Give them ORANGE!

Hello friends.  If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you’d know that we are a church going family.  If your family is, too, the read on because I will give a fantastic solution on a pretty rampant problem among church going families, especially in this country (the Philippines).

Are your kiddos bored silly when your family goes to church?  Especially here in the Philippines, where the majority of the people go to the type of churches where kids have no choice but to sit with their parents, this is an all too common scenario.  Needless to say, Sunday mornings for most kids are usually not very pleasant, not only because of the boredom, but because they get chastised by expressing their boredom (squirming, fidgeting, complaining, etc.).

The church I go to invests heavily in children, and for many years I have been a very big part of serving these young people Sunday in Sunday out.  Well, earlier today, said church launched quite possibly the best curriculum we’ve ever had, called ORANGE…and as luck would have it, the Kids Church team that would launch it for the 7-12 year olds will be the team that I used to lead, a team that includes my daughters and my mom (unfortunately, I can no longer be involved because I now do Graduate School in addition to full time teaching).

The kids had an absolute BLAST…while learning about God and Biblical principles.  My blog will be all about today’s events, and if you live in any of the major cities of the Philippines, your kids can enjoy ORANGE as well (you’ll find out how, later).  Game?  Let’s go.

Before I share ORANGE with you, let me share with you a quick video of why this is sooooo important.  Did you know that there is a great battle for the hearts and minds of our children?  Please watch this video, made back in 2011 but relevant today more than ever.  It’s a part of a bigger video here, but I just have a snippet of it to prove a point.  It’s not that long, so please view it before you go on further.

Pretty grim, right?  So what are we to do about it?  Did you know that by the age of about 14, whatever a child believes about God, the world, and himself will pretty much become what he’ll believe for the REST OF HIS LIFE?  That’s huge…and if the right institutions (church, family…but I’ll talk about church here) don’t do anything about it, the future of this world is in big, big trouble.  Yet, why are so many churches so negligent about this  4-14 window of opportunity?  Don’t they know how critically important that age bracket is?

Enter NxtGen, the children’s ministry of my church, a church that knows how critically important it is to reach people within the 4-14 window and puts a lot of its efforts into it.  A lot of wonderful individuals have come from said efforts, but ORANGE is sure to create fantastic results.  Here’s a short video of the ORANGE program in a nutshell:

For months, the church campaigned hard for volunteers,  and a large number indeed stepped up with a heart to serve these young ones.  They were young and old, new to the ministry and the veterans, all eager to learn about ORANGE and train hard to present it effectively.  After months of preparation, it all culminated to one night of classroom setup (see pics below, ORANGE runs in 3 classrooms: 0-3, 4-6, 7-12, my family handling the 3rd group).

Mom and other storytellers

My son and the other kiddos, putting up tarps

Not a class for the impatient, lemme tell you that.

4-6 class

4-6 year old class, the front
So here’s some pics from the teams’ efforts this morning:

Praise and Worship always involves dance

Helping out with the babies

Costumes are part of the job…and the fun

Our theme this month

My middle child, Mesoo manning the 7-12 registration

4-6 year olds

Mom doing the intro activity
Here’s a video of my eldest daughter, Lynn, and her partner, Grace leading praise and worship.  (She’s injured from a futsal injury from the day before, and she had no headset mic…but she still did well, no?)

Here’s a short video clip of a Bible lesson that was done.  As you can see, it’s enjoyable and effective.

There are also games.  Games are not part of the ORANGE curriculum, but we brought it in from the previous curriculum because kids are looking for it and, well…it’s really, really fun!

Now, what makes ORANGE so good, and we feel it is superior to the previous methods we’ve had in the past few years, is:

1. The importance of small groups.

There were small groups in the past, but ORANGE really puts a premium on these, giving it equal time to everything else.  Small groups are critical because this is where they get to “munch” the lessons and relationships are also built.  Without the small group sessions, we’re just putting on a show, frankly speaking.

2. The accountability of the parents.

This is HUGE.  Previous curricula were fantastic, but one of the no-so-good by products of this excellence is that some parents (not too many, but a few) tend to delegate 100% of the spiritual development of their children to Kids Church.  Ah-ah-ah, that’s a no-no; and ORANGE addresses this by making the partnership with the home the most essential part of its curriculum.  It’s called ORANGE because it combines YELLOW (the light of the church) with RED (the love of the family).  It’s a partnership, and we, parents, are accountable.  No more drop (our kids off to Kids Church) and forget.  Nope, we have to play a part.  The devotions that parents have to have with their kids in regards to the lesson at church is really, really good stuff.  I look forward to doing these with my son.

So, if you have bored kids every Sunday morning and you would like to give your children a taste of ORANGE, then by all means bring them to a CCF church (you can check out their online directory, here).  In Cagayan de Oro, we are located downtown near Robinson’s Mall, right next to the immensely popular Red Tail restaurant.  Our services are 9am, 11am, and 5pm (no Kids Church at 5pm though, yet).  My team (er, former team) handles the 7-12 year olds every 1st Sunday of the month.

If you already go to CCF, then please consider it in your heart to volunteer as a NxtGen Lifeshaper.  We have a lot of volunteers, but we have a LOT of kids.  Think about making yourself available for, in my opinion, the most important ministry there is.

God bless you all.

(This blog site, Lessons Of A Dad is mostly about parentingmarriage, and other topics aimed to develop the reader’s mind, body, and soul.  I’d consider it an honor if you’d follow or subscribe to this site.  You can also go to my Facebook page here, and I’m also on Twitter at @lessonsofadad)

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