I attended Orange tour this year with several others from the AC3 youth leader team, the Kreek Kids team, and Hillside Church leader team.
Orange believes that two combined influences make a greater impact than just two individual influences.
Light (yellow) represents the Church + Love (red)represents the Home
And the two of them together = Orange
Each year we go to Orange we get resourced and empowered to connect the church with the family to bring Jesus into the hearts of each kid that comes through our doors. I am so grateful our team was able to go the last couple of years.
This year’s theme was “It’s Personal”
The speakers and teachers called for all of us to connect more deeply and individually with the kids and teens in our lives—to really get personal.
Reggie Joiner and his team presented 5 Questions that you should answer to give every kid HOPE.
Here they are (from the perspective of the child you lead):
1.) Do you know my name?
Such a small, simple piece of knowledge yet it speaks wonders to a child when you know it. Their name. When we can look a kid in the eye that came to your class for the first time last week and say “Hey, Brian, how are you doing this week?” Their eyes light up, just because we took the time to notice them, and remember who they are.
2.) Do you know what matters to me?
We need to see each kid as an individual, and as an individual, they have different likes, dislikes, interests, hobbies etc. “When you know what matters to kids, kids feel like they matter.”
3 tips for how to do this one:
- See kids as individuals. This is particularly applicable for those of us that work in ministry and education. We often see the group of kids but sometimes forget to see each kid individually.
- Ask clarifying questions. Simple questions like “What do you mean by that?” or “Tell me more about that.” or “Oh?” can help a kid feel like what they are saying matters and therefore they matter.
- Do things that interest them. When you know a kid’s interests you know what matters to them.
3.) Do you know where I live? (Understanding their story and context)
“Nobody needs to be seen by everybody. But everybody needs somebody who sees them.” If you know a kid’s circumstance, where they come from, what their family is like, then they will feel like someone actually sees them. This can help make a child feel loved, accepted and safe.
4.) Do you know what I’ve done?
So many kids can be consumed by shame over what they’ve done. Shame is associated with depression, grief, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, and violence. According to Brene Brown–“Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.”
When we begin to know kids personally, we can break down the lie that what you do defines who you are.
More from Bréne Brown on shame here: Bréne Brown Ted Talk
5.) Do you know what I can do?
This one speaks to a kid’s potential. God has created each child with amazing gifts, talents, and their own personality. He has breathed creativity and passion into each one of them. “We often speak to what we think students need instead of what they actually need.” Perhaps if we take the time to make it personal, to get to know what they can do, we can help them grow into their fullest potential, embracing the person God has created them to be.
That’s it! Simple huh? It may be simple but it’s not always easy.
However, if we can begin to answer these 5 questions we can begin to make it personal.
Do you know….
And when we Make It Personal with the kids in our lives, we are really loving them the way Jesus does.