Washable markers, #2 pencils, three ring binders…it’s back to school shopping time. I’ll never forget my hunt for the perfect red, plastic, no prong, 2 pocket folder my daughter needed as she started kindergarten. The teacher had specifically requested it and, not wanting to start her entire school experience by not following instructions, I visited seemingly every store in southern Illinois to find it. I’m sure I’m not alone; parents work hard to give kids the tools needed for a successful year. As we are getting back into the classroom, and OFFUMC is “Thinking Orange,” I invite you to consider what tools we can give kids that will help them to have a successful life.
First of all, let’s define success. I think most parents would agree that we want the best for our kids. We want them to live lives full of joy and peace, regardless of the professions they may choose. Circumstances of the world change constantly and unpredictably however, and our children may grow up to be rich or poor, married or single, the president of their own company or unemployed. As Christians, we know that God’s grace surpasses any worldly conditions and that Jesus holds the key to a life of love, acceptance, and hope. A relationship with Him guarantees our children can face whatever situation may come their way and promises them an eternal salvation in Heaven. As a parent, I can’t imagine wanting anything greater for my kids.
So how can we introduce children to this amazing gift!? While it should be easier than a trip to Walmart for school supplies (because God offers His love freely and without condition), parents often feel ill equipped for leading their children to a lifetime of faith. OFFUMC wants to partner with parents.
Parents hold the most influence over a child’s development. The average child spends 40 hours per year in church vs. spending about 3000 hours with parents. The most effective way, therefore, for God’s message to come into a child’s life is through his/her family. Orange is a strategy for helping church and family work together with the same end goal in mind, of introducing kids to a dynamic relationship with Jesus. This fall we have new curriculum, tools, and ideas ready to equip and empower parents for growing their family’s faith.
If you are interested in knowing more about how your family can “Think Orange,” please visit http://www.offumckids.org or give me a call. I’d be happy to talk with your about your family’s faith walk. Lots of useful information, for new families and seasoned veterans alike, will be distributed at Promotion Sunday on August 9 at 9:30 am in the Sanctuary. Also, please plan to be a part of the Orange Launch on August 23 at 9:30 am (beginning in the Sanctuary) and our first “Family Experience,” the Amazing Race Launch Event that afternoon.