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Working with kids and families in denominational churches can create unique challenges. I often hear phrases such as, “I loved this when I was a kid,” and “This is what makes the (insert your denomination) program for kids so unique and important.” As rich and important as some of our denominational traditions are, they can also prevent us from making the changes necessary to influence the lives of young people.
When we look at moving from a denominational curriculum or strategy to adopting an Orange Strategy, casting vision and getting support can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips that I hope can help those in denominational settings to understand what is at stake and what must change if we are to turn the current trends around.
Nostalgia - Reaction - Methods - Many - Parents
Nostalgia is a common and powerful reaction to denominational methods. Many of our parents may have imagined raising their children in the same church and same church program that they grew up in. But today is not the same church or even the same culture they were raised in, and it is important that we find a way to show how things have changed. We can do this by starting with statistics.
Young people are exiting our churches in droves. The low-end estimates of young people who leave faith nationwide range from 50 to 60 percent. The denomination in which I minister is currently estimating a loss of 70 to 80 percent! It is critical that we communicate the crisis that currently exists between young people and faith. The best way to do that is to find the facts. The numbers, when presented regularly, provide a reminder that there is a crisis going on and what we have been doing in our denominations has not worked in bringing our kids into a lifetime of...
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