When it comes to talking about the Orange strategy
we hear the phrases "combined influence" and "coming alongside" but what does that look like in action?
As a parent of a teenager, I would like to share how this strategy is applicable to my son, AJ, and how our student pastor, Andrew, is walking this out with our family.
Let me preface this by saying that this topic stems from a conversation that occurred on our way home from church Wednesday night. I not only asked AJ's permission to write about this, but also interviewed him as a followup to our chat last night.
AJ couldn't stop talking about the message from the time he got into the van after church all the way to our home. He talked about what Andrew had to say in a message about what hinders us in our walk with God. AJ talked about the fact that everyone has something that hinders them in life and it can be different for everyone. He then said that through the lesson with Andrew and the small group conversation that followed, he realized that Andrew was saying the same things that we, his parents, were saying to him.
I won't go into the rest of the conversation as I do want to protect AJ's privacy a bit in what he shared with us about his own walk and things that he wanted to improve on in his daily life as well.
Did you notice what happened?
Andrew was saying the same things that we have said to AJ. That's what it means to combine influence and to come alongside.
I wanted to ask AJ some questions about being a part of student ministry and what it really means to him. The following are just a few of the questions I asked and what he had to share.
Me: What is it about Andrew that you connect with?
AJ: He is honest. He shared his testimony with us. He really listens and I can tell that he really cares what I have to say.
Me: What do you like about how he teaches?
AJ: He doesn't just stand on the stage and preach. He comes down to where we are and he talks to us. He asks questions to us personally. He interacts with us while he is teaching.
Me: What do you like most about your time at youth?
AJ: The small group time. I like that we really talk. I mean talk about what is really happening with us. We are getting down to the real and leaving the other stuff ourside of it. We are getting honest about what we're dealing with and we're talking about it all. We aren't alone.
Me: What is one thing from Wednesday night that really stuck with you?
AJ: Andrew asked "Which way of living is easier - God's way or the world's way?" You would think that it would be God's way, but that is so not true. It is much easier to live the world's way, but we are called to live God's way.
So first I have to thank AJ for really sharing his heart with me about all of this. He didn't hesitate when I asked if I could share this with others.
I love you madly son.
I so look forward to seeing all that God has in store for you.
I absolutely have to thank Andrew for loving on my son and pouring into him each week. Not only my AJ, but also my Conner as well.
You totally rock Andrew!