Photo from whatisorange.org
Photo from whatisorange.org

Reggie Joiner started off the main sessions of the Orange Conference 2014 with an amazing message that we need to say yes to a God that is bigger than you think. Honestly, there was so many amazing things that he shared, and there is no way I can recreate it for you. If they make this message available for download, do yourself a favor and download it! However, I will share his main points, but know that it will only give you a peak into what he said.

Reggie started by sharing a list of what he wants kids to know:

  • You can know God.
  • You can become a Christian in a moment.
  • You can trust the Bible.
  • Trust leads to stronger faith.
  • You should enjoy going to church.
  • Your beliefs matter.
  • God has an ideal.
  • God is good.

Then, he went back through this list to share some other things kids also need to know:

  • You can know God, but it’s ok that you don’t know God.
  • You can become a Christian in a moment., and it will take you forever to figure out what that means.
  • You can trust the Bible, but everything true about life is not in the Bible.
  • Trust leads to stronger faith, but doubt also leads to stronger faith.
  • You should enjoy going to church, but it’s also oky to enjoy living in the world.
  • Your beliefs matter, but people matter more.
  • God has an ideal, but God also uses broken people.
  • God is good, and you should do good.

Reggie shared that maybe, as leaders, we need to be more intentional about teaching what is true. And we need to be careful how we present the truths, so that the truth is pushed so far away that kids don’t understand it.

He used the example of a rubber band to say, “When you remove the tension, you diminish the power of truth. Tension makes truth more real.” We need to be ok with tension in our ministries. In the times of tension is when people often grow the most.

Reggie then gave a few points on how to live and teach as a Christian:

  • Don’t be irresponsible.
  • Don’t get stuck
  • Don’t be a jerk.
  • Don’t be weird.
  • Don’t be threatened.
  • Don’t be an idiot.
  • Don’t be shallow.
  • Don’t be arrogant.

Here are a couple other random, but amazing quotes from Reggie, throughout his talk:

  • “If you don’t allow kids in middle school to express their doubts, they’re never going to own their own faith.””If you don’t allow kids in middle school to express their doubts, they’re never going to own their own faith.”
  • “If your beliefs cause you to treat people the wrong way, maybe there is something wrong with your beliefs.”

I cannot say enough that this message contained so much more than I was able to capture in this blog. Please, if this is eventually made available for downloading, be sure to get it for yourself and your team.

Reggie Joiner is the CEO of Orange, and you can follow him on Twitter at @reggiejoiner.

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