An App for Families to Deepen Faith
by Dylan Wade
Our Children’s Ministry has used in the past and is currently using Orange Curriculums for most of our programs, including Sunday school for preschoolers, elementary students, middle schoolers, and high schoolers. We also use it for Little Lambs and After-School Adventures. There are many reasons we use this powerful curriculum. I want to highlight one of those reasons and introduce you to a powerful tool all parents (and grandparents) can use.
First a little background on Orange. Orange is an organization created to bring the light of the church (Yellow) with the love from the home (Red) together to create Orange. This organization recognizes that creating curriculum for one hour of Sunday school a week is not enough to make a powerful impact on children in the 21st century. They instead want to partner with churches to give church staff, volunteers, and parents all the resources needed to reach children and teens every day of the week so that they may know Christ better. In fact, Orange is much more than a company that just sells curriculum. As the Children’s Ministry Coordinator, I have read several publications written by Orange Staff and contributors and have helped me lead our volunteers and equipped me to help parents of our congregation. In short, Orange has been a great benefit to our kids, parents, and staff at PCJH.
One program that Orange produces and which I would like to highlight is Parent Cue. The Orange leaders realized that parents spend the most time with their kids and have the most influence over them concerning their faith. Unfortunately, most parents do not know what is going on in Sunday School and even if they did, would not know how to reinforce and nurture their children’s learning and faith development (this used to be me). As a result, Parent Cue was created as a way to help parents prompt their children and create conversations about what they are learning in Sunday School. This service also is designed to help parents parent. On their website they say this:
“We want to remind you why what you do is so important. To help you focus on what matters most. To discover parenting along with you, so you know you’re not in this alone. Not all at once. Just little by little. So week by week, we will cue you so you can make the most of the weeks you have with your kids before graduation.”
So how do they do it? Well, they offer a variety of different resources for parents to use everyday in a variety of different forms. The resource I would like to highlight is the Parent Cue App. This app puts all of their resources in one place. On the app, you put in some basic information about each of your children (or grandchildren) such as name and age/grade. It will then tell you how many weeks you have with them before they graduate from high school and go off on their own to college or otherwise. A little scary as a parent to see this, but it also priorities your child’s growth and gives it a sense of urgency. In addition, it will give you a synopsis of what each of your children are learning about in Sunday School. You can see the Bible verse of the week and the theme for the month. It will give you cues as what to say/ask and when to do it. For example, it will give you a conversation starter in the car on the way home from school/practice or a few questions you can ask them at the dinner table.
They will also offer you a few words of wisdom about the phase of life each of your children are in currently. For instance, under the heading “It’s Just a Phase” the app offers these words about my kindergartener this week:
“Every minute doesn’t need to be filled with activities, allow time and space for your child to just play and dream!”
Also accessible from the app are a variety of other resources they offer, including a weekly blog about various parenting strategies, ideas, or just a story to commiserate and share how difficult parenting can be. They also have podcasts and videos that do the same. However you digest media these days, Parent Cue has it.
Overall, what I like most about Orange and Parent Cue is that all of these resources and the words of wisdom are rooted in the Word and are Christ centered. They also do not ever tell you one way to parent, or dictate what you should or shouldn’t do, but instead offer you a variety of options and cues which you can choose to use or adapt to your parenting style. They have put a lot of time and research into their resources as well as partner with experts in the field. I find all their resources insightful and applicable to my life as a parent. I am impressed with how spot on they are when describing what my 2nd grader is going through and helps me understand that my three year old’s suddenly stubborn behavior is just a phase.
With that being said, I strongly recommend downloading the app and checking it out if you haven’t already. I think you will be impressed.