Isn’t Orange just about Virtues?

I am not going to Orange this year I have gone for the past 3 years as a blogger had a blast and met loads of great kidmin and Student ministry people. I thought that I would do a blog post or two about Orange even though I am not there. I thought I would do a blog post for those of you who stay away from the Orange movement due to a huge obstacle for many of you…..virtues.

At our church we have used 252basis for around 6 years. Upon telling people that often I get the following question. “Isn’t Orange just about virtues?” My basic response to most people is that if you make 252Basics just about virtues thats your fault more than it’s their fault. Curriculum is such a tricky thing because there is no such thing as perfect curriculum.

Around a year ago I went searching for something else because we had used 252 for quite a while and I wanted to see what is out there. Our church is very Gospel driven we want our kids to understand the message of the Gospel in a very clear way. We want our kids to not only know about Christ but to have a theological basis for their faith. All the other curriculums we looked at need as much or more work than we put into 252 most often it was much more work.

Here is why a person like me who is against Moralistic Therapeutic Deism a major advocate for virtue based teaching?

1. The virtues give you a theme and a framework to discuss what Christ has done in a theologically practical way.
2. The scripture content at Orange is excellent and has only gotten better over the years.
3. I have found that the Orange team is very open to ideas and input.
4. I like the fact that so many other people are teaching the same lesson there is a great ability to network and group think.

How do we avoid teaching our kids moralism? This is a much deeper question that takes much more time than we have hear but I think that the people at Orange have been unfairly branded as moralists the problem is more systemic in kids ministry. So how do you teach virtues in a non-moralistic way? In talking to our kids pastor and story teller we always tweak the application so that the virtue is shown to our kids through Christ rather than a way to Christ. We avoid moralism when we understand our depravity and his Grace. When we see that we can be brave, and honest, and have conviction not because it makes look more like Christ but because Christ lived a life of honest conviction and bravely laid down his life we too can do those things because of what Christ has already done for us. Virtues demonstrated are a much different thing that virtues we strive to attain.

I think virtues have gotten a very bad rap.

Homeless Blogger: Conference Roommates

Hello friends. My name is Kenny Conley and I’m the homeless blogger. What does that mean? Well, I have a blog over (BUT DON’T GO THERE). My blog is very sick with a nasty virus. Since she’s sick and slowly getting better, I don’t have a place to post new articles. I’m at the Kidmin Conference in Chicago and like always, I’ve got something to say… I just don’t have anyplace to say it. So, thanks to some good friends, they’re giving this homeless blogger a couch to sleep on and letting me finish off the carton of ice cream in the freezer.
This week at Kidmin11, I’m rooming with Matt McKee. He’s a great friend that I’ve had for many years. We’re both speaking at Kidmin and I’ve recently learned that of all the speakers at Kidmin, we’re the only speakers that have roommates.
Now, I think that Matt is regretting that decision now. I’ve been a bit of a noisy sleeper and he keeps complaining that I’m more on his side of the bed than mine… I’m just kidding… about sharing a bed. Ha!
Here’s the deal. When at a conference, I’ve got 2-3 days to be with some of the biggest heros in my life. I get to be with people who I only seek one or two times a year at best, sometimes less. If given the opportunity, I’m always going to grab a roommate, as long as they’ll put up with my snoring.
Like I said earlier at the blog, if you come to a conference just to learn stuff, you’re wasting your money. The most valuable thing you’ll walk away with are close relationships with other stellar kidmin leaders. Having a roommate means 2-3 extra hours of conversations that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
So, if you’re coming to a conference, I urge you to take advantage of every opportunity to connect with others… however that looks!
Thanks Sam Luce for hosting my post. I’m really sorry, I think I erased all the shows on your DVR recording the last 10 seasons of Star Trek. Look for my next post by following my tweets at