Why is it that some things attract the kinds of people we like? Why do other things attract people that, well, maybe we don’t like so much? I’ll bet you can think of a few of these things in your life. Perhaps you can even identify the types of people attracted to your organization.
THE TRIBES WE CHOOSE
I first noticed the attractional dynamic in college. As a freshman, I was looking for community. I checked out a variety of clubs, ministries and social/academic organizations. It was interesting to see how the different activities attracted different personality types. If you were looking for it, you couldn’t miss it. I found organizations that attracted all kinds of groups . . . the driven, the narcissistic, the intelligent, the hard, the soft, the creative, the inclusive and the exclusive.
After much searching I finally found my tribe in student leadership. These folks had the right mix of intelligence, social skill, ambition, ‘niceness’ and fun. They hit all the right notes for me. These people became my college friends, populated my wedding, and remain life-long friends. They are kindred spirits.
DO LONERS DRIVE BMWs?
More recently I noticed the attractional dynamic at car shows. My church does a summer car event. It’s my job to go to spring car shows and hand out fliers to promote our event. After a few shows I began to notice that certain cars attracted certain personality types. The British car show seemed to attract nice older people who were mechanically inclined. The Italian car show attracted people who were as brash and colorful as their wonderful automobiles. The Gen Y tuner set was passionate about their Hondas and Subarus. But I struggled at the BMW show. Rather than standing by their cars, many BMW owners parked their cars and went somewhere else. Generally, the people I approached were curt and not interested in discussion. They only seemed taken with their own cars and not the beautiful machines all around them. Now this isn’t to say that all BMW owners are like this . . . it was only my perception of the ones at that particular show. But it made me think.
DO GOOD GUYS DRIVE CORVETTES?
The car crowd I felt most comfortable with was at the Corvette show. Nearly every owner stood near their car, eager to talk. They knew their stuff. Their modifications were tasteful and intelligent. They were willing to share their car secrets. I’m not a Corvette guy, but there was something about the Corvette owners with which I was intuitively comfortable. They are kindred spirits.
THE PEOPLE I LIKE . . . LIKE ORANGE
I have found the same thing in church world . . . something that attracts great people. It’s called Orange. Orange is best known for offering curriculum for children’s ministry. But it is so much more.
> Orange is a philosophy. ‘Orange’ is the power of what red (family) and yellow (church) can do when they combine. It’s the advantage of using two colors to create a third option. Similarly, when parents partner with the church for the growth of their children, there is a powerful effect.
> Orange is a lifestyle. At the core of Orange is relationship. Rather than rely solely on silly games and glitzy, ‘Disney-like’ environments, Orange focuses on relationship. It builds connection between leaders and kids . . . and between kids and their peers. God designed us for relationship with Him and with each other. Orange starts kids in constructive relationships at an early age.
> Orange is for servant leaders. Our church has been fortunate to hold two regional Orange events put on by the national Orange organization. I cannot express how impressed I was with their national leaders and their team. Orange could have remained as a high-quality program at Atlanta’s North Point Church, but instead, its leadership set out to help other churches. Every year they spend a lot of time on the road (at great personal cost), meeting hundreds of churches and helping them to be effective. That humility, love and spirit of servant leadership has translated into our church. After doing several years of Orange, these same qualities typify our children’s ministry staff and lay leaders. I guess like really does attract like.
That’s why I like people who like Orange.
WHO’S IN YOUR TRIBE?
I guess my kindred spirits would be college student leaders who will one day drive Corvettes and lead Orange at their churches. Do you find certain organizations attract people you like? Share your story in the comments section below.
CHECK OUT ORANGE FOR YOURSELF: I will be attending the national Orange conference in late April and contributing blogs each day. Here’s a short video that explains the conference. If your church is looking for an effective way to do children’s and/or student ministry, I encourage you to join me (and thousands of like-minded leaders) in Atlanta. More information here.
Photos/graphics courtesy Orange.