Parents: If your church is “Turning Orange…”

Has your church “turned Orange?” If your children’s ministry leaders have suddenly put your children’s discipleship in the hands of Andy Stanley’s “Orange Strategy,” you’re going to want to investigate what this program is – and more importantly what it is NOT.

After publishing my article on Naomi’s Table this week, I received this letter, which is why I am sharing the Orange warning here:

“Hi Amy,
At our former mega-wannabe church, the decision was made to continue using Orange at a new campus just for the sake of expedience, after we had already decided it was inferior and inappropriate due to lack of biblical content. It was one of the many things God used to wake us up to the errors in our then-church. Of course, he also used you (back in the Stand up for the Truth days ), Chris Rosebrough, and Ken Silva! It was infuriating that our pastors were willing to short-change the children (whose love of the children’s program they credited with attracting and keeping parents in attendance!!).

At that time I was a volunteer in charge of large group activities and lesson (the “show”), and was responsible for shepherding my own staff of 20+!!! I pointed out that they had inappropriately placed me in position of a pastor. I also reminded them that our whole team had concluded that the curriculum was no longer presenting the Gospel, and that it grew markedly worse since a new writing staff was brought in when Orange had become a separate ministry from Northpoint Church during the prior Fall of 2011. Since the plan was avowedly to use the “great” kids ministry to “hook” the parents, but the kids were not really learning about Jesus, I thought that was a problem. That was all shrugged off. Thanks for continuing to be a voice in my life!!

Is the “Orange” curriculum safe for Sunday School?

For many centuries, Christians have taught their children about the Bible from the Bible. In church, children learned along with their parents in the pews. With the rise of children’s ministries, we’ve seen solid men and women step up as teachers of Scripture, developing their own style and curricula in age-appropriate ways.

Then came the Big Box lessons. We no longer need Bible teachers; just warm bodies who can read directions, sing and do crafts.  As we’ve brought in different programs to our children’s ministries, we’ve seen something incredible: Children growing into teens and young adults walking away from their churches – and Christ.

Is there a connection? Parents are right to be concerned about these Big Box curricula from Big Box megachurches.

I received a letter from a reader last week:  “We’ve been told that our church is ‘going Orange.’ Our church has partnered with Andy Stanley’s North Point Church to bring the Orange Strategy into our children’s Sunday School program. I know there have been concerns about Andy Stanley. What is your take on this program? Is it safe for our kids?” 

Two things to ask yourself when selecting a curriculum for any church program or ministry:  (1.) Does it actually teach the Bible as authoritative, sufficient, inerrant truth?, and (2.) What is the theology and background of the authors?

Before we dig in, we need to understand what the Orange Strategy is.

 Orange’s Strategy is an elementary-aged curriculum based on Luke’s words about Jesus in Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Orange has taken the verse 2:52 and turned it into “252 Basics.” It is a formula based on creating a learning atmosphere to be used in three primary environments: church (Red), home (Yellow) and in-between (Orange).

Here are three things to know:

1.  The Orange Strategy hinges on “3 Truths.”

Is the emphasis on the Orange truth based on us and what we do, or on Christ and what He did?  Read about the “3 Truths,” put on your discernment hat, and grab a magnifying glass to see if you can spot whether the focus is about the Gospel like creation, our fallen sin nature, Christ’s atonement and His resurrection. Here you go:

            252 = 3 Truths + 150 Bible Stories + 30 Life Apps

2.  The Orange Curriculum is expensive.

Orange is pricey – as one of the most expensive children’s resources available. Enormously expensive for most medium-sized churches. Here is the 2016 pricing list to get the web-based license and materials. Dig deep into your wallets and purses, and be prepared to pony up:

3. The Orange Strategy is NOT Scripture based.

Sure, there are smatterings of memory verses and stories, but what about basic Christian Doctrine? What do Sunday School teachers who’ve reviewed this curriculum have to say? Author and curriculum reviewer Stephen Davis asks, “DOES ORANGE EVEN TEACH THE BIBLE?” His conclusion shouldn’t surprise anyone:

Orange is the latest, greatest thing in KidMin and family ministry. It is so popular that churches of all denominations are labeling themselves “Orange Churches.” It is well funded, well made, organized and nice to look at.…however there is one HUGE, glaring weakness that I cannot overlook….


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15 thoughts on “Parents: If your church is “Turning Orange…”

  1. I would like to see a complete explanation of the program and examples of areas or doctrinal points where it is sound or unsound.

  2. From the article….
    “Orange wants to be the curriculum that is used from toddlers to high school seniors, yet it is totally theme based and not scripture based…… Something that has bothered my whole team is the lack of bible use. Occasionally they’ll throw something in for the older kids that would require them to look something up in the bible. But for the most part, a kid could come to a church using orange and never need a bible or want a bible”……

    Now, if that isn’t enough to convince you to run from this, there’s more….
    ‘You see, the Orange Strategy program was developed at North Point Community Church, the mega church in Atlanta founded by Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner, founder of the Re Think Group – which is the architect of Joiner’s Orange Conference and Orange Tour. Joiner is also one of the founders of the Catalyst Conferences, which is the largest enterprise for building Emergent leadership. ‘

    If it isn’t based on scripture, then how can examples be given as far as ‘sound’ or ‘unsound’? None of it is sound if Scripture isn’t the focal point of every bit of what the program entails.

    The fact that Andy Stanley is involved is a huge red flag, and the emergent flavor this program has should be all the proof one needs to shun this garbage.

    Good article!

  3. FYI, The Salvation Army in the Western USA, possibly nationally, has gone to Orange and an Orange for adults as well.

  4. This is very simple: $$$$$$$. Churchianity is not about God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit nor scripture, it’s about making a buck! Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner are fleecing the sheeple, over children! Parents you need to be aware what your children are being taught, these slimy wolves have gone one step lower, they’re getting to you through your kids! If you don’t teach your children, someone else will!

  5. Might sound “out there” to say this, but it’s not “out there” to those in the know. The color orange is very important to freemasons. They use that color to identify one another (one of many signs and signals they use to speak to each other). There’s a reason that Andy Stanley and Steven Furtick love the color orange. Because they are both false teachers that are associated with the occult’s invasion of the church systems.

    1. Sarah,

      It’s unfortunate that you chose to waste your time commenting. How sad that you are clueless to the Satanic influences in the world, especially disguised as Christian. You would probably have ridiculed the demon -possessed of Jesus’ day as well.

      As for bringing ‘truth and productivity’ to the leadership of our local churches, again, you don’t understand the apostasy the Apostle Paul warned of do you?

      You basically just stopped by to ‘vent’, and now that you feel better, it’s on with the day. Meanwhile, multitudes are caught up in deception and delusion, which is Satan’s best weapon to fill the broad road. But, according to your logic, we should just leave them wandering down the road to destruction and only focus on the ‘church’.

      Freemasonry is Satanic thru and thru, perhaps you should take your own advice and read up on it. After that, check out the evils of the Jesuits and how they’ve influenced ‘Christianity’ with their Satanic evil.

    2. Sarah, the jesuit/freemason occult influence in the world is undeniable. Unless you want to ignore the wiles of the devil and be ignorant of what he is doing to try and destroy churches doctrinally. If you usually don’t “waste your time” with such things, then take your own advice, and be quiet.

      Lyn, thank you for the confirmation and support.

    3. “content that may actually bring truth and productivity to the leadership of our local churches.”

      The content here actually promotes truth! So according to your logic and defense we shouldn’t point out the obvious, beyond the pale garbage being propogated by a Furtick or a Stanley? We should all be good little Christians, be quiet and be non-judgemental so the business of CHURCHIANITY may prosper and proceed forward, letting the sheep get fleeced and be un-informed! Geez, I’m surprised you didn’t call us a bunch of bible-thumpers!

      Truth and productivity from the likes of Furtick? Are you kidding me? Research Furtick and finances. Birds of a feather…………..

    4. Amen! I was hoping another Brother or Sister in Christ caught the Orange Freemason business! Praise Jesus Christ Almighty for being the Truth!

  6. Perhaps a reminder of what Matthew 18:15 says would be valuable to add to this conversation.
    “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”

    1. Michelle, Matthew 18:15 is between two private parties. It doesn’t apply to false teachers. False teachers speak lies in public. Therefore they are exposed in public. The Bible says it.

      1. That is correct Jess, one is brother to brother, the other is exposing and warning of false teachers and their practices.

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