Welcome to the first ever Orange Kids Podcast where we talk kids’ ministry and discuss practical solutions to our weekly challenges!
You’re in on the ground floor. The birth episode. Numero cero. It’s inaugural. Premier. All delivered straight from the Orange offices where the staff dreams, ideates, delegates, debates, regulates and creates—and where, clearly, Mike makes good use of his thesaurus.
Speaking of Mike, this epic episode introduces our three hosts, all experienced kid min leaders who hail from a wide variety of backgrounds and levels of singing talent. (Prepare yourselves).
MEET YOUR HOSTS
Gina is an Oklahoma native who grew up in and out of church and said “yes!” to Jesus when she walked the aisle at age 7 to “Just As I Am.” (Turns out Kellen and Mike don’t know the lyrics to “Just As I Am.” Subtract 7 points each.) Though she sensed a strong call to teaching and student ministry at age 18, Gina saw no path to get there in her traditional church.
It wasn’t until years later, when she and her husband began attending Life.Church in Oklahoma City, that she began to find a foothold in ministry. Stir crazy at home with an exceptionally compliant toddler—yeah, we didn’t know they existed, either—Gina took charge of a Mother’s Day Out program and from there moved into ten years of children’s ministry with Life.Church.
In 2009, she felt called away from Life.Church—without a clue as to her next steps. “Swinging on a trapeze without seeing where the next bar is,” as she puts it. But within a year, God led her to Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, where she spent an 8-year refining season, learning to truly lead and love people. Now she leads NextGen ministry at Crosspoint Church in Nashville. She and her husband Kyle have three kids. The oldest one actually hugs her now that he’s away from home at college.
Kellen hails from SoCal, the second of four boys raised by a rockstar single mom. (Okay, not an actual rockstar. But fun fact: her name is Parthenia “Party” Moore.) Kellen was a shy kid, which he admits is hard to believe when you meet (all 6’7”) of him now. But when he was invited to a new church during middle school, church became a second home—so much so that if his mom needed to punish him, she kept him home from church. (Score 3 brownie points, Kellen.) By high school, Kellen was teaching and mentoring in children’s ministry and admired his youth pastor so much he decided to become one.
After graduating from Southwestern Assemblies of God in Waxahachie, Texas (hello, culture shock), Kellen returned to SoCal where he worked as a youth pastor and middle school pastor and then spent several years in children’s ministry. In September 2018, he joined his original youth pastor and several other leaders to launch a brand-new church: Our City Church in Corona, Ca., where he now serves as NextGen pastor. It’s fun. And hard. And fun. And difficult. And fun. And crazy. And fun.
Kellen has a deep desire to reach kids from birth to 8th grade, who, unlike adults, tend to still believe that anything is possible.
Mike grew up in Witchita, Kansas, where his only connection to faith was his grandmother. After his parents divorced and his mother remarried, however, the family moved with his stepfather to Virginia Beach. There, Mike landed in church through the invitation of his older sister, who was dating a believer. It was less amazing grace and more Great White Throne of Judgment that first led Mike to say “yes” to God. But he dug deeper studying at Roanoke Bible College (now MidAtlantic University) and worked in youth ministry for several years following graduation.
In the year 2000 (“It’s time, once again, to look into the future!” Conan fans, score 2)—Mike attended the first Catalyst conference. “God took my filter, my perspective and blew it up and expanded it,” he says. “I could not go home differently.”
The cardinal rule after a conference is to not go home and immediately change everything. Mike went home and changed everything.
The church grew, but relationships suffered. Mike took the opportunity to intern for a year at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., where he met a friend who was planning to launch a church in SoCal focused on families. Mike was in. He moved to Simi Valley and helped to lay the groundwork for Discovery Church, where he served as Family Ministries Director for ten years and built DK Live, an interactive family experience for kids and parents. He also met and married his wife, Crystal… Clear.
Five years ago, Reggie Joiner invited Mike to join the Orange staff. Mike, Crystal, and their two children moved to the Atlanta area, where Mike now serves as the Executive Director of Children’s Strategy at Orange, leading the team that creates curriculum, book, music, and other resources for preschool and elementary.
No clue. But our three hosts are focused on helping YOU win.
Gina’s excited about helping leaders find that one thing to make their ministry better this week. It’s all about tools to walk alongside families and help parents win at parenting.
Kellen wants to encourage children’s ministry leaders and volunteers each week: you’re doing a good job! You’ve got what it takes to make kids feel loved and secure.
Mike loves the conversations that take place in and around the Orange offices and can’t wait to make this podcast a “fly-on-the-wall” opportunity to share the practical wisdom of our hosts and guests with each of you.
We want to encourage, challenge, equip and resource you to do what God has called you to do. That’s winning!