A Review of “Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide”
I’ve had a book on my desk and I’ve been working through it for quite a while. I have to admit that I abhor gimmicky books and with this one’s orange cover, glossy pages and intermittent graphics I was prepared to extend my opinion of the gimmicks of the book to the book itself but I was very wrong.
At Westminster Chapel we began a process more than a year ago to approach Children, Students and Parents more holistically in Family Ministry. Reggie Joiner presents a thoughtful consideration of how important this family ministry pivot is for many churches today. One of the striking statistics that used and comes up in the book is that churches have about 40 hours to influence a child or student each year while parents have 3,000 hours. The idea that we can expect a program can carry the full transformational weight that operates on barely over 1% versus the time kids have with parents is absolutely ludacris.
The central premise of the book is just like red and yellow make a brand new color, orange, so combining the efforts of traditional ministry silos creates something entirely new. This book was profound because of its simplicity. I think that parents often feel powerless and unfortunately much of what is done by churches only perpetuates the myth that parents have no ability to help in the process of spiritual transformation in their children when it is them who have the primary opportunity and influence for just that task!
The book does a really nice job of keeping the reader engaged with bite-sized truths about ministry and parenting. One area that flowed from Deuteronomy 6:7 was to take advantage in families of divine family times: meals, driving, bedtime, and morning wake-ups. The other section that I found particularly helpful was ‘Things Every Kid Needs:’ a really big God, someone else, another voice, uncommon sense and nosy parents. While many of these things are fairly reductionistic in the book they offer great starting points, especially for young parents.
Without getting too far into the nuts and bolts of the book, which takes a decidedly ministry-focused turn, it is really helpful in determining transition points and what kids and students need along the way. The central reality that I found most helpful and important for us as a take-away is that parents need to be just as in line with what we are teaching as the kids and students, otherwise we are working against one another.
My hope is that we can think the way Joiner describes and pursue a third rail of family ministry by reaching out to parents with a refined message that is easily translatable into any home or situation by the power of the Gospel.