Think Orange

Photo by Zbysiu Rodak

A few weeks ago I was in Atlanta for the Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention.  One of my favorite aspects of the convention is the chance to connect with old friends, and meet new ones.

I got to have dinner with Reggie Joiner, founder and CEO of the reThink group (as well as Brad and Kristen from his team) and he gave me his book, Think Orange.  I had been wanting to read it so I was grateful to get it from Reggie himself.

There is so much good stuff in this book—for youth workers and parents—that I’ll be devoting the next several blogs to it.

Let me begin by explaining what “orange” is.  According to Reggie, yellow is the “light” of the church, and red is the “heart” of the family.  When you bring the two together, you get…yup, you guessed it…orange.

Reggie describes the premise of the book:  “As long as churches do only what churches are doing, they will get only the results they are presently getting.  And as long as families do only what families are doing, they will produce only the outcomes they are presently producing.  To experience a different outcome, we have to embrace a different strategy.”

The strategy?  Orange.  The church and family working together to influence kids.

According to Reggie, the average church has 40 hours/year with a kid (when you subtract holidays, vacations, schedule conflicts).  The average family has 3000 hours with that kid.  Reggie demonstrated this once while he was speaking by bringing out 40 small plastic balls to represent the 40 hours of church/kid contact time.  Then he brought out several shopping carts, filled to the rim to represent the 3000 hours the family has with that same kid.

I’m going to recommend this book to our children’s pastor and youth pastor.  In fact, I’d like the three of us to meet together to discuss it.  I want my church—and the church in general—to move more toward orange.