i’m thrilled to be a part of the think orange group blog project organized by henry zonio at elemental children’s ministry.

chapter 1: orange-ology

from the first page of this book, it’s clear to the reader that author reggie joiner is passionate about one thing: creating a synergistic approach to influencing faith in the next generation. he writes that both the church and the family are at a crossroads. and that it’s time for a radical change. a new approach. a new mindset. and a new partnership.

his solution: think orange – connecting the church and home.

in this first chapter, reggie joiner paints a picture for the importance of the color orange: the color created when red and yellow (two primary colors) combine efforts. he writes about the importance of creating a third color or a third option, and that most oftentimes, positive change and innovation result when two combined influences merge together.

the two combined influences represent the church and home, and the potential greater impact on the next generation’s faith when the two entities merge efforts rather than continuing to do their own good but separate work. reggie describes the merging this way, “both groups are simultaneously hard at work to build faith in children, but the problem is that they are not working in sync. working on the same thing at the same time is not as effective as working on the same thing at the same time with the same strategy.” (p.24)

even though i was already rather familiar with the think orange concept before reading the book, i really enjoyed reading this first chapter as a reminder that something definitely needs to change. our children and youth continue to leave the church and at times even abandon their faith. i care too much about the spiritual formation of children to be ok with these facts – and i appreciate reggie’s heart and tireless work to change this.

i have always wondered if there could be room for more than 2 combined influences working together for a child’s faith. in my neighborhood, children spend more time at school and participating in sports than attending church and even being at home with their families. i’ve wondered what a partnership with school teachers and athletic coaches along with parents and sunday school teachers would look like – all of a child’s influences working together for the wholistic development of that child. i imagine great things might happen!

now it’s your turn:

1. what comes to mind when you think of the color orange?

2. what might a first step toward a third approach (merging church and home strategies) look like in your church?

*as extra incentive for encouraging dialogue in this blog project – henry is offering a free registration to the orange conference in april. in order to qualify to win, comment on the posts during this project. each day that you participate is an entry, so the more days you participate the more entries you get. at the end of this blogging project, a winner will be randomly selected.


5 responses to this post.

  1. When I first think of the color orange, I think of the fruit orange and that no word rhymes with orange. Off topic with the blog post, but you asked =)

    In my church, the first step toward merging church and home strategies would most likely be helping the parents realize how important their role is in their children’s faith. Sadly, too many of our parents tend to hand over their children and their children’s spiritual lives to the children’s ministry. There needs to be a partnership and I’m glad you brought this up in your post.


  2. Posted by amyedolan on February 3, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    angela – i think you are right on! so many parents don’t understand the importance of their role! but i fear, that the parents who do realize how significant their role is don’t have tools or the necessary skills to lead their children well. that’s why i love your first step – vision casting and simply helping parents understand.

    way to go!!


  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by amy dolan, Jacqueline H. Jones. Jacqueline H. Jones said: "orange-ology « Lemon Lime Kids" San Antonio Children's Academy […]


  4. Posted by Lisa Sprague on February 11, 2010 at 3:47 am

    When I think of the color orange. It’s the color hunters wear in the woods inorder to be seen. Even though we’ve been wearing orange for quite some time (going on 4 years with 252) it is still a challenge to get leadership to see the color. In the process of casting the vision, one of our biggest problem is getting the color yellow (leadership/faith community) to be willing to be mixed with the color red (family). Thank you for the blog… It’s so encouraging to have so many networking resource out here, we shall not grow weary of mixing the colors of yellow and red!


  5. Posted by amyedolan on February 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    thank you, lisa for your very thoughtful comment. yes! getting the color yellow mixed with red seems to be a common problem for many churches! as a church member myself without any kids – i strive to consistently remind myself that i have a role to play in the spiritual growth of the children in my faith community. but, it can be hard to remind people of that on a consistent basis – and to give them ways in which to actually play a role. but, keep fighting and keep going strong.

    of course you know, but it’s all worth it!


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