by Matt Hein

I recently read a book entitled Think Orange by Reggie Joiner, a read that left me pondering the role both church and family play in forming young disciples of Jesus. The book’s concept is pretty simple. Most people know that orange is created by combing the colors yellow and red. The author suggests that the church (yellow; light) bears the light of Jesus to the world.

Family (red; heart), he suggests, is the place where orange-book-coverGod’s heart is displayed, and His promises and commands are passed from one generation to the next. On their own both church and family are incredibly important in the process of forming disciples, but it is important to note that they often operate under different strategies of discipleship.

Joiner suggests that when the influence and efforts of both church and family are combined toward a common strategy the opportunity exists to more significantly impact the next generation of disciples. The author defines this as the concept of “thinking Orange” (Yellow + Red; Church + Family).

After reading Think Orange, I continue to wrestle with two questions:

  1. Do church and family truly see each other as partners in discipleship?
  2. What would it look like for church and family to be operating from a shared strategy of discipleship?

If I am honest with myself, the answers to these questions are challenging and raise more questions. However, the challenge is no reason to avoid moving together toward stronger partnership and a shared strategy of discipleship between church and family.

After all, at stake are the discipleship journeys of real people, young and old. The implications are earthly and heavenly, temporal and eternal.

What do you think? How would you answer the two questions above? Do you see church and family as partners in discipleship, or as something else? Are we operating with a shared discipleship strategy or are church and family operating on separate tracks?

Join me in spending some time pondering and praying about these questions; feel free to leave your comments below. I’ll look forward to your response, and to our continued discipleship conversation across the multi-site at St. Luke Lutheran Church.

Find out more about Think Orange.