A while back, my husband and I picked up the book Think Orange and started tackling it together during what had become a nightly ritual of reading aloud before bed. (What ever happened to that ritual, anyway? I liked that one! It might be time to resurrect it.) The tagline for the book reads: “Imagine the Impact when Church and Family Collide…” We never did finish reading the book, though I’ve been carrying it around in my backpack now for a few weeks with the intent of picking it up again. However, the basic premise has been helping me to re-think and re-vision what youth ministry looks like, feels like, and acts like in the church–especially in the past couple months as I have been settling into my new position at Epiphany.
Just imagine for a second… What if the primary mission of the church is not to help the family? What if the number one priority of the family is not to go to church?
But what if they are both designed to work together to show a generation who God is?
That is the question that is raised by Reggie Joiner, and a whole slew of other Orange Leaders. In the introduction to the book, Joiner points out some solid observations on which the remainder of the book rests–observations upon which most of us in the youth ministry world would also hang our hats, I think:
- There are two powerful influences on the planet–the church and the home.
- They both exist because God initiated them.
- They both exist because God desires to use them to demonstrate His plan of redemption and restoration.
- If they work together they can potentially make a greater impact than if they work alone.
- They need each other.
- Too much is at stake for either one to fail.
- Their primary task is to build God’s kingdom in the hearts of men and women, sons and daughters.
There is a culture that I am trying to build, a culture that I believe Jesus was all about–a culture where the home is the primary incubator of the faith that is fueled and nurtured by the church. It is my dream to see a culture where young people spend more time at church engaged in ministry with their parents, siblings, and other members of their faith family than they do off in their own little silo “youth ministry” world–a culture where generations collide for the glory of God.