Book Reviews -- By: Derek J. Brown
JDFM 4:1 (Fall 2013) p. 44
Derek Brown (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the managing editor for The Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry, content editor for FamilyMinistryToday.com, and recent contributor to Reformation Faith: Exegesis and Theology in the Protestant Reformations (Paternoster, forthcoming). When not spending time with his wife and son, Derek can be found cycling or running around Louisville, Kentucky.
Reggie Joiner, Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2009), 261pp. $21.99.
A Landmark Book On Family Ministry
Around the time Reggie Joiner was drafting copies of his second book (his first was a co-authored effort entitled, Seven Practices of Effective Ministry), a noticeable trend was taking shape in evangelical churches. Prior to the late 20th and early 21st century, “Family Ministry” as a distinguishable component of ecclesiastical life was not a topic of conversation among many church leaders and thinkers. To be sure, ministry to families had always been important to churches that identify themselves within the evangelical tradition, but the question of how the church and family should relate, interact, and work together for the sake of children and students has until only recently received sustained reflection.
Out of the many contributions to the discussion of family ministry, however, Joiner’s book resides as landmark. It’s popularity among church leaders and families cannot be overlooked, nor can the many conferences, books, and church-sponsored seminars that have found derivative inspiration and success as a result of Think Orange’s unique emphasis family ministry.
And there is good reason for the popularity. The book’s main point is as unmistakable as it is simple, and Joiner’s clever use of a secondary color to demonstrate that ministry to the next generation is neither exclusively yellow (the responsibility of the church only) nor red (carried out by the family only) but orange (both church and family working together) is a helpful way to remember what the book is all about. Joiner, also the founder of the reThink Group—a non-profit organization dedicated to helping churches develop innovative ministry to families—is a creative thinker who knows how to package his ideas in a way that is both accessible and memorable.
Bringing Church And Family Together
So what is Joiner’s main argument in the book? He states it clearly from the start: “In principle, this book is about two entities partnering to make a greater impact or to create a better solution. In practice, it explores the<...
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