When I posted on Facebook that I was going to read three books in one weekend, I was exciting knowing that one of them was A New Kind Of Leader by Reggie Joiner. It's a book for anyone who leads kids or teenagers, primarily in a ministry or church leadership role.
"There are pivotal moments in every kid's life when they need a new kind of leader who will show them something new about God or life."
For almost 15 years, Reggie Joiner has been leading an organization called Orange. Orange has been championing the potential of kids and teenagers by creating a strategy to influence the next generation. Orange is more than a color, it's a combination of two colors with the outcome being a new, vibrant color.
The core of the orange strategy is the combination of two influences: the home (red; heart) and the church (yellow; light). When the home and the church are working together, their combined influence is a powerful force to impact future generations.
While the book is 122 pages, it's easy to digest in quick, practical steps to becoming a new kind of leader for the next generation. The basic premise of a new kind of leader is putting action to the things that you believe. If you believe something then do something. For example, if you believe that every family matters then connect with a parent.
This book went to the next level for me when I came to chapter 4 - Every Family Matters Regardless. I was shocked by the statistic of only 20 percent of families in the United States are made up of married couples living with their own biological children. It's convicting as a minister because I have to fight against the perception that a family has to look a certain way in order to belong or feel welcome in the church. Connecting with parents is one of my favorite things to do in ministry. I love to encourage parents and help them see that they're on the right track. It's so satisfying to share something great that I noticed about their son or daughter. I completely agree that connection with parents takes consistent effort. Parents need to know that I'm for them, not trying to undermine their authority with their children.
As a new kind of leader, I'm committed to working with a team of other adult leaders to point the next generation to Jesus. We have to work as a team and partner with parents to actively participate in the spiritual growth of their children.
If you're leading children or teenagers, even if it's not in a church context, this is a worthwhile read. When a leader gets better, everyone gets better and when the adult leaders in our children and student ministries get their hands on this book the collective lid of influence of the ministry gets lifted. This book will definitely find it's way into our leadership equipping content!