From busy schedules to the uncertainties about if they have what it takes, parents in our communities are up against a lot. As ministry leaders, we have the opportunity to partner with every parent in nurturing the heart of their child.

On today’s episode of the Think Orange Podcast, we’ll hear from Will Hutcherson about some important questions ministry leaders can ask to measure their effectiveness. Then, we’ll have a conversation with Jim Burns to unpack ways churches can come alongside every parent.

Welcome to Episode 11 of the Think Orange Podcast.

Where To Listen:  iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher  |  SoundCloud

Topic Timeline

Will Hutcherson on developing a win for engaging parents (4:29)

Having a pro-family culture in your church (8:16)

Using prompts to cue parents weekly (10:23)

Providing support to parents as they navigate issues in their families (13:12)

Identifying phase-related milestones for celebration and guidance (15:48)

Making families that don’t attend your church yet a priority (19:14)

Organizing programming to leverage small group relationships (22:02)

Interview with Jim Burns (24:35)

What’s at risk if the church doesn’t do a good job partnering with parents (27:59)

How the church can be more empathetic to busy parents (29:30)

Equipping single parents to have key conversations with their kids (31:28)

Engaging parents who aren’t engaged in church (34:25)

Four ways volunteers can partner with parents (40:07)
• Inform (40:21)
• Assist (44:47)
• Encourage (45:27)
• Involve (47:02)

Helping church staff prioritize partnering with parents (50:33)

Jim answers the question, “What would you say to young Jim going into ministry?” (57:27)

Spiritual conversations at home raise the likelihood of an individual engaging with faith as an adult by 300 percent (1:01:14)

People, Places & Helpful Resources

Featured Guest

Reggie Joiner


Will is the Next Generation Pastor at Next Level Church in Fort Myers, Florida, where he has served since 2007. In addition to leading the Next Generation staff on two campuses, Will is also the primary communicator for middle and high school, coaches youth leaders through his virtual coaching group, listens to 90’s R&B, and cheers for the Tampa Bay Rays with his wife Arianne and their 3 kids.


Jim is President of HomeWord and Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has over 1.5 million resources in print in over 25 languages. Jim’s radio broadcast is heard on over 800 stations a day and heard around the world via podcast at Some of his recent books include: Faith Conversations for Families; Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers, Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together, Confident Parenting, The Purity Code and Creating an Intimate Marriage. Jim and his wife, Cathy and their three daughters Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi live in Southern California.

Quotes from This Episode

Ideas to Influence the Next Generation

1. You can’t know what the parents in your church need unless you ask them.

Sure, all families have similarities, but not every family is the same. And the reality is, the parents in your community might need something different than those in the neighboring town. If you want to partner with parents effectively, you need to know the questions they’re asking, the challenges they’re facing, and the wins they’re celebrating. As we learn in today’s podcast, you can get to know the parents in your church better simply by sitting down and talking with them.

2. The needs of parents change over time.

Once you’ve figured out what the families in your community need, keep in mind that those needs will probably be different tomorrow. As kids and students grow and change, the issues parents face adapt as well. What a parent needed last month and last year will probably be different tomorrow. So stay on your toes and anticipate the needs.

3. Every parent needs to be known by someone.

Chances are, you won’t be able to know the latest and greatest with every family in your church. But someone should. Effectively partnering with parents means facilitating key relationships for every parent. Maybe it’s their child’s small group leader. Maybe it’s someone they serve alongside on Sunday morning. Or maybe it’s a step-ahead parent in the church. No matter who it is, every parents needs to know who they can call when they have questions, are looking for support, or are dying to brag about the awesome thing their kid just did.

Conversation Starters For Your Church

Does our church calendar reflect a mindset of partnering with parents?

What specific issues are parents in our church facing right now?

How can we equip small group leaders and volunteers in our church to take one step toward partnering with parents this week?

Your Hosts

Dave Adamson, The Think Orange Podcast Host


When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at

Ashley Bohinc, The Think Orange Podcast Host


Ashley serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the USA Director of Carry 117. She has worked with students in public education, athletic and ministry settings for the last 12 years. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating on stage, developing leaders, working with students and world missions. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.

Join Us Next Week

Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast. We’ll be back next week with a new episode featuring Reggie Joiner. He’ll be sharing the first essential component to needed for your church to influence the next generation. We’ll also have a conversation with Carey Nieuwhof about how to get your team on the same page.

We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.