As church and ministry leaders, we know that we need to partner with parents to better influence the life of a child. But where we sometimes miss the mark: There’s a difference between including parents, and making them feel invited and welcome to the party.

On today’s episode of the Think Orange Podcast, Cindy Fiala explains why every church needs a thoughtful, strategic message for parents. Then, we have a conversation with America’s Supernanny, Deborah Tillman. Deborah reminds us what parents need most from the church and shares her advice on how to walk alongside them.

Welcome to Episode 61 of the Think Orange Podcast.

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

Topic Timeline

Dave introduces us to today’s topic and guests.(1:00)

Orange Apps (2:50)

Cindy Fiala on the message parents hear from us. (4:15)

If we want to make parents feel included, we can’t exclude them from the party. (7:35)

Ministry is messy: How are we embracing people when crisis hits? (8:20)

We need a thoughtful and strategic message.(9:13)

If we are for parents, then we need be their advocate. (11:45)

The two things that are true about every parent.(12:40)

The two things we need to communicate to every parent. (14:00)

The challenges families face today. (19:00)

Parents feel like they will fail their children. (21:15)

How we activate parents with a strategic message. (22:05)

Sarah Bragg and Holly Crawshaw introduce us to Deborah Tillman. (22:35)

What do parents most need to hear from the church right now? (26:55)

We need the heart of Jesus when we work with parents: less judgement, more healing. (28:45)

Wrestling with the word “discipline.” (30:05)

Showing kids what to do instead of telling them what not to do. (32:00)

How church leaders can come alongside parents who have parent guilt. (33:30)

Meeting a child’s needs when they don’t have the most stable home life. (38:05)

What’s the ultimate goal with parenting? (40:15)

Dave’s final thoughts. (47:00)

People, Places & Helpful Resources

Featured Guests

Duffy Robbins


Dr. Deborah is a Child Development and Parent Educator, Speaker, Author, Founder & CEO of Happy Home Child Learning Centers, Inc. and “America’s Supernanny” on Lifetime Television.  Labeled “A Force for Good” by The Washington Post, Deborah has a deep passion for children. Learn more about Dr. Deborah at


For the past 14 years, Cindy has served as a pastor to kids and families at local churches in New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. Cindy has a dream to see churches reach more families, create cultures that are champions for 1000 Generations, and leaders who are constantly preparing for the church of the future. Learn more about Cindy at

Greg Bradford

Quotes from This Episode

Ideas to Influence the Next Generation

We need a thoughtful and strategic message.

It’s not enough to say that we, as church leaders, want to partner with parents. When we tell them that they are included, but our actions make them feel excluded, they’re left to imagine their own story about the church… and it likely isn’t a good one. Every ministry leader team needs a thoughtful and strategic message that can be put into practice with actions.

Parents need to hear (and feel) that they aren’t alone.

All parents want to be good parents. They’re doing the absolute best that they can. They don’t want to come to church and be told that they’re not doing it right, they need to come to church and hear that they aren’t alone. Deborah Tillman used the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. He stopped, listened to her, and restored her. He didn’t judge her or tell her all her faults. The church needs to embody: Less judgment, more restoring.

The ultimate goal of parenting.

Every parent has a list of worries that are miles long. Holly and Sarah asked Deborah what, above all, is the ultimate goal of parenting. She said:

  • Make them feel accepted
  • Make them feel valued
  • Make them feel capable
  • Make them feel forgiven
  • Make them feel loved

Conversation Starters For Your Church

Are there any places, events, communication, etc. that could make parents feel excluded or uninvited to the party?

How do can we equip our volunteers to better partner with parents?

How can we measure our partnership with parents? How often should we be holding ourselves accountable to raise the metrics?

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