RYM 047: Building Parent Buy-In For Your Youth Ministry

There are all different kinds of parents in youth ministry: helicopter parents, parents who don’t even know their kid attends church, and everything in-between. But no matter where your students’ parents land, there are things every youth leader can do to support parents through the middle school and high school phases. This week, join ministry leaders for a conversation about what it looks like to partner with parents in a way that builds more parent buy-in for your youth ministry.

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  • How do we measure parent buy-in in youth ministry? (2:00)
  • What are we trying to help parents buy in to? (3:30)
  • Middle school is the time culturally when parents begin to step back. (5:00)
  • Every parent should have the contact information of the adult who is relationally connected to their kid. (8:00)
  • Parents are more important than you think. (12:30)
  • Parents do what we want to do better than we ever can. (15:30)
  • Partner a student event with a parent event. (16:00)
  • Parents need to know that their are other adults who actually like their kid. (24:00)
  • Youth workers often get moments with teenagers that their parents are jealous of. (25:30)
  • Quantity time leads to quality time. (27:30)
  • As a youth worker, be tangibly helpful and empathetic to parents in their everyday world. (29:00)
  • How do you partner with parents when you are not a parent yourself? (30:00)
  • If you’re a young youth worker, you’re in this because you love teenagers. Remember that you have a valuable role to play for parents as they parent their teenager. (33:00)
  • The work that you do with a teenager has tremendous impact on the life of a teenager and how a parent views the church. (38:00)


Book: It’s Just A Phase by Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy

Book: Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof

Resource: The Phase Project / Phase Guides

Resource: Parent Cue App

Resource: Parent Cue Podcast

Resource: Weekly

Resource Event: Orange Tour


We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and this episode! To join the conversation, leave us a comment here on our episode page or in our Facebook Group. Not a member of our Facebook Group yet? Click the button below to join!




Brett is an XP3 Orange Specialist with Orange after spending 11 years in full time ministry. He’s been married to his amazing wife since 2004. They have three amazing and hilarious kids who constantly keep them busy and laughing. He loves baseball, golf and makes amazing turkey melt sandwiches (if he has the time and ingredients, otherwise they’re just average).



Tom Shefchunas is the Executive Director of Student Strategy at Orange. In this role, he leads the development and strategy for XP3 Middle School and High School curriculumPreviously, Tom was North Point MinistriesMulti-Campus Director of Transit, their middle school ministry, for 12 years. And before that, he spent 10 years as a high school teacher, coach, and principal. Additionally, he is the co-author of Lead Small with Reggie Joiner. Tom and his wife, Julie, live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey, and Cooper.



Charlie is an XP3 Orange Specialist at Orange after spending the past 20 years working with students in educational and ministry settings. Most recently, Charlie spent 12 years as the middle school youth pastor in a thriving Methodist church in the Metro Atlanta area. Charlie grew up in rural Illinois but has been living in metro Atlanta, GA for the past 14 years. She lives with her husband Eric, her sometimes snarky but lovable daughter, and their three pups.



Kristen Ivy is the executive director of messaging at The reThink Group, commonly referred to as Orange. Before beginning her career at Orange in 2006, Kristen earned her bachelors of education from Baylor University in 2004 and a Master of Divinity from Mercer University in 2009. She worked in the public school system as a high school Biology and English teacher where she learned firsthand the joy and importance of influencing the next generation. She and her husband Matt are currently parenting their Kindergartener, Sawyer, preschooler, Hensley, and newborn, Raleigh, through the phases.

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Orange Conference 2018