In this episode, I talk with Sherry Surratt, the Executive Director of Family Strategy at Orange, about a year long strategy for partnering with parents. Sherry shares what a 12-month plan looks like practically for your ministry, and previews some of the things Orange is working on to help church leaders in partnering with parents even more effectively.

Sherry Surratt

Connect with Sherry on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



Southeast Christian Church

Links Mentioned in This Episode

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) – An organization that seeks to celebrate motherhood, connect moms, and equip, encourage, and mentor them. Hosting a MOPS group is a great way for a church to reach young families.

GoWeekly – A resource that helps church leaders connect with their small group leaders and partner with parents every week

  • Leader–>Parent: Events, kits, and things to talk about at the dinner table, in the car, or during other naturally occurring moments
  • Church–>Parent: The ParentCue connects parents to what their kids learned that week, complete with questions and discussion starters
  • Directly–>Parent: Parent Cue Blog, Parent Cue Podcast, and the Parent Cue App

Orange's Social Media Plan for Leaders – Orange‘s weekly social media plans that help leader partner with parents. Posts correspond to the weekly teaching and cue the parent during natural moments like morning time, meal time, drive time, and bedtime.

Just a Phase – A project dedicated to helping parents understand and leverage each phase of their child's life

Phase Guides (books) – Individual books that each focus on a different year and phase of a child's life. These guides are designed to help parents make the most of each phase.

Levels of Partnership With Parents (article) – The different levels of engagement and partnership the church has with parents

Orange Conference 2018 – Orange's annual conference for children, student, and family ministry leaders. Registration opens October 12.

Annual Family Wheel

Partner With Parents

  1. FallStart: Families are thinking new rhythm. Introduce families to small group leaders, consider having an open house event, and/or bring in Just a Phase materials to let parents know you're there to help them through each age and stage.
  2. WinterRestart: Families are thinking about developing healthy habits. Provide small group opportunities.
  3. SpringFocus: Families are thinking: How can we finish well? Send encouragement through a weekend message and/or a handwritten note.
  4. SummerRecharge: Families are thinking: How can we spend the summer well? Create opportunities and environments that the family can experience together like a movie night, date night kits, a family challenge, or a list of free ideas for a family to do in your community.


Action Items

  1. Download the Annual Family Wheel, print it, and plot what you currently do to partner with parents on that wheel by season
  2. Evaluate what fits and what doesn't fit
  3. Trim your current plan down and focus on one thing each season, or design your wheel from scratch and start with one thing


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Next Episode: Ricardo Miller

In the next episode, I talk with Children's Pastor and Evangelist, Ricardo Miller. We have a great conversation about the top mistakes that ministry leaders make. Ricardo shares from the perspective of a children's pastor, but the list and principles he walks through apply across the board to leaders in all areas of ministry.