Orange Slices: “Helping Parents Catch the Vision” with Sue Miller

Anyone who knows me understands that positive church-school-parent collaboration makes my heart sing. So, choosing my Friday morning break out session was easy: “Helping Parents Catch the Vision.” A bonus? Learning from Sue Miller!

Sue covered lots of ground during her session, and I appreciated her strong encouragement to ministry leaders. She knows first-hand the effort and time needed to form positive, trusting relationships. But she had a fresh angle: Stop trying to get parents to care about what WE care about, and start caring about what THEY care about. She emphasized that parents, in the busy-ness and stress of raising kids share common concerns. We as the Church can support and edify moms and dads by addressing the worries that accompany the complicated, daunting journey of parenting.

Of course, this was, in itself, a great takeaway. But Sue wasn’t just talking through her information! She got her audience involved…all 1,000 of us! To make her points clear, Sue had us working in groups of 5, counting up common objects in our purses, briefcases and pockets. She directed us to find band aids, health club cards and library cards…and then used each of those objects to highlight a common concern parents face:

  • Band aids = safety
  • Health club cards = health and wellness
  • Library cards = learning

The details of her lecture were easy for me to remember, because of the activities she used.  Sue is not only a great leader and thinker, she is a great teacher…and she modeled effective teaching to all of us!  The more we can get our students actively engaged in lessons, the more they’ll learn (and remember!) Many thanks to Sue! Sue wrote Making Your Children’s Ministry the Best Hour of Every Kid’s Week.  Be sure to read more about her here. 

Yours for active learning~

For more information on the Orange Conference, please visit

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