Weekly Team

Afton Phillips

Afton is the Weekly Director and the official coffee maker at the office. She has a degree in Children’s Ministry, but most importantly, she is a small group leader for first graders every Sunday. It’s something very close to her heart. Also close to her heart is the strong belief that tulle skirts are every day wear.

Sherry Surratt

Sherry is the Director of Family Strategy and she loves anything that helps a parent do family better. With a corporate and ministry background, she spends her days planning resources and content that help parents develop a critical rhythm of presence and conversation. She’s a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a shoe freak and a coffee lover.

Frank Bealer

Frank Bealer is the CEO of Phase Family Centers and Executive Director of Leadership Development here at the reThink Group. He is passionate about developing leaders to reach their full potential. Frank is married to Jess, and together they have four children.

Tim Walker

Tim Walker is the Managing Editor of Parent Curriculum. With over a decade at Orange, Tim is passionate about getting helpful, relevant, and clear resources into the hands of ministry leaders and parents. Tim is married to Jennifer and they have three sons.

Adriana Howard

Adriana is the Lead Editor for Weekly. She has a degree in English education and has taught literature, drama and creative writing. She also spent nearly ten years working with her husband as youth pastors. She loves books, traveling, the ocean, old typewriters, and she’s passionate about Jesus.

Karen Wilson

Karen is the Lead Editor for Parent Cue resources including the blog and the Phase project. She’s the mother of two squirrelly middle schoolers. She is a French-speaking Thai-food lover who enjoys celebrating Irish holidays and traveling around the world with her talented photographer husband.

Matt Ivy

Matt serves on our fabulous Orange Specialist team representing Orange brands like Lead Small, Parent Cue, Orange Leaders and Married People. He has close to a decade of experience leading middle-school and high-school small groups as a volunteer. He used to have free time, but now he and his wife Kristen have three children. However, he provides his assurances that his children are awesome and his wife is beautiful and smart.  

Steph Whitacre

With over a decade of experience leading students and volunteers, Steph now spends her days investing in church leaders and families as part of the Orange team—primarily as the Editorial Alignment Manager for Orange Books. She lives in metro Atlanta with her husband, Tim, and their son, Landon. Steph is a co-author of The Volunteer Project: Stop Recruiting. Start Retaining. You can read more of her thoughts at stephwhitacre.com.

Daniel De Jesus

Daniel is a Digital Strategist for Orange and the unofficial staff hip hop dance instructor. He has a degree in Photography, a Masters in Ministerial Leadership and works full-time as the Elementary Pastor at Bent Tree in Dallas. When Daniel isn’t answering your questions about Weekly, he is likely playing board games with his daughters, blogging or drinking copious amounts of black coffee.

Contributors To Weekly

Reggie Joiner

Reggie is the founder and CEO of Orange and a co-founder of North Point Community Church with Andy Stanley where he served as the director of family ministry. He’s revolutionized ministry for children, teenagers, and married adults. He authored and co-authored books including “Think Orange” and “Creating a Lead Small Culture.”

Kristen Ivy

Kristen holds a degree in secondary education as well as a master of divinity. After teaching high school for two years, she joined the Orange team in 2006. Currently, she works as the Executive Director of Messaging for Orange, and the Director of the Phase Project.

Tom Shefchunas

Tom is the director of Transit, the middle school ministry, for all five campuses of North Point Ministries. Tom’s passion involves working with campus teams as well as recruiting and developing the hundreds of small group leaders it takes to pull off weekly ministry. Tom also co-wrote “Lead Small” with Reggie Joiner.



Darren Kizer

Dr. Darren Kizer is the founder of Engaged Learners and the director of the Orange Semester program which offers college credits to church staff and volunteers. He was the family pastor at Parker Hill Community Church for eleven years. He invests in church leaders through consultation, education, and writing.

Jeremy Zach

Jeremy is a youth pastor turned XP3 Orange Specialist. He is in love with Jesus and is therefore passionate about helping student pastors develop ministries that produce students who are zealously in love with Jesus. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in California.

Mike Clear

Mike serves as the Director of Children’s Strategy at the reThink Group. Mike was one of the founding pastors of Discovery Church in Simi Valley, California, where he served as the family ministries director for nearly ten years.

Brooklyn Lindsey

Brooklyn began as a volunteer since 1997 and became a full-time youth pastor in 2001. Her priority is serving the middle school ministry at Highland Park Church of the Nazarene in Florida. She also communicates at events, trains other leaders, blogs often, and has written eight books for teenagers and adults.

Dan Scott

Dan Scott is the 252 Basics Curriculum Director at Orange. He enjoys traveling around the world coaching children’s ministry leaders and speaking to kids and students. He blogs about children’s ministry at danscottblog.com. Dan and his wife Jenna live in Cumming, GA and have four amazing kids: Liam, Ellison, Addison, and Taye.

Sam Collier

Sam is a communicator at Northpoint Ministries, the Director of City Strategy for Orange, a nationally syndicated radio host and the founder of No Losing, Inc. He has empowered over eighty thousand young people to have a winning mindset in life to achieve their goals by creatively making education relevant to young people. Sam is an Atlanta, Georgia native!

Doug Fields

Doug is a youth ministry veteran of over thirty years. He is the author of more than fifty books, founder of Simply Youth Ministry, speaker, pastor, advisor to Youth Specialties, Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University and a partner in DownloadYouthMinistry.com.

Nina Schmidgall

Nina originally moved from California to the nation’s capital to serve as a legislative director in the House of Representatives. Now, she serves as director of family ministry at National Community Church in D.C. She realized her passion for the family and the home while writing and directing education and family policy.

Gina Abbas

Gina has served as the middle school director at Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids for seven years. She’s on the ministry council for the National Network of Youth Ministry, and she writes so many of the resources you’ll find here in Weekly. Check out her book, “A Woman in Youth Ministry.”

Sue Miller

Sue is a leader, author, and gifted communicator. She joined Orange after seventeen years of ministry at Willow Creek Community Church. As a part of our team, Sue travels extensively-feeding her passion to mentor leaders, inspire volunteers, and consult with churches that strive to partner with parents.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell serves as an assistant professor in youth and family ministry at Fuller Seminary and the executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute. She has twenty six years of youth ministry experience and currently volunteers as a youth ministry leader. Kara has co-authored a number of Sticky Faith books and several other books and articles.

Jim Wideman

Jim Wideman is considered to be an innovator, pioneer and one of the fathers of the modern children’s ministry movement. He has trained hundreds of thousands of children’s ministry and student ministry leaders from across the United States and around the world over the past thirty six years.

Carey Nieuwhof

Carey is one of the founders and teaching pastors of Connexus Community Church, a growing multi-campus church near Toronto and strategic partner of North Point Ministries. Carey writes one of the most widely read Christian leadership blogs today. He’s authored several book, most recently “Lasting Impact.”

Jon Acuff

Jon is the New York Times bestselling author, including his most recent, “Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent your Work, and Never Get Stuck.” Most recently, he’s spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at conferences, colleges, companies and churches. Jon has become a social media expert with a blog read by millions and nearly 200,000 Twitter followers.

Kenny Conley

Kenny is a 16-year veteran of children’s ministry. His passion to see the next generation come to know and follow Christ propels him to constantly rethink how the church approaches ministry to kids and their families. Kenny loves to network and collaborate with ministry leaders around the world to push ministry to new levels.

Cindi Fiala

Cindy is the Family Ministry Pastor at Preston Trail Community Church in Frisco, Texas. She leads a team of dynamic leaders who have passion to help kids, students and families to live their full potential as they find and follow Jesus Christ. One of her greatest passions is to see ministries integrate and combine efforts for the sake of helping families be all that God created them to be.

Gina McClain

Gina is the Children’s Pastor at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Gina is driven by the idea of equipping, encouraging & empowering parents for the journey of teaching their kids to love and be loved by Jesus. Based upon her experience as a mom, she identifies with the everyday challenges of parenting.

Adam Duckworth

Adam is the Family Ministry Lead at First Fort Lauderdale in Florida. He has been involved in family ministry since he started out as a small group leader in February of 2001. He recently co-authored the books “Not Normal” and “Leading Not Normal Volunteers” along with Sue Miller.