Every church knows that kids matter. That’s not in question.

A better question is, does your church act like every kid matters at every phase in their lives?

A phase is a timeframe in kids’ lives when we can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence their future. That means the whining toddler, the dramatic fifth grader, and the stressed-out tenth grader are not just “going through a phase” that should be wished away; rather, they are transitioning through critical periods that we are called to discover, celebrate, and navigate strategically with them.

It’s Just a Phase presents a challenge to churches to treat every kid who breathes like they are made in the image of God. When we keep acting like every kid and teenager has the potential …
to believe, imagine, and love
to care, relate, and trust
to reason, improve, and lead

… it can change
how the parents next door see your church.
how your elders value teenagers.
how your executive staff views children and youth ministry.
how you organize what you do every week. how kids see themselves.

But, more importantly, it can change how every kid sees God, and that could change every kid’s future.

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“It’s Just a Phase. So Don’t Miss It,” from The Phase Project


“One thing that robs kids of their childhood is the phrase, ‘I can’t wait until ….’ In a culture where everybody wants to hurry through to what is next, It’s Just a Phase ‘presses pause’ and reminds leaders to pay attention to what’s critical in every stage so kids will know they matter.”

Caz McCaslin, president and founder, Upward Sports

“Parents and church leaders both usually overestimate the time they have and underestimate their influence. You will love how this book helps you, as a leader or a parent, leverage both time and influence at every stage of the adventure.”

Carey Nieuwhof, founding pastor, Connexus Church, Toronto


Lauren Terrell


Reggie Joiner is the founder and CEO of Orange, an organization designed to redefine ministry approaches for churches and family environments. For nearly 40 years, he’s mentored teachers and leaders who influence the next generation. Reggie and his wife, Debbie, have raised four kids into adulthood.

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Lauren Terrell


Kristen Ivy is the president of Orange and a co-founder of The Phase Project. Kristen blends a background in child development with a master of divinity and over 15 years of leading children and students. She and her husband, Matt, have three children in the elementary and middle school phases.

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