Can you believe that 2018 is almost over already? It feels like it just started. As we wind down this year, it’s a good time to look back at some of what we’ve done over the past 365 days.
Hopefully you’ll find some time amidst the craziness of the holiday season to reflect. Perhaps recapping some of the best blog posts we published during 2018 might help.
We publish a new post for church leaders working with marriages every week—Thursday mornings to be exact. That more than 50 blog posts every year. Here are the top 10 articles we shared in 2018.
Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018
- How To Promote Marriage Events at Your Church
- Why Pretty Much Every Church Leader Needs Marriage Counseling
- OC18 Breakout Notes: MarriedPeople Interactive
- Introducing the New MarriedPeople Monthly
- How Your Church Can Be a Game Changer For Marriages
- Meet the Communicators: Game Changers
- LEADER PROFILE: Laura Wright
- What a Strong Marriage Ministry Should Look Like
- Reaching Married Couples Using Social Media
- Behind-the-Scenes: Strategy Pack
We’ll also be sharing some of our top 10 couples posts and top podcast episodes of the year. Hopefully some of these resources have been helpful to you. And looking forward to sharing even more in 2019!
What was your favorite blog post this year?
These days, most churches have websites—some of them are even good. Plenty of churches also operate a marriage ministry. There is an overlap between those two categories that have web pages dedicated to their marriage ministry.
But what does a good marriage ministry web page look like? Who are the churches that are doing a good job of representing their ministry well online? We did some searching for churches who meet these rigorous standards and found 10 examples that we can all learn from.
1. Seacoast Church
A multi-campus church located in South Carolina, Seacoast provides a few different resources for married couples. Their marriage ministry page lists links to join small groups, participate in the re-engage program, or go on a date night.
Their website has a very clean, user-friendly feel. It’s easy to navigate and understand how to take a next step. The marriage page is also easy to locate from the website’s main menu.
2. Chicago Tabernacle
The Chicago Tabernacle’s website is a reflection of the church’s modern and trendy flare. The marriage ministry page includes an overview of their mission, what the ministry is about, and an introduction to the ministry leaders.
The page is full of vibrant colors and images. Although there is quite a bit of content, it’s made easy to navigate because of the menu in the top section. There’s also a section on recommended resources, with links to some great marriage books.
3. NewSpring Church
One of the largest megachurches in the country, NewSpring boasts a beautifully designed church website. Their marriage ministry page is no exception. It has eye-catching images and a mobile responsive framework.
Essentially, this page is primarily a collection of articles relating to marriage and couples. There are several hundred posts that couples can scroll through to read. There is also a ‘Talk To Someone’ button at the top of the page to get in touch with the church staff.
4. Otter Creek Church
Located just outside of Nashville, Tenn, Otter Creek Church provides another great example of a marriage ministry webpage. It’s simpler than some of the other examples because it’s primarily text based, but it’s still helpful.
Otter Creek actually has a series of pages for their marriage ministry—with separate pages for resources, enrichment, mentoring, and divorce recovery. Each one provides an overview of how they can help and how members can get involved.
5. Eastview Christian Church
Eastview Christian Church is located in Normal, Ill., a suburb of Bloomington. Eastview uses MarriedPeople for their marriage ministry, and has links to date nights, upcoming events, and signing up for MP Monthly emails.
A brilliant feature of the Eastview marriage ministry webpage is the video from the ministry leader at the top of the page. This adds a personal touch while giving a good overview of the program.
6. Buckhead Church
A campus of North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Buckhead Church leads couples through several stages of marriage—prepare (premarital), establish (newlywed), grow (small groups), enrich (events), and restore (crisis counseling).
That can be a lot of information to take in, but Buckhead presents it in a clean and clear way. Each section has a short description, visually appealing logo, and a button to take the next step.
7. Christ Church UMC
Christ Church United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tenn, is another church using the MarriedPeople strategy for their ministry. And their page does an outstanding job of how that impacts real couples at their church.
The page includes several testimonials of their events from both the husband and wife perspective. They also have a highlight video of a recent event. All of this help couples understand what to expect from one of these events.
8. Black Rock Church
A church in Fairfield, Conn., Black Rock Church has packed a ton into their marriage ministry page. It has everything from advice on pre-marriage preparation to how to have a great date night with your spouse. Everything is clearly labeled with section headers.
Black Rock’s marriage page also includes some helpful marriage tools like messages from their pastor and a list of upcoming marriage events at the church.
9. The Chapel
Just one more example of a MarriedPeople church, The Chapel is located in Getzville, NY, outside of Buffalo. One of the first things you see on the page is information on MP Monthly, including how to sign up to get the emails.
Most of the page is taken up by frequently asked questions about marriage ministry. The Chapel’s answers to these questions gives a good idea of how couples can have a better marriage and how their church can support that.
10. Rock Church
The example from Rock Church, a multi-campus church in southern California, is a little different from the others. Instead of a page dedicated to the ministry itself, this page shows how to get involved volunteering at Rock Church.
However, other church leaders can still learn from this example, because it provides a great overview of how to structure your volunteer team and how to write job descriptions for each role. The page also has a clear way to sign up to volunteer with the ministry.
Even More Examples Worth Checking Out
Does your church website have a marriage ministry page? Which of these examples is your favorite?
As a church leader, you’re constantly trying to find new ways to connect with the couples at your church. You’re probably using email, text messages, phone calls and smoke signals to reach these married people. But they’re busy people and these methods don’t always work.
So you’re likely also thinking about social media. More and more people get their information from Facebook and Instagram these days. You want to take advantage of this and capture their attention. But you don’t know how to start. Or you don’t have the time to figure it out.
That’s why we wanted to share some advice on the best ways to get started connecting with married couples using the latest technology.
Share Valuable Marriage Content
There’s a ton of content out there on social media. Most of it is just junk. People ignore junk. What they want is value—something that will improve their life. If you can share content with them that does that, you’ll get their attention.
So find posts to share that can actually benefit a couple’s marriage. How do you do that? Well, we think we can help. We put out a blog post every single week on a topic relevant to married couples. We also release a new podcast episode every week with the same goal. Not to mention the dozens of cool videos we have for you to share on our YouTube channel.
We do all of this to provide you with something valuable to share with married couple. Posting links and videos to social media or just sharing our social media posts can be a huge benefit to couples.
Listen to Them
It’s easy to talk on social media. All you need is an open Wifi connection and working thumbs. Listening on social media is much harder. That takes time and patience. Because it means searching out relevant conversations online.
Talking on social media isn’t a bad thing—even better when you’re talking about something valuable, as mentioned above. But you can’t just talk. Your church needs to balance this out with a healthy dose of listening to married couples.
Listening to people online while also respecting their privacy can be tricky. One way to do this with healthy barriers is inviting them into a conversation. Post questions asking how you can help their marriage or how you can pray for them.
Hopefully these questions invite couples into a conversation that shows how much you care about their marriage and family. Asking questions opens the door for you to actively listen.
Provide Them With Community
We all crave community. It’s woven into our DNA as people. We want authentic relationships. And that’s one of the reasons why social media is such a big deal in our culture. It’s just another place that people find community.
Your church can win online by building a community online. It’s not easy to cultivate and manage great communities using social media, but it’s worth trying. Take what you’re doing to reach people physically at your church and carry that out in a digital way.
A practical way to do this is start a Facebook group for married couples at your church. Facebook groups are exploding in popularity and you can jump on the bandwagon. If you don’t want to do this yourself, we’ve done the hard work for you and created a marriage Facebook group that any couple can join. Invite married people at your church to join our growing community online.
How do you reach married couples using social media at your church?
Here at MarriedPeople, we like to say that we’re a partnership, not just a product. But why? What does that really mean? What’s the difference?
Glad you asked.
This is still a new concept for us. So we thought we’d put together a blog post explaining what that means and why you should care.
What is a marriage ministry product?
A product is a resource you buy once with the best intentions. It’s a small group study or leadership book that seems like the perfect solution to a problem. But then the busyness of ministry happens and you put the product on a shelf and forget about it.
Even if you do have the time to use the product, it’s up to you to figure out the best ways to implement it at your church. There’s lots of trial and error before you realize what works and what doesn’t.
We’ve all been there. And there’s nothing wrong with these products. They can be very helpful at times. But sometimes they feel incomplete. That’s where a partnership comes in.
What is a marriage ministry partnership?
A partnership, on the other hand, gives you all of the resources you need to succeed. But then, a partnership also equips you with the skills and support to execute the strategy effectively. It’s a more complete solution to your challenges.
At MarriedPeople, we have three different components to our partnership. These three elements make partnering with us a robust and comprehensive way to run a marriage ministry at your church.
We’ve recently started to put more focus on those last two elements—training and community—to set us apart. But what are some examples of that training and community?
Reasons why we’re a partnership
How to partner with us
The good news for you is that most of those elements are free for anyone to use. Anyone can join our Facebook group or watch our training videos.
But to get the most out of what we discuss in the group and on the videos is to purchase our annual bundle of resources. And we’ll be with you the whole way as you implement this strategy.
Your church can make a difference in the lives of married couples. And we want to be there to help.
What questions do you have for us about our partnership?
In case you didn’t already know, we have a podcast exclusively for married couples. Every week, we publish a new post focused on a relevant marriage topic.
Our goal is to explore a question that real couples have, expose the truth behind the issue, and give everyone one simple thing to do to improve their marriage.
Things you probably didn’t know about the podcast
- Our podcast recording studio is in Ted Lowe’s home office.
- Podcast co-hosts Afton and CJ both work on other teams at Orange. And they take time out of their busy schedule to record the podcast.
- Ted and Afton’s spouses also both work at Orange. Ted’s wife, Nancie, is an accountant, and Afton’s husband, Hudson, is a graphic designer.
- We’re often joined in the recording studio by Ted’s dog, Tatter.
- We occasionally take the show on the road and record episodes at events like The Orange Conference and Orange Tour.
- CJ uses grand hand gestures while recording. You can’t hear it on the podcast, but you can see it on Afton’s Instagram account.
- One of our running jokes is how much CJ and Afton like Chili’s 2 for $22. We’re not currently sponsored by Chili’s, but we could be.
- The title of each of our episodes is a question so that people can find it easily from Google.
- In a recent survey, 100% of people said that they would recommend the podcast to a friend.
- We love having incredible guests on the podcast, including Jeff Henderson, Carlos Whittaker, Kara Powell, Carey Nieuwhof, and Shaunti Feldhahn. We’ve got even more great interviews planned for future episodes.
Other good stuff to know
- New episodes of the podcast release on Wednesday mornings.
- Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud and Spotify.
- Not only is the podcast great for your marriage, it’s a resource you can share with the couples at your church.
- You can even help us get the word out by downloading our podcast promotion kit.
- Give us feedback on what you think about the podcast by filling out this survey or leaving us a review on iTunes.
- We already include a link to episodes in every edition of MarriedPeople Monthly to help more couples listen to this great content.
Do you listen to the podcast? What do you think?