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
This blog, which gives you tips and tricks on leadership every week
You may already be aware that MarriedPeople has a private Facebook group for church leaders who work in marriage ministry. You may even be one of the more than 1,400 members in the group. But just in case you didn’t know about the group, or aren’t already a member, here’s a few reasons why you should consider joining.
1. Live Webinars
Back in 2017, we started hosting free webinars on Facebook Live within the group. The first one went so well that we decided to make it a regular thing.
But you’ve got to be a member of the group in if you want to watch the webinars live. Interested? You can watch that first webinar below.
2. Ask Questions
If you’re new to marriage ministry, you probably have questions. Even if you’ve been in the game for several years, you’ve probably still got questions.
The Facebook group is the perfect place to ask these questions. The MarriedPeople team checks the group on a regular basis and when lend a hand where we can.
Even better, these questions are also seen and answered by other church leaders who also have a great perspective on what works, and what doesn’t.
3. Discounts on Products
We frequently offer discounts on our resources, including our annual partnership. Leaders in the Facebook group are usually the first to hear about these great deals. Not to mention, we also share sneak peaks of future resources and share news about our parent organization, Orange.
By joining the Facebook group, you become a MarriedPeople insider. It’s the best place to hear about everything that’s going on and get the latest resources first.
4. Network with Your Peers
Probably the best aspect of the group is the opportunity to meet and talk to other church leaders who are in the same situation as you. The group has got leaders from different-sized churches, from across the United States and world.
They’re all a part of the group for the same reason—to improve marriages. We want to share the best ideas to make that happen. We want to encourage one another to keep going. We want to help each other win.
If you’re looking for any one of those four things, you should probably join the group. It’s private, so you’ve got to request to join, but we promise we’ll let you in. (We keep it private to keep out unwanted spammers).
If you’re already in the group, comment below with your favorite part of being a member! And feel free to invite any other church leader friends to join, too. We want to keep growing the group to make it even better.
Valentine’s Day happens on February 14 every year. In 2018, that day also happens to be Ash Wednesday.
These are two pretty different holidays. Valentine’s Day mostly involves excess—cheesy love songs, over-the-top romance and elaborate gifts. Conversely, Ash Wednesday is primarily about moderation. It marks the start of Lent, when most people give up something for 40 days.
Despite these differences, there is one similarity between these two days—love. Valentine’s Day revolves around romantic love. Ash Wednesday is a solemn reminder of Christ’s sacrificial love for us.
What Does This Mean For The Church?
What is the church to do when one of our traditional Christian holidays falls on the same day as a flower-filled, Hallmark-driven, love-fest? This is actually a great opportunity to connect with those people in your community who don’t know about your church.
Ash Wednesday is an event some within the church know. For others, it’s a tradition that’s at least vaguely familiar. However, it’s not something those outside the church know at all.
The fact that these holidays fall on the same day gives us the chance to make a church tradition relevant to what society does. We have the chance to spread God’s love on a wider scale.
Connect Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day
Combine your traditional Ash Wednesday service with a Valentine’s celebration; find a balance between the colorful Valentine’s decor and the humble trappings of Ash Wednesday
Send out handwritten love notes to every house in a one-mile radius of your church—this could even be an opportunity to explain why we celebrate Ash Wednesday
Partner with a local restaurant to give couples a discount on their date night meal if they mention your church’s name
Host a relationship/marriage focused sermon series leading up to the big day that focuses on the humility of Ash Wednesday
Give away relationship/marriage books that your church can read during Lent
Instead of giving something up for Lent, give couples ideas of things they can start doing to improve their relationships
Give your the couples in your church date night ideas—each date could start at the Ash Wednesday service so the couples can connect spiritually
Host a free fancy dinner at your church for everyone in the community who can’t afford one—offer childcare so couples are more likely to attend
Publish a short Lent devotional with the theme of God’s love
Organize a service project to help those who don’t feel as loved in the community—encourage couples to come serve together, or singles to be a part of something that’s not all about coupled romance
Write words of encouragement in chalk on the sidewalks of your town—chalk isn’t the same as ash, but it’s close enough (it’ll look even closer if you use those sticks of black chalk you normally avoid).
Instead of marking people’s foreheads with ash crosses, draw some ash hearts on foreheads
Buy extra Valentine’s Day cards and flowers to give away to any of the busy significant others who forgot at the last minute—they can pick them up while getting their foreheads ashed
What is your church planning on doing this February 14?