LEADER PROFILE: Dave Safstrom

LEADER PROFILE: Dave Safstrom

Every month, we’re profiling a church leader just like you. This month, we’re featuring Dave Safstrom.

Dave has been on a Groups Team Leader at LCBC in Lancaster, PA, for the last five years.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I love seeing the ‘lightbulb’ go on. When individuals/couples grab hold of the inspiration of Jesus’ love and wisdom and see how it applies in their lives and relationship, you know it’s going to make a difference for years to come.

What are some challenges you face at your church?

We need more premarital mentors. Not for lack of interest, but for how many couples want good premarital mentoring. Says a lot about young couples wanting the best possible start to their marriage!

How has MarriedPeople changed how your church works with marriages?

MP is how we started our Young & Married ministry three years ago, and is providing the content to get another campus up and running in seasonal marriage ministry. The MP model itself challenges us to not settle for a one-and-done event approach. We’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible.

What’s one helpful tip you’d like to share with other church leaders?

Start! Don’t wait for critical mass for a big event. Gather a few invested couples, invite them to pray and cast vision for challenging and equipping marriages in your community, then engage effectively with the MP model. One more thing.. increase their love-literacy one step at a time (don’t throw a theological encyclopedia at them).

Are there any other helpful resources you’d recommend people check out?

 

Want to be featured on the blog?

If you’re a MarriedPeople partner and want to be featured on the blog, just fill out the form here and we’ll be in touch.

LEADER PROFILE: Monica Humpal

LEADER PROFILE: Monica Humpal

Every month, we’re profiling a church leader just like you. This month, we’re featuring Rev. Monica Humpal.

Monica has been the Associate Pastor of Grow Ministries at Williamson’s Chapel United Methodist in Mooresville, NC for the last six years. She even writes a marriage blog for her church that everyone should read.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I love serving God by supporting the whole family—kids, parents, and grandparents. Marriage ministry supports all things “family” and can be so helpful in strengthening the entire community.

What are some challenges you face at your church?

Helping couples see the importance of their marriage relationship. Couples are either super focused on their kids, their jobs, or extra curricular things and are neglecting their marriages. They are also faced with a ton of “parent guilt” if they don’t focus on their kids every spare moment. Shifting to making marriage a priority is a struggle for many couples.

How has MarriedPeople changed how your church works with married couples?

We are now providing a multi- faceted ministry that suits couples needs, whatever they may be. We see that every couple is unique and we want to provide varied opportunities to meet the needs of as many couples as we can. Large events, small group studies, free counseling with professionals, retreats, date nights, guest speakers, etc.

What’s one helpful tip you’d like to share with other church leaders?

Even if you only provide a couple of marriage studies a year, do it. Start small if you need to, but try to find a way to incorporate marriage support into your overall ministry plan. This will go a long way to strengthening your age level ministries as a whole.

Are there any other helpful resources you’d recommend people check out?

Want to be featured on the blog?

If you’re a MarriedPeople partner and want to be featured on the blog, just fill out the form here and we’ll be in touch.

LEADER PROFILE: Everett & Kim Kvamme

LEADER PROFILE: Everett & Kim Kvamme

Every month, we want to profile a church leader just like you. This month, we’re featuring Everett & Kim Kvamme.

Everett and Kim have been serving together at the Lighthouse Christian Center in Seattle, Wash., for the last 14 years.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

Getting to work with couples; meeting new people; seeing God growing them in their relationship with one another; seeing couples and families reconciled, encouraged, and given hope.

What are some challenges you face at your church?

One of the biggest challenges has been debunking the myth that marriage ministry is only for those having problems in their marriage. It’s for couples connect with each and invest in one another other on an on-going basis. Another challenge is letting all couples at Lighthouse know all that is offered for marriages and families.

How has MarriedPeople changed how your church works with married couples?

It has helped us get more opportunities out for all couples, gain more participation, have husbands wanting to come, and enable us to have more people from the community involved. Before MarriedPeople, we offered marriage education, premarital counseling, and marriage mentoring. For these, people have to come forward to say they want to participate or have someone invite them.
The MP monthly, date nights, and large group events appeal to a larger audience and help us get the word out to more people of the importance of investing regularly in your marriage and inviting others to do the same.
In addition, our church uses Orange for children through high school in some way and using MP curriculum has helped our Family Ministry team unite in values and vision. It also helped that the ideas are there, the videos, and everything is scripted so those leading are successful as they put on an event or date night. We can add our creativity or stick to the script and all is to the glory of God.

What’s one helpful tip you’d like to share with other church leaders?

Pray, follow the MarriedPeople book to build your marriage ministry, and start with at least one thing and add to it. For example, just the Married People monthly or Date Nights. Don’t feel pressure to grow all at once.

Are there any other helpful resources you’d recommend people check out?

The MarriedPeople book, and any Stronger Marriages resources for mentoring or premarital curriculum. We have used this for about seven years and many have been transformed in their marriages and grew in their faith and relationship with one another. We highly recommend this for growing a mentoring ministry.
We also partner with Family Life and recommend any of their weekend getaways and or resources. We often give out Two Hearts Praying as One by Dennis and Barbara Rainey as a resource for a couple learning how to pray together in a meaningful and non-intimidating way.

Want to be featured on the blog?

If you’re a MarriedPeople partner and want to be featured on the blog, just fill out the form here and we’ll be in touch.

How To Promote Marriage Events at Your Church

How To Promote Marriage Events at Your Church

I recently spoke at a marriage event at Fellowship Bible Church in Batesville, Ark. The event had a great turnout, primarily because the church did such an incredible job promoting it within their community.

I was so impressed with their work that talked to Tera White about she did to promote the event. And since this is so important, I thought I’d share her answers with you.

Who did you reach out to within the community to help you spread the word?

Our Chamber of Commerce sends out a weekly e-newsletter to roughly 2000 recipients, comprised of Chamber members and other community members. You can advertise free of charge in this newsletter.

As Chamber members, we also have the opportunity to send out two “All About You” email blasts per year to the same e-newsletter distribution list. This advertisement also gets posted to their social media networks.

How did you use digital advertising for the event?

We created a Facebook event for the evening and boosted the event for a month. Boosting allows you to target an audience that you set.

The boosted post will show up in that target group’s newsfeed for the duration and budget you set. Our target was men and women, ages 18 – 65+ who live in Arkansas. This cost us only $30 for the entire month.

The main ad was a picture of Ted & Nancie Lowe, straight from the promotional material.

Our description for the event/ad:

Experience a night of comedy and laughter while exploring what it takes to make a marriage work! During this fun, exciting, ONE-NIGHT marriage event, you will hear from speaker, blogger, and director of MarriedPeople, Ted Lowe and his wife Nancie.

Don’t miss a FREE night out ON US! In addition to our fabulous speakers, we will provide childcare, yummy snacks, a photo booth, and great door prizes!

 Let us know by January 21 if you plan to attend, and if you need childcare! 
Some ways to let us know you plan to attend:

How did you announce the event in worship and the bulletin?

We began with a basic “Save The Date” graphic about two months out with minimal info during our announcements. We also put the graphic in our church newsletter around the same time.

After a few weeks of “Save the Date” announcements, we moved into giving more detailed information during our announcements with a different graphic. This graphic was the picture of Ted and Nancie with some basic info (date, time, etc) about the event.

Our pastor started a short marriage series two weeks before the event to prepare hearts for the event. He also gave shout outs for the event before each sermon, as well as showing the promo video.

How did you get the word out around your town?

We posted 25 posters around our town. We also put out postcards at the locations that we hung the poster.

What other advice do you have on promoting special events at church?

A few additional avenues that we used:

  • Weekly community circulars that allowed us to advertise for free
  • Radio spot on a local radio station
  • Social Media shares on staff’s personal accounts
  • Church Member Chat video that included members of our church telling why they were excited about the event
  • Facebook Live video describing event and inviting people to come

How do you promote marriage events at your church?

Behind-the-Scenes: Strategy Pack

Behind-the-Scenes: Strategy Pack

We recently released our latest pack of annual resources for marriage ministries. As with every year, these annual resources fall under one overarching theme.

The theme for this year is Game Changers: because small things make a big difference.

Because we’re so excited about Game Changers, we wanted to pull back the curtain a little and let you know more about what goes into creating these resources.

Brainstorming

  • We start thinking about our next strategy pack during the summer
  • There were several theme ideas that we kicked around before deciding on Game Changers
  • It takes a dozen or so creative meetings to develop most of the ideas behind our resources
  • We make sure the feedback from our partners shapes how we develop the content
  • These creative meetings are attended by our other colleagues at Orange
  • We throw all of our ideas up on a creative board to get the creative juices flowing

Example of a creative board

Creating

  • We work with a local creative agency called PullSpark to produce all of our communicator, story, and promotional videos—this is by far the most time-consuming part of the strategy pack
  • The creation of all videos involves writing film scripts, recruiting local actors, renting a location, and lots of video editing
  • We partner with some of the foremost leaders and speakers in the country as the communicators for our events—learn more about the speakers in this year’s pack
  • For our small group study, we partnered with our friend Shaunti Feldhahn to customize the content from her book, The Kindness Challenge
  • We created the small group study videos in partnership with another video agency called Between the Pixels—these videos feature real couples

Delivering

  • Finishing all of these resources takes about 6-8 months in total
  • After all of the content has been finalized, the files get uploaded to our new online store and content delivery system, where they can be downloaded by church partners
  • This year, we’re introducing a new concept—two tiers of partnership; now you can either sign up for a Starter Pack ($249) or an Annual Pack ($399)
  • There are over 500 individual files in the Annual Pack, which equate to more than 17 GB worth of space—that’s a lot of content!
  • The one exception to this is MP Monthly, which gets sent to church partners every month

What’s your favorite part of the Strategy Pack? What else would you want to go behind the scenes on?

LEADER PROFILE: Todd Graham

LEADER PROFILE: Todd Graham

Every month, we want to profile a church leader just like you. This month, we’re featuring Todd Graham.

Todd has been the Family Pastor at Eastside Baptist Church in Marrietta, Ga., for the last 14 years.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I most enjoy getting to teach married people and parenting.

What are some challenges you face at your church?

It’s often a challenge getting other staff members on board with the direction of our family ministry.

How has MarriedPeople changed how your church works with married couples?

Prior to Married People, our church didn’t do anything for marriages.

What’s one helpful tip you’d like to share with other church leaders?

You can do this! Everyone knows every marriage needs encouragement & direction but the thought of leading a marriage strategy can seem overwhelming, but anyone can pull off an excellent marriage growth strategy with the tools from MarriedPeople.

Are there any other helpful resources you’d recommend people check out?

Anything from Homeword, Parent Cue, or MarriedPeople.

Want to be featured on the blog?

If you’re a MarriedPeople partner and want to be featured on the blog, just fill out the form here and we’ll be in touch.