When I first got hired at my church to help married couples, I was a little overwhelmed. There are a lot smarter people than me, a lot more skilled individuals who could be occupying my office right now. The thing is, God brought me here. That means I’m responsible to do the best I can with the resources I have.
Here are the things I’ve learned that have helped me grow in my role:
1. Help Parents Become Their Kids’ Heroes
Whether it’s sending Parent Cues by email or having a hardcopy of GodTime Cards to hand out to parents as they leave on Sunday morning, I’ve bought into the idea that kids are going to spend the rest of their lives with their parents. Parents mostly want to do a good job with their kids.
They don’t need to hear “just trust God more,” they need to hear: “If you’ll take 5-10 minutes to talk through these questions with your kids, it’ll help you really connect with them.” If I’m not specific, I’m wasting my time.
2. Help Husbands & Wives Learn Communication Skills
It seems like everybody texts but nobody talks anymore. I need to give husbands and wives specific instructions on how to carry on conversations.
If physical proximity and emotional openness are the keys to intimacy, I may need to physically show them how to face each other, make good eye contact, hold hands, express themselves and ask for what they want with the right tone of voice.
3. Connect with Others Working with Married Couples
I’m not always going to have the best answers, so why not reach out to other churches, counselors, and non-profits who are focusing on the area of marriage?
Read an article or book. Call somebody. Who knows? I might be able to help them!
What are you learning so far? What’s helping you build stronger marriages?
Kenn Mann is the Next Generation Pastor at First Baptist Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Call it helping marriages, creating a marriage strategy, or revamping an existing marriage ministry. Church leaders have questions for us about helping marriages. And the questions are coming from people in every position of the church.
In fact, MarriedPeople, the marriage division of Orange, has a running list of the different types of positions who have added helping marriages to their already full ministry plate. These positions include children’s pastors, youth pastors, Next Gen pastors, family pastors, bi-vocational pastors, senior pastors, senior pastor assistants, volunteers…the list goes on and on. While the positions and passions of these leaders vary greatly, there are a few common questions:
How is MarriedPeople Orange?
While Orange is primarily known for helping children, parents, and student ministries, we added MarriedPeople in 2010. While not every child has two parents at home and we never want to marginalize single parents, we know that marriage is relevant to everyone in our churches and communities.
That is why we say all the time: one of the best things a church can do for kids is help marriages thrive.
From parents to small group leaders to paid staff, marriage impacts the health of everything including the lives of kids and of course the life of the church.
How can our church help marriages when our staff is already so busy?
Giving a great answer to this question is one of the driving forces behind MarriedPeople. We know that 90% of churches don’t have a paid staff devoted to marriage, or a part-time staff for that matter.
That is why MarriedPeople gives church a customizable, plug and play marriage strategy and the resources to empower that strategy, plus a real life person to help churches. We truly want you to think of the MarriedPeople team as your marriage ministry staff.
Where do we start?
Step One is getting buy-in from senior leadership. Let’s start with the obvious. We need to recognize where the power for change lies—senior leadership. You can put so much effort into a ministry, but if it isn’t supported and promoted by the leader, not as many people will know about it or participate.
And then that same leader will say, ‘See? There’s no need/desire for this. Getting senior leader support will be the base you need to create a marriage strategy that last. (To continue this conversation, check out our marriage ministry crash course.)
You can do it. We can help.
For years, Home Depot’s tagline was, “You can do it. We can help.” I would really love to rip off that tagline because that is the heart of MarriedPeople. Instead, our version of that is: You empower couples. We empower you.
Here’s how we seek to empower church leaders like you:
You can do this!
- What is the main goal? (Get one great phrase)
- Does the ministry align with the mission of the church?
- Will the ministry create competing systems?
Create a strategy
Core 4 Habits from Married People (marriedpeople.org)
Married People touch points throughout the year
Married People Strategy:
- Large Group Experiences
- Small Group Experiences
- Individual Couple Experiences
- Date Nights
- MP Monthly
- MP Podcast
Become familiar with your tools & resources
USE these & make them YOURS
They come from YOUR inbox!
Use your Social media & special email account
Married People Leaders group on FB
People Follow Passion
- Connect with a team of people who get it to be on your team before you launch.
- We are better together!
Critical Job descriptions
- Logistics Director
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Production Master
Calendar your Strategy
Think Long term impact, not just an event
Things to consider
- Budget (Charging for events?)
- Childcare ?
- Work with other ministry areas for a mutual win (Children’s & Youth)
Get Church Leadership on board
- Make an appointment
- Be brief, but clear
- Explain the need within the church
- Bring your plan & share the vision
Who, What, When, Where, & Why’s
- Ask for what you need. (How can the pastor best help?)
- Follow up and keep leadership informed!
Promote every chance you get
The Married People Strategy Pack contains everything you need: Posters, videos, post card templates, & social media posts