Marriage sermon series, events, and retreats and can be important and impactful on many levels. But after these larger environments, many married couples leave asking “Now what?” And often, we don’t plan for or don’t have an answer to that question.
- For couples in crisis, event knock down barriers and walls. But if couples don’t have help dealing with the relational rubble, we can create more chaos than connection.
- For couples living like roommates, events give hope of something more. But if couples don’t know how to start the journey of more, that hope quickly fades.
- For couples who are good wanting to be great, events paint of picture extraordinary. But if we don’t give them a roadmap of how to get there, good enough remains just good enough.
- For couples wanting to be involved in your marriage ministry, events inspire them to be a part of your team! But if we don’t have a place for them to help, they can’t.
As we prepare for marriage events and retreats, deciding who and what will follow the event is one of the most important parts of our preparation. So let’s get practical on how to do that.
Preparing For Event Next Steps
While only your team can ultimately determine what is best, here are a couple of questions that may be helpful in the process.
- What’s the one practical thing every married couple could do to immediately apply the content they heard at the event?
- Do we have the right amount of content? Or are we overwhelming couples?
- Is the content or application we’re sharing helpful?
- When is our next marriage event?
- Do we offer a small group or Sunday school class focused on marriage content?
- Can we provide date nights for couples to do on their own?
- Are there digital tools to help couples when they’re not in church?
- Programmatically, how do we plan to communicate these next steps?
- How are we using social media to inform and celebrate marriages at our church?
- Where can couples learn more about our marriage ministry?
Making This Easy For Couples
When I speak at marriage events, I love being able to tell couples that the event isn’t the only thing that church is doing for marriage. Marriage events are so much more effective when they’re part of something larger for marriages.
Practical next steps help to keep from overwhelming couples at an event. They give busy couples a way to apply the information and inspiration they got at the event. And these next steps answer the question most couples will be asking: “Now what?”
Next steps are a huge part of the Married People strategy we provide to churches. It’s important to give different steps for different couples in different contexts. This could be joining a small group, going on a date night, or joining the Married People Membership.
Most couples don’t have a plan, God does. And the church has the responsibility and privilege of hitching the hitched to God’s people and plan for their marriage.
Ted Lowe is a speaker and the director of MarriedPeople, the marriage division at Orange. Ted is the author of two books—one for marriage ministry leaders (Married People: How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last) and one for married couples (Your Best US: Marriage Is Easier Than You Think). He served for almost 10 years as the director of MarriedLife at North Point Community Church. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with his four favorite people: his wife, Nancie, and their three children.
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