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Help Couples Get Clear on . . . Money

Help Couples Get Clear on . . . Money

At MarriedPeople, we feel that so much of marriage is mysterious, things like:

  • How two people can have such strong opposing views on toothpaste tubes and toilet paper rolls
  • How after years of marriage, one can still discover new things about your spouse
  • How God takes two unique, individual people and makes them into one over the course of a lifetime.

And while marriage is mysterious, the topic of money doesn’t have to be as elusive. That’s why MarriedPeople has partnered with brightpeak’s Love & Money Project to offer one of our favorite small group studies on the subject—Better Halves.

Why are we so excited about Better Halves? Because it reveals that money is more than just a physical thing—it’s also emotional and spiritual (among many things). That you each bring history into your marriage when it comes to money—and we’re not just talking about your credit history.

It’s time to help couples get clear about money, and determine what works for them, and what’s important to them as a couple, and we can’t think of a better way to do that than with this fun, interactive study. (Yes, we just used the word “fun” to describe a study on money. It’s that different.)

Better Halves is part of the Clear Strategy Pack, now available at MarriedPeople.org.

MP Scope and Cycle: What to Do . . . and When

MP Scope and Cycle: What to Do . . . and When

by Tim Walker

When my boys were younger, we had a huge plastic container filled with Legos®. My parents had kept the container for years, and it was an amalgamation of various sizes, shapes, colors, and sets.

Other than the random blocks that would somehow end up scattered in our home, I really enjoyed this phase. We would sit and build whatever our minds conjured. Well, let me clarify, I would sit and build variations of the same thing—a house.

You see, for me, the tub of Legos was overwhelming. My brain couldn’t handle the endless options. So I would default to what I knew—making a house. I would look for the rectangular larger base, dig out the scattered windows and doors, and fill in the rest with blocks of various colors and shapes.

But that changed when my sons began to desire new Lego sets. Sure, we had enough Legos to build whatever we dreamed, but that new box sitting on the shelf at the store promised that we could recreate our favorite scenes from Star Wars. And it delivered. With the step by step instructions, we were able to take what was in the box and build an exact replica of what was pictured.

The difference? We had a plan, a guide that I could follow.

Now for some of you, you could take that tub of plastic bricks and make some amazing creations. In your mind, you can see how all the pieces have potential, and you know how you want to use each and every one of them to construct your overall vision.

But for others of us, we need a plan. We’re smart. We’re creative. But we want some kind of guide to help us know how to use the resources we have.

When you purchase the annual Strategy Pack from MarriedPeople, you get a tub-full of resources. things like:

  • 4 one-night events
  • 4 Date Nights
  • 12 issues of MP Monthly
  • a multi-week Small Group study

While that list looks nice and short, it’s filled with all kinds of files, videos, and slides—things to help you plan, promote, and implement a strategic marriage ministry.

For some, you can see that list and instantly start building a plan.
For others, you see that list and want to just keep doing what you know.

MarriedPeople wants to help those of you who need a little more than just a tub filled with Legos, or marriage ministry resources. So our team has a created a Scope and Cycle. Not because we believe you have to follow a specific plan—you know your church, your community, and your calendar better than we do. But sometimes we all need a suggestion of what would be to simply see things in a different way.

Here is the MarriedPeople Scope and Cycle document. Download it. Assemble your team. And use it as a launching point for building your own plan—or follow it exactly. Your choice.

Whatever the case, we know you and your volunteers will build an amazing, pro-active ministry to help couples connect and stay connected.

And if you need some additional help, contact the MarriedPeople Orange Specialist at info@marriedpeople.org.

 

MarriedPeople Spotlight: Journey Church

MarriedPeople Spotlight: Journey Church

We have amazing MarriedPeople partner churches. These marriage champions are taking the MarriedPeople resources and doing things that are above and beyond anything we dreamed about.

We want you to meet them. So once a month, we’ll spotlight a different church that is impacting not only the marriages in their church, but in their community. We want you to meet people from churches of all sizes, large and small, in various types of communities, whether urban, rural or suburban, with budgets big and small and volunteers plenty or scarce. Regardless of how different these churches may be from yours, we think you’ll find some relevancy to where you are.

We gave them a list of questions to find out more about their church, their team and their ministry. This month, we would like to introduce you to Ryan Tucker at Journey Christian Church in Apopka, FL.

Church: Journey Christian Church (Apopka, FL)
MarriedPeople champion: Ryan Tucker

Size of your church: 2400

Approximate number of married couples: 750

Describe the area you are in: suburban

Tell Us About . . . You and Your Team

I’m the Next Generation pastor—children and students birth through high school

How many people are on your marriage ministry team? 3

Tell Us About . . . How You Use the MarriedPeople Resources and Strategy

What does the calendar year look like with your marriage strategy? We do 4 large group gatherings a year, about every quarter. We offer the small group component as a follow up to the large group twice a year and we send out MP Monthly to our growing database of married couples who attend our events

What are some of the unique challenges to planning events in your community, and how have you worked around them? We have to create a rhythm. Our community is very busy with recreational activities, so unless we use the large group gatherings to create a rhythm that people can expect, we won’t get good traction.

Share with us one way you took the MarriedPeople resources and customized them to fit your church. We have used the married people strategy of the large group quarterly events to start an event called “Cupcakes and Comedy” around Valentine’s Day with a comedian and dessert as well. We also have hosted the Date Night Comedy Tour, again trying to create a rhythm but be creative.

What has been on really great thing that has come from using MarriedPeople? Consistency in our strategy, allows us to present a clear strategy not just for children and students but also for marriages as well.

What has been your biggest success so far? Couples that were de-churched or unchurched who have become part of our community through the large group events.

What has been your biggest fail and what did you learn from it? How we offer childcare at our large gatherings—that has consistently been the biggest learning experience on how to improve that.

What’s your dream to happen next? Continue to see buzz and traction around our large group events and to see the small group component really take root and develop.

Thanks, Ryan, and the awesome team impacting marriages in Apopka, FL! 

For more about Journey Christain Church, check out their website. 

To connect with other MarriedPeople leaders, request to join the MarriedPeople Leaders Facebook group.

MarriedPeople Spotlight: Devonshire Church

MarriedPeople Spotlight: Devonshire Church

We have amazing MarriedPeople partner churches. These marriage champions are taking the MarriedPeople resources and doing things that are above and beyond anything we dreamed about.

We want you to meet them. So once a month, we’ll spotlight a different church that is impacting not only the marriages in their church, but in their community. We want you to meet people from churches of all sizes, large and small, in various types of communities, whether urban, rural or suburban, with budgets big and small and volunteers plenty or scarce. Regardless of how different these churches may be from yours, we think you’ll find some relevancy to where you are.

We gave them a list of questions to find out more about their church, their team and their ministry. This month, we would like to introduce you to Brent McClintock at Devonshire Church in Harrisburg, PA.

Church: Devonshire Church (Harrisburg, PA)
MarriedPeople champion: Brent McClintock

Size of your church: 200

Approximate number of married couples: 70

Describe the area you are in: suburban

Tell Us About . . . You and Your Team

I am a volunteer.

How did you get involved in marriage ministry? Our Senior pastor attended a previous Orange Conference and wanted to start a marriage ministry. He asked me to get involved.

How many people are on your marriage ministry team? There are three couples that volunteer, either to coordinate the food and decorations or to help on stage at each Large Group event.

How did you recruit your team? Direct ask, based on knowing their personality and skills. It’s also great to find a couple with a thriving marriage to be involved.

Tell Us About . . . How You Use the MarriedPeople Resources and Strategy

What resources do you use from MarriedPeople? We use the Larger Group Experiences and monthly MarriedPeople E-ZINEs from the Strategy Pack.

What does the calendar year look like with your marriage strategy? We’ve used MarriedPeople for two years, running quarterly Large Group Nights, and send out the E-ZINE’s every month to those who signed up for it. Last year we attempted a Date Night. This year we’re planning to drop back to two Large Group events, at least one Date Night, and one Small Group session.

What are some of the unique challenges to planning events in your community, and how have you worked around them? Our first year events were on Friday evenings and attended well. We tried switching to Saturdays to make the evening less hectic, but our attendance has dipped. We’re currently surveying previous attenders to see what their preference is. But our biggest challenge is the congregation’s hesitance to RSVP. Despite all possible announcements, social media, etc., most tend to wait till one week prior to RSVP. This makes planning very very difficult.

Share with us one way you took the MarriedPeople resources and customized them to fit your church. Actually, the resources provided in the Strategy Pack are so flexible already that we’ve mostly just used the script provided.

What has been on really great thing that has come from using MarriedPeople? It’s been a great discussion starter. Some of our couples have shared how much they appreciated hearing from others around their table, and that they look forward to the Night Out events.

What has been your biggest fail and what did you learn from it? Changing events to Saturdays without asking first. I should’ve surveyed the group before making the change, instead of making the decision based solely on what I thought would be good for other people.

What’s your dream to happen next? For our couples to invite their friends and family. We’ve had a small number, but this is such a visitor-friendly opportunity, I’d love to see this take off in a direction where couples can introduce people to a Gospel community by being involved in improving their own marriage.

Thanks, Brent, and the awesome team impacting marriages in Harrisburg, PA! 

For more about Devonshire Church, check out their website

To connect with other MarriedPeople leaders, request to join the MarriedPeople Leaders Facebook group.

MarriedPeople Spotlight: Lenexa Baptist Church in KS

MarriedPeople Spotlight: Lenexa Baptist Church in KS

At the Orange Conference in April, we re-confirmed an important truth that we already knew—we have some amazing MarriedPeople partner churches. These marriage champions are taking the MarriedPeople resources and doing things that are above and beyond anything we dreamed about.

We want you to meet them. So once a month, we’ll spotlight a different church that is impacting not only the marriages in their church, but in their community. We want you to meet people from churches of all sizes, large and small, in various types of communities, whether urban, rural or suburban, with budgets big and small and volunteers plenty or scarce. Regardless of how different these churches may be from yours, we think you’ll find some relevancy to where you are.

We gave them a list of questions to find out more about their church, their team and their ministry. This month, we would like to introduce you to Jodi Knappen at Lenexa Baptist Church in Kansas.

Church: Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, KS 
MarriedPeople champion: Jodi Knappen

Size of church: over 5,000 members
Approximate number of married couples: Approximately 75% of church membership

Describe the area you are in: Our main campus location is in the suburbs. We have 4 other locations across the city.

Tell Us About . . . You and Your Team

I am part-time.  I support one of our full-time Family Pastors.

How did you get involved in marriage ministry? It is part of my job—which I love! There is such a need to assist, equip and come alongside married couples of the church

How many people are on your marriage ministry team (including you)? Two, although I have several volunteers that assist with special events.

How did you recruit your team? I think about those who share the same heart for this ministry and seek them out to serve.

What are the demographics of the couples in your church?
We are about even in all of the following categories:
• young marrieds
• retirees
• parents with kids
• couples without kids

Tell Us About . . . How You Use the MarriedPeople Resources and Strategy

What resources do you use from MarriedPeople? We use the Strategy Pack, Larger Group Experiences, Small Group Resources, Date Nights and the monthly MarriedPeople E-ZINEs.

How do you use them? In what settings? Events, Sunday school, small groups, date nights

How do you communicate with your couples? Bulletin, emails and our church website

Does your marriage ministry have a social media presence? We do, both on Facebook and Twitter. But is part of the whole church media presence.

Do you encourage/invite couples from the community to your marriage events? Yes

How do you reach couples outside your church? Social media and word of mouth. We also place info at local coffee shops, stores in area, etc.

Give us an example of how you took a MarriedPeople resource and “made it your own.”
At our last Night Out we had over 200 couples—ranging from those who have been married for 60 years to newly married of three weeks. We had a photo booth during the event which was a huge hit! Each couple got two copies and we gave the charge to each husband/wife to put it where each day you can see it to remember the evening.

What has been your biggest success so far? Large Group Married People Night Out. Core 4, Habits of a Great Marriage.  We’ve had so many couples say it was the best event they have attended. They had no idea what to expect since it was the first event like this that we have hosted. They can’t wait for the next one this Fall.  I loved that we had a wide range of ages/length of marriages and all loved it!  We made it a fun evening where they could relax, laugh, enjoy great food and prizes and free childcare! Many people invited their neighbors. We also had older parents bringing their married children to double date to the event!

What has been your biggest challenge? Getting events scheduled on an overloaded calendar.

What’s your dream to happen next? I want to establish a set calendar for future MarriedPeople events in the next 2 years at our church and do more long range planning.

Thanks Jodi and the awesome group of volunteers impacting marriages in Lenexa, Kansas!

Are you a MarriedPeople partner who would like to share with others the great things that are happening through your marriage ministry? If so, email us at info@marriedpeople.org for info on how to share your story.

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