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Your Church Can Help Couples Get Closer

Your Church Can Help Couples Get Closer

Everything we do in marriage either brings us closer or further apart. It’s as if we’re constantly on a sliding scale, moving back and forth, further apart or closer together with our spouse.

Every couple would prefer to be closer—closer emotionally, closer physically, closer mentally. But so many times, we find ourselves drifting more and more distant from one another.

Growing closer doesn’t happen instantly. There’s no one magical thing every couple can do to fix a mixed-up marriage. Getting closer happens one small, intentional step at a time.

That’s Where Your Church Comes In

There are marriages in your church that are broken. There are couples in your community that have grown bored with each other. There are relationships in your city that are lost and confused. And they’re not sure who to turn to for help.

Your church can be the solution to disconnection. You could provide them with the encouragement they need to keep going. You could be the difference in whether or not they stay married or not. All you need to do is help them take a step closer to each other.

That’s why our theme for this year’s Annual Marriage Ministry Bundle is CLOSER.

For those church leaders who have been with us for a few years, you may have noticed that we’re no longer calling this resource the Strategy Pack. That’s because it’s evolved into something more. And we want to be clear about what we’re calling it to be able to reach more churches and more couples.

What Comes in the Bundle?

As with every year, the Strategy Pack gives your church everything it needs to start a marriage ministry from scratch or improve what you’ve already got going. When you sign up for the Pack, here’s everything that comes with it.

  • Two larger group events, featuring communicators Ted Lowe and Ted Cunningham
  • A six-week small group study, called Closer Connection, with communicator Johnny Laurent
  • Four new quarterly date nights—to give to couples to do on their own
  • One year worth of MarriedPeople Monthly
  • Promotional graphics and videos to spread the word in your church and community
  • Access to an Orange Specialist who will answer all of your questions

What’s New This Year?

Along with a new theme every year, we also like to add even more great resources that make the Annual Bundle even better. Here are just a few of the items that are new in CLOSER.

  • Leadership training documents, showing you how to promote and evaluate your ministry
  • Connection to the new Married People Membership, including a free month for your couples
  • Pre-made slide decks for event promotion and communicators
  • Pre-made email templates to make it easier for you to communicate with your audience
  • Countdown videos and sound effects to use during your event games
  • Date night guides with details on how to decorate and package your quarterly dates
  • Spotify playlists specifically for events and date nights
  • Stock photography that you can use on your website or social media

How Can I Get It?

The new Strategy Pack will launch at The Orange Conference 2019 on May 1-3. Starting then, they will be available for purchase online for $249 from the Orange Store. On the store, you can also purchase previous years’ strategy packs as well.

We create the resources. But only you know the marriages in your church. Only you can help couples get closer. We’re just excited to help you to make that happen.

Taking MP Monthly to the Next Level

Taking MP Monthly to the Next Level

This month on the blog, we’re talking all about email marketing in your marriage ministry. That means featuring our email resource—MP Monthly. This is a tool we’ve used to help churches build marriage ministries for the past few years.

We recently refreshed the look and format of MP Monthly. Not only does this give it a more modern look that matches our new brand, this refresh also makes it more accessible for couples. Each monthly email is full of bite-sized content that’s easy for any couple to practically do.

Another great advantage of the redesign is that it makes it easier for churches to customize the content to fit their needs and audience.

What if I don’t want to send an email monthly?

Not every church wants to send out these emails every month. Maybe you want to send it out more frequently so that couples have less content to tackle more often. You know your audience better than we do, and we want your church to mold our stuff to meet your circumstances.

Sending out a marriage newsletter weekly (or even bi-weekly) might be too much for some churches. But it might actually make a big difference for some couples. Weekly marriage reminders delivered directly to their email inbox might be a welcome change for them.

Customize MP Monthly for your church

We designed MP Monthly into different blocks that are each action steps for couples—read this, watch this, etc. They get six each month, and are encouraged to pick two to three steps to do.

If you wanted to send the email out more frequently, you could pull apart the content and send out the pieces separately. That could be three steps, twice per month. Or it could be one step every week. That might be easier for couples to tackle.

That would mean the MP Monthly name no longer fits. But you could just as easily call the email MP Weekly, or MP Moments, or anything else your church can come up with. The point is that you can customize it how you want. We want your church to be the hero when helping couples.

Is customization right for us?

Not every church is going to want to customize the content. Sending out smaller emails more frequently will take more work. There is a little more of a learning curve when it comes to customization, but we can help you out with that.

Plenty of churches send out the email content exactly as is—and there’s nothing wrong with that. Working with MarriedPeople is supposed to make things easier for you. That’s why we’re here. But adding custom content and frequency can still be a worthwhile step to take.

Does your church customize MP Monthly? How?

How Your Church Can Use the MP Membership

How Your Church Can Use the MP Membership

You may have noticed that we recently announced something new at MarriedPeople—a premium membership for especially for married couples. It’s like an online library full of the resources we’ve been creating for marriage ministries over the last several years.

That means plenty of marriage videos, ebooks, date nights, and so many more things specifically to help the average married couple. Plus, new stuff gets added every single month.

But what does this mean for your marriage ministry? Even though we’ve created this for couples, we still want your church to succeed when it comes to helping couples. That’s why we’ve built in a few ways that you can use the membership to your advantage.

Point To Membership as a Next Step

Since the beginning of MarriedPeople, we’ve talked about the three different environments where you can empower marriages: larger groups, small groups, and individual couples. Most of the resources we create for churches place a heavy emphasis on those first two environments.

The MarriedPeople membership helps to serve the third environment—individual couples. This was done intentionally, because that’s where couples spend the majority of their time.

Most couples wonder what to do next after a marriage event or a Bible study on marriage. The membership can be your answer to that. Help us to spread the word about the membership as a way to give couples practical ways to thrive together.

Let It Pay For Your Ministry Budget

What’s in it for your church besides helping marriages? How about helping you to fund your marriage ministry budget? We’re very excited about our Champion program where you can earn money for every couple that you refer to us.

Champion affiliates earn 25% of the revenue they help to generate. That means, for every couple who buys an $80 annual membership through your link, you earn $20. And since our Marriage Ministry Starter Pack is $249, you only have to refer 13 couples to earn enough money to fully fund a Starter Pack.

If you’re at a bigger church, it only takes 20 referred couples to earn enough to fund a $399 Marriage Ministry Annual Pack. That’s everything your church needs to run a marriage ministry, plus that many more couples who are directly having their needs met.

Buy Memberships For Couples

What if your church doesn’t have to worry about the budget, but your local couples do? In that case, you can actually purchase memberships for couples in bulk at a steep discount. This is something we built into the membership specifically with churches in mind.

  • Get 10 annual memberships for only $480; that’s only $48 per membership, which are normally $80. Do the math—that’s 40% savings for each couple.
  • Get 20 memberships for $800—or $40 per membership. Which calculates out to an 50% discount on each membership.
  • Get 50 memberships for $1,600—which is only $32 for each couple. That comes in at a whopping 60% savings per membership.
  • And if you need even more memberships, or a custom deal worked out, we’re happy to work with your church to find a solution.

Those are just a few ways that your church can use the new MarriedPeople membership to your advantage. We’ve worked really hard to create a resource that works for both married couples and marriage ministries alike.

How Traffic Lights Can Help Your Pre-Marriage Ministry

How Traffic Lights Can Help Your Pre-Marriage Ministry

Fun fact: Did you know the original colors of the traffic light were red (stop), white (go), and green (caution)?

We all know a traffic light or signal when we see one. Typically, we have a love/hate relationship with the traffic light. We don’t like to be stuck at lights. Plus, it always seems like we get red or yellow when we’re in a rush.

A traffic light can be defined as a set of automatically operated colored lights—typically red, amber, and green—for controlling traffic at road junctions and crosswalks. Green means go, red means stop, and yellow/amber means slow down because a red light is coming.

In fact, the red light indicates that danger is on the other side of the light. A red light beckons us to stop so we can avoid danger (i.e., a car speeding the opposite direction that could harm us if we keep moving forward).

How is a pre-married ministry like a traffic light?

Years ago in our pre-married class at Watermark (called Merge), I started to use the image of a traffic light to help couples discern next steps in their relationship. While in our class, the green, yellow, and red lights have nothing to do with automobile traffic, they do provide a helpful guide for ministry leaders and mentor couples.

As you lead pre-married couples, this simple analogy helps guide them to think about moving forward towards engagement or marriage, hitting the pause/slow down button, or encouraging couples to end their relationship.

Green means “go”

This means you’re excited about a couple moving forward towards engagement or marriage. Friends and family support and cheer the couple on as they move forward in their relationship.

No, this doesn’t mean the couple is perfect. But it does mean they’re making good decisions in their relationship. You’d be honored to officiate or attend this wedding ceremony!

Yellow means “slow down”

Trouble is coming in the opposite direction and couples need to be cautious about moving forward. For a pre-married couple, a yellow light doesn’t mean they need to break-up, but it does mean they should slow down and process things at a deeper level.

The typical “yellow light” couple has some questions they need to answer before they either move forward toward engagement and marriage or before they hit the eject button.

Red means “stop”

Danger is coming, hit the eject button, and get out while you still can! For the pre-married couple who gets a red light, this means there are some major barriers in place that should lead them to break up. This might be because they’re unequally yoked, which is when a Christian marries a non-Christian.

The Bible doesn’t tell us who we should marry, but it’s very clear a Christian shouldn’t marry a non-believer (See 2 Corinthians 6:14). Or maybe there’s some major dysfunction in their relationship (i.e., infidelity, unaddressed addictions or unhealthy pre-married sexual activity). Or perhaps the couple can’t learn how to communicate and resolve conflict.

Other people around the “red light” couple are begging and pleading for them to break-up. It’s not because they don’t want the couple to be happy, but rather because they love them and don’t want them to sign up for a life of misery together or a future divorce.

Unfortunately, in my experience, too many couples in the red zone keep going forward. This happens because the couple doesn’t want to hear what others say, or because others are too afraid to share their concerns.

Ready or Knot?

I wrote Ready or Knot? 12 Conversations Every Couple Needs to Have before Marriage to help provide guidance. The book is intended to help couples see if their “traffic light” is green, yellow, or red.

I wrote it as a biblical, practical, and authentic guide to help couples take the next best step in their relationship. I pray couples would read Ready or Knot? and break-up. I also pray the money they spent on the book would spare them much pain and hurt in the future.

I also wrote Ready or Knot? to help “green light” couples move forward toward marriage with confidence. Too many couples move towards marriage with excess levels of fear and anxiety. While the decision is a big one, Ready or Knot? can help a couple say “I do” with joy and confidence in the Lord.

As you counsel pre-married couples, where do you think they land?

  • Are they green? Let’s hear those wedding bells.
  • Are they yellow? What can we do to help them figure out the next step?
  • Are they red? Let’s help them end things so they don’t end up living in misery or getting divorced. The break-up is the best possible result for some couples.
Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018

Can you believe that 2018 is almost over already? It feels like it just started. As we wind down this year, it’s a good time to look back at some of what we’ve done over the past 365 days.

Hopefully you’ll find some time amidst the craziness of the holiday season to reflect. Perhaps recapping some of the best blog posts we published during 2018 might help.

We publish a new post for church leaders working with marriages every week—Thursday mornings to be exact. That more than 50 blog posts every year. Here are the top 10 articles we shared in 2018.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018

  1. How To Promote Marriage Events at Your Church
  2. Why Pretty Much Every Church Leader Needs Marriage Counseling
  3. OC18 Breakout Notes: MarriedPeople Interactive
  4. Introducing the New MarriedPeople Monthly
  5. How Your Church Can Be a Game Changer For Marriages
  6. Meet the Communicators: Game Changers
  7. LEADER PROFILE: Laura Wright
  8. What a Strong Marriage Ministry Should Look Like
  9. Reaching Married Couples Using Social Media
  10. Behind-the-Scenes: Strategy Pack

We’ll also be sharing some of our top 10 couples posts and top podcast episodes of the year. Hopefully some of these resources have been helpful to you. And looking forward to sharing even more in 2019!

What was your favorite blog post this year?

Join us for a Marriage Ministry Gathering

Join us for a Marriage Ministry Gathering

Do you work in marriage ministry? Do you live in Atlanta or Southern California? Then you might want to join us for one of our two upcoming Marriage Ministry Gatherings.

Working in ministry can be a lonely endeavor, especially when you work as a field as small as marriage ministry. We try to help cultivate community with things like our webinars and Facebook group. But digital connections only go so far.

Sometimes you just have to meet with people face to face and relate to them in person.

Marriage Ministry Gathering Atlanta

  • Thursday, October 11, 2018
  • 10 am – 2 pm
  • Orange Offices
  • Cumming, Ga.

Want to join us for the Atlanta event? Sign up now!

Marriage Ministry Gathering Southern California

Want to join us for the California event? Sign up now!

What do you get out of it?

  • Get to hangout with other church leaders just like you
  • Learn from marriage ministry experts
  • Workshop some marriage ministry issues and solutions
  • Get lunch and swag

What do I do to get there?

  • RSVP for one of the events—there’s only 40 spots for each one, so act quickly
  • All of the details are on the event page, so mark the date on your calendar and get driving directions
  • The event costs $25/person, but that includes lunch and cool swag
  • Be sure to show up on time and ready to learn from one another

Are you ready to take your marriage ministry to the next level?

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