Take Our 2019 Marriage Ministry Annual Survey

Take Our 2019 Marriage Ministry Annual Survey

Married People exists to serve church leaders like you. All of the resources and content we create is with you—and the couples you reach—in mind. Everything we do is built around helping churches help marriages.

That’s why we value the input of church leaders like you. We want our resources and content to better serve you and your congregation. Our hope is that we can provide something that can help any church create an amazing marriage ministry.

To do that, we need to hear from you. How are we doing? What could we do better? How can we best continue to help you and churches like yours?

Who Are You?

For the first-time ever, we have separate surveys for churches who use our resources and those who don’t. So you can participate regardless of if you’re a long-time partner or if you’re hearing about us for the first time.

Both surveys are short and easy to fill out. And if you complete either one before the end of October 2019, you’ll be entered to win one of six $25 Amazon gift cards!


Take a Survey

The Most Important Thing Your Church Can Do All Year

The Most Important Thing Your Church Can Do All Year

For several years, Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs has offered regular “respite” events for families of children with special needs. Katie Garvert has led this ministry with the mindset that special needs ministry is a part of a holistic family ministry.

As the special needs ministry grew, the church added the respite piece of programming. The purpose of the respite was not only to provide parents a break, but to provide spouses the opportunity to reconnect through time together alone.

Encouraging Couples to Date

About a year ago, Katie noticed that mothers who once showed up at respite check-in with their husbands were arriving without them. Instead of enjoying a date night, parents were doing their own thing, like running errands, while their children were in the church’s care.

As a mother herself, Katie recognized the value of a peaceful shopping trip, but was concerned parents weren’t taking the opportunity to refuel their marriage. Even some of those couples who did go on a date night were returning to pick up their kids more sad or tense than before.

Fresh off these observations, Katie felt burdened to work more proactively to help the marriage inside the family with special needs. Katie wanted to give these parents something that would keep them focused on each other—a tool that would facilitate constructive and encouraging conversation.

To that end, Woodmen Valley Chapel started using the Married People Date Nights.

Married People Date Nights

As parents dropped off their children, they received a 8.5 x 11 printed document with step-by-step date instructions. They were told to spend the evening following the instructions together.

Katie said the response was amazing. Couples were refreshed. Their enthusiasm rejuvenated the church’s approach to helping marriages. Parents were going on dates instead of just running independent errands. Spouses were arriving at pick-up obviously happy and refreshed.

Katie said, “We realized these parents had forgotten how to connect. They were too tired and overwhelmed to plan a date for themselves. They didn’t even know what to talk about aside from managing life details, usually related to the complex needs of their children. Many of these spouses had forgotten how to laugh.

Among many things, these date nights gave our couples fun conversation starters. For the first time, husbands and wives were focused on each other. We saw this in their eyes and attitude when they arrived to pick up their children. I honestly had no idea that adding this simple tool would have such a huge impact on the families and on our entire ministry.”

A Resource For Every Couple

It stands to reason that parents of children with special needs may carry a heavier burden than most parents. However, all married couples know what it’s like to be too busy and overly stressed.

Every couple—both inside and outside of your church—could benefit from connecting in new and creative ways. All marriages benefit from making memories that will enhance their relationship. Going out on a great date is just one way to do that.

Not only that, but providing these dates is something every church leader can do, too.

Every year, church leaders like you have taken these date night resources and packaged them in fun and creative ways. You can see some examples of how on this blog post or in our private Facebook group. This is the easiest step you can take to start improving marriages at your church.

This post was adapted from the book, Married People, How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last, by Ted Lowe and Doug Fields.

Customizing Date Nights for Couples

Customizing Date Nights for Couples

One of the most important resources Married People provides for churches is date nights. That’s because dating is important in every marriage. But most couples are too busy to find time to date. So they slowly grow disconnected.

But your church can help couples to date more and stay connected. Couples just need encouragement and a little push to go on dates. Your church has the relational equity to make that happen. And Married People can help.

Every year, we create Date Nights that your church can give to couples in your church and community. Many of our church partners take this content to the next level by customizing the date nights. Want to know how you can do the same?

1. Custom Packaging

The first step to customizing a date night is the packaging. Packaging makes the date look good and easy to grab and go. Here are some creative ideas that some churches have used in the past.

  • Brown paper bags
  • Gift bags
  • Chinese takeout containers
  • Popcorn bags
  • Ziplock baggies

This can be as simple or as fancy as you’d like. And you can get volunteers to help you assemble all of these bags when it comes time to share.

2. Added Goodies

Our date nights provide the instructions for everything the couples need to do for a fun date night. But your church can add a personal touch by filling the date bags with other fun stuff.

These items can be on theme with the date. Or they could just be fun, generic things any couple would enjoy. Here are some ideas for what you can add.

  • Candies—Hershey kisses are always a good bet
  • Stress balls
  • Bubbles
  • Candles
  • Massage oil
  • Popcorn bags

Obviously, budget is always an issue—but when you buy these items in bulk it shouldn’t cost you too much to make the date night special. A few hundred dollars will get you quite a bit.

3. Local Discounts

Part of every date night is going out—usually to a restaurant, a movie, or local activity. This helps couples connect in an environment away from all the stresses at home. We make suggestions, but we don’t know your community as well as you do.

That’s why providing discounts to local places can be such a huge benefit. Not only does it lower the cost barrier to dating, but it also connects your church to the local community. Here are some local places that you can contact about potential discounts.

  • Restaurants—see about getting a percent off the bill or a free appetizer
  • Movie or performance theater
  • Fun activities like putt putt golf or an escape the room
  • Art museum or city zoo
  • Upcoming events or festivals

You could also provide a list or map of local places you recommend couples check out on their dates. Coming up with fresh ideas can sometimes be a barrier that keeps couples from dating.

4. Provide Childcare

What’s the biggest thing that keeps married couples from dating? Finding a babysitter.

Your church can eliminate that excuse by providing childcare during date nights. This isn’t always easy or feasible to pull off. But it’s something great to shoot for.

If you can’t afford to hire people for childcare, consider bringing in ministry volunteers, especially some of the older students from your youth group. You can usually convince students to babysit by bribing them with free pizza.

In fact, why not try to plan a couples’ date night on the same night as an existing children’s ministry event. You’ll already have programing in place for the kids.

Want More Date Nights?

How does your church customize date nights?

Meet Your OS: Misty Phillips

Meet Your OS: Misty Phillips

Perhaps the best part of being a Married People church partner is having access to an Orange Specialist. What’s an Orange Specialist? They’re real-life people who helps you to use the resources that you get as a part of your partnership.

An Orange Specialist (or OS for short) is more than just a customer service representative—they’re part leadership trainer, encourager, coach, community builder, and technical support. An OS is what makes Married People a partnership, and not just a product.

As a Married People church partner, your Orange Specialist is Misty Phillips. And since she does so much work behind the scenes, we thought we’d introduce you to Misty. Let’s get to know her and how she can help your church do marriage ministry better.

What’s your ministry background?

I served in preschool and elementary ministry for over 25 years. In that capacity, I oversaw birth through sixth grade, and led more than 150 volunteers.

What is your favorite part of being an Orange Specialist?

Connecting with leaders to help them WIN as they do strategic ministry to kids and families. And listening to stories of everything that God is doing in local churches of all sizes.

What do you wish churches knew about Married People?

Married People has developed a key strategy for your church to be intentional about supporting marriages. This is a year-long strategy, not just a one-time thing. We help leaders practically engage in creative experiences with major impact.

What is your role as the Married People OS?

You might have questions, or need assistance with your strategy of reaching marriages in your church. As the Married People OS, I’m here to help and answer all of your questions.

If you’d like to walk through all the great content in the Married People strategy, or have any questions before purchasing, please reach out!

Why do you think churches should pour into marriages?

I believe investing in marriages at your church is one of the best choices your team can make.  Sometimes, we forget that ministry to families includes investing in marriages. Churches who are intentional about helping pour into marriages are a smart bunch!

Are you married?

Yes! I’m in my fortieth year of learning how to do life with my husband. We’re both still learning in each phase of our lives. Together, we raised four amazing kids and now share in the joy of eight grandchildren.

Together, my husband and I have served in children’s and family ministry. Together, we’ve experienced gains and losses. We’ve been so grateful as a couple to have life experiences around other couples learning what marriage really means.

What are your three must read ministry books?

  1. Think Orange by Reggie Joiner
  2. Visioneering by Andy Stanley
  3. 7 Principles of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones

Do you have any skills that most people don’t know about?

I was a theatre major. And I can play piano by ear.

If you could be anywhere other than here, where would you be?

At a Caribbean beach with family, going paddle boarding.

What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?

Singer songwriter. Or a flight attendant. (Ha! Maybe it was a singing flight attendant.)

How do you want people to remember you?

Family and fun mattered. Serving others was the best. God shined.

What’s goal would you like to accomplish in the next year?

More adventure. Connect leaders together. Grow friends.

How can people get in touch with you?

How Sticky Notes Can Help Marriages

How Sticky Notes Can Help Marriages

Marriage is huge, right? Marriage is complicated, right? So something small—like a simple sticky note—shouldn’t be able to make much of a difference in a marriage, right?

Actually, we’d like to think that small things actually make a huge difference in your marriage. Even something as minor as a sticky note can really impact your relationship with your spouse. But how?


A marriage seems like a big thing, but it’s actually made up of lots of little actions built up over time. We call these action micro-moves. These are the small things you do for your spouse every day.

The sum of your micro-moves determines the overall direction of your marriage. If you do lots of good micro-moves on a regular basis—like taking out the trash, or saying something nice about your spouse’s haircut—then you’ll be steering your marriage in a positive direction.

However, you could just as easily be damaging your marriage with negative micro-moves. Small negative micro-moves—like ignoring your spouse when they’re talking to you, or forgetting to put your dirty socks in the hamper—add up over time.

What does this have to do with sticky notes?

One good micro-move that you can do any day is to say something kind about your spouse. Everyone loves to be told something good, especially when it’s unprovoked and honest. But it’s not always easy to remember to say these things.

So rather than saying them, why not write down some thoughtful words on a sticky note. Tell your wife how much you love her smile. Or tell your husband how thankful you are that he cuts the grass. Don’t assume that your spouse knows you’re thankful—tell them you are.

Then hide the sticky note somewhere they’ll find it later. Put it in the fridge, or the visor of their car, or in a random page in the book their reading. When they stumble across the note, they’ll be instantly reminded of how much you love and appreciate them.

Best of all, you can hide several of these at once in different places around the house. Hide a dozen every month so that your spouse is constantly being reminded of your love in different ways.

Get some sticky notes

Although it’s pretty easy for you to find sticky notes, or just plain note cards, we’ve made it even easier for you to create positive micro-moves.

We’ve designed some sticky notes that have some thoughtful messages already started for you. All you’ve got to do is order some, fill in the blanks, and leave them for your spouse to find.

Whether you use sticky notes or something else entirely, it’s important that you’re taking the time to think of small ways to appreciate and value your spouse. Because marriage isn’t really some big and daunting problem to be fixed. It’s a daily choice to actively love another person.

What micro-moves are you making to show your appreciation?

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