Orange Conference 2017- Breakout Notes
MARRIAGE MINISTRY: YOUR TOUGHEST AUDIENCES – SINGLES, MILLENNIALS & MILITARY
Breakout Notes for Thursday, April 27th 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Speaker: Ted Lowe
One of my dearest friends in the marriage ministry space often asks me the same, great question: “What new thing do you have rolling around in your head to help marriages?” Lately it hasn’t been just one thing, it’s been three, yet under one category: Tough Audiences.
While marriage ministry has become much more relevant over the past few years, there are a few groups that I think need and deserve more focus from church leaders. These three groups are singles, millennials, and the military.
WHAT ABOUT SINGLES?
Tension: Many church leaders fear that empowering married people will marginalize single people.
Truth: Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body (1 Corinthians 12:15-16 NIV).
As it is, there are many parts, but one body (1 Corinthians 12:20 NIV).
“Marriage is a duet in need of great back-up singers.” —Ted Cunningham
Application: Because marriage is important to everyone, marriage ministry should include everyone.
• Allow everyone to learn about marriage
• Allow everyone to serve marriages
Dream: For the local church to include and equip singles to be marriage champions.
WHAT ABOUT MILLENNIALS?
Tension: We don’t know what it was like to be a millennial, because we don’t know what it was like to grow up as a millennial.
Truth: Know well the condition of your flocks, And pay attention to your herds (Proverbs 27:23 NIV).
Top 5 Priorities of Millennials (according to the Pew Research Center)
- Being a good parent
- Having a successful marriage
- Helping others in need
- Owning a home
- Living a religious life/Having a high-paying career (tied)
Application: Because marriage matters to millennials, the church can matter to millennials.
- Give them what they can’t have instantly: strength of relationship.
- Give them what they can’t see instantly: authenticity.
Dream: For millennials to find Christ because they found the local church is FOR their marriage.
WHAT ABOUT MILITARY MARRIAGES?
Tension: Military marriages have unique challenges that many churches aren’t equipped to help.
- They are required to turn off emotions
- PCS (“Permanent” Change of Station)
Truth: In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy (1 Corinthians 12:25-26 NIV).
Application: Serve those who have served us.
- Include military marriages in the message and application
- Fill in the gaps while service men and women are deployed
- Before, during, and after deployment, provide dates and conversation starters
- Before, during, and after deployment, support military marriages as couples and as individuals
Dream: For military marriages to find Christ because they found the local church is 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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