Marriages do not fail alone. There’s research that shows that the divorce of a relative or close friend can increase your likelihood of divorce up to 75%. Even if it’s a friend of a friend who gets divorced, that increases the risk as much as 33%.

I don’t know about you, but that’s scary. It’s enough to make you to not want to have any close friends or relatives. Because we all know someone who is divorced, or might be in the future.

So what chance does our marriage have of making it? And what can church leaders do when we constantly witness separations and divorces happen in couples we know and care about?

The Importance of Community

The good news is that the flip side is true as well—no marriage succeeds alone, either. Isolating you and your spouse from everyone else and from culture isn’t going to help you. In fact, it may actually make things worse for your marriage.

That’s because community is important to relationships. We can’t rely on our spouse to meet all of our relational needs. We need other people to support us and take some of that burden off of our spouse.

In her book Hold Me Tight, psychologist Dr. Sue Johnson says “We now ask our lovers for the emotional connection and sense of belonging that my grandmother could get from a whole village.”

It’s not whether or not you surround your marriage with other people that’s crucial—it’s who you’re choosing to surround yourself with. And that’s where you as a church leader comes in.

Building Community in Small Groups

It’s for this reason that we always create a new small group study every year. This provides content around which to create the context of community. Because we know that real life change happens in circles instead of rows.

You might call this context different things in your church—community groups, Sunday school, Bible studies, or life groups. We call them small groups, but they’re all the same thing. And they’re all equally as important.

That’s exactly the topic that we’re going to tackle in our latest quarterly leadership webinar—how to build a community within your marriage ministry. Here are all of the details: