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Typically, this podcast is about helping you make your marriage as good as it could be. But no marriage thrives in isolation and the local church is the perfect way to surround marriages with other people. When we do that, it’s really powerful.

A lot of churches do a good job prioritizing what happens in the main service or children’s ministry—but marriage ministry can be put on the back burner. Those things tend to be important and urgent, but marriage ministry tends to not seem as urgent. But when you look at what marriages do to a child’s faith, it’s vital.

The Tension: Marriage ministry is seen as boring, preachy, outdated and feminine.

What does it look like to help my church help marriages? 

Marriage ministry is where youth ministry was in the 70’s and 80’s. Back then, the future of the church was graduating high school and leaving their faith. Organizations like Young Life and Youth For Christ noticed this and started being more relevant. The church started doing that too, and now it’s a normal part of churches.

Now, the future of the church is walking out in the form of families breaking up. There’s a scary stat that 60% of kids that come from divorce will walk away from their faith. Research shows that the church is the best place to help marriages.

The failed marriage ministry options.

  • The Hands-Off Approach: When a church says that they’re so busy they don’t want to do more than have couples come serve and get involved.
  • The Topical Approach: Treating marriage like a topic to be covered in the sermon series. But marriage is not a topic—it’s a process, a relationship that needs to be cared for.
  • The Reactionary Approach: The church reaches out to couples when the couples reach out to them.

What does a good marriage ministry look like?

  1. Move from intervention to intervention AND prevention. What are the proactive things your church is doing to help marriage? And prevention doesn’t have to be heavy – it can be easy, practical things to work on your relationship.
  2. Move from just having ‘Children’s Ministry’ to having ‘Family Ministry’. Because helping marriages helps the kids!
  3. Move from isolation to relationship. How can the church pull couples into community that is for them?
  4. Move from information to experience. There’s tons of great content about marriage, but how do we help people experience a good marriage?
  5. Move from feminine to feminine and masculine. Create an environment that is appealing to both men and women.
  6. Move from general to focus. There’s so much content out there, but how do we pull it down into just 4 things? It’s about giving them less content, more often.
  7. Move from programs to a process. This isn’t about adding a new, complicated program. It’s creating a process that churches can point couples to.

So what can you do to bring this to your church?

You can always ask great questions of your church leaders. Don’t bring your church a problem, but bring them a passion. You could bring them this podcast and share it with leadership. And if you’re passionate about marriages, you can jump in to help!

Your one simple thing for this week.

If you’re not in church, go to marriedpeople.org and there are resources for you there. If you’re interested in helping your church help marriages, check out marriedpeoplechurches.org and send your church there!

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review. They help us make the podcast better.

We want to hear from you! What is something that you would find appealing about marriage ministry? What would make you want to show up? Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or our site. If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us or How Your Church Can Build Marriages that Last.