A marriage ministry is one of the most versatile ministries in the church. It is so versatile because of the wide range of couples who attend it, from the just-married to those who have been married for over 50 years. A marriage ministry can serve those couples with strong marriages, as well as those whose marriages are almost falling apart. Running a marriage ministry properly requires you to do many different things to impact each type of couple. Consider the couple ministry ideas that best fit your congregation.
One way to reach couples of all life stages and walks in your marriage ministry is by hosting a marriage conference. Speakers for such conferences usually are Christian counselors, psychologists, marriage counselors or pastors and speak on a theme relative to marriage. The conferences typically begin on a Friday evening and are finished after a Saturday session. Conferences give couples the chance to get out and attend something together that will enrich their marriage.
Marriage Small Groups
Another marriage ministry idea that enhances the marriages of the couples in your church is by offering marriage-centered small groups. These groups are filled with couples who can be from many different life stages. Alternatively, couples may be grouped together with couples in the same stage of life by offering classes for newlyweds, young parents, parents with older children and empty nesters. These groups typically meet at the leading couple's home once a week. During the meeting, couples can get to know each other through a time of fellowship over a meal or light refreshments, and then read through and discuss a book or study guide on marriage.
Setting up a mentor-like system within your marriage ministry is a highly effective way to engage the marriages of the couples in your church. The basic premise of such an idea is that the older, wiser couples who have strong marriages volunteer to work and meet with those couples who are newly married or are struggling with marital issues. The groups of four meet on their own time and enter into a mentoring relationship as a means of helping the younger couple to develop a stronger marriage and work through any issues they may have.
Monthly Marriage Date Nights
While having a date night each week is ideal, most couples, especially those with young children, often just can't find the time or a babysitter to allow them to do so. You can create an opportunity for this much-needed time alone together by hosting a bi-monthly or monthly babysitting service at the church. Commission teenagers and other volunteers to help watch the children of parents for a couple of hours on a Friday or Saturday evening so that they can go out for a nice dinner together. Even just a couple of hours away from the typical routine of life can work wonders in a couple's marriage.
Aletha Reil has a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. She has been writing for more than three years and is currently working as a women's fitness columnist for a prominent website.