I have been working in the marriage ministry world for over a decade. When you stare at something long enough, you see things. The biggest thing I see now, is the HUGE opportunity the church has to impact marriages. But, I haven’t always seen the fact that many churches aren’t doing anything to help marriage as an opportunity. In fact, I was pretty hung up, borderline angry, about the whole situation.
So, what changed? Almost four years exactly from today, my friend Doug said something to me that I will never forget. Complete with stats, I was on a tirade about how little the church was doing to help marriages. Doug, who is well known in the youth ministry world, said to me, “You know, it wasn’t that long ago there was no such thing as youth ministry, now every church knows they have to have a youth ministry.”
What does that have to do with marriage ministry or the lack thereof? EVERYTHING. Here’s just one example of why. Just a few decades ago, a group of people who called themselves Young Life, got tired of watching the future of the church walk out the doors in the form of high school students. So, they passionately reached out in the real world of teenagers and created environments that met students where they were. For many churches, Young Life’s example was the catalyst that sparked their realization that their church should take youth ministry “in house.”
MarriedPeople has a similar goal, to encourage the local church to take marriage ministry “in house.” And, because we know that most church staffs are overcommitted as it is, we want to do everything possible to make taking marriage “in house” as fun, easy, powerful, and relevant as possible. We’ve got a long way to go, but here is what I am starting to see more and more every day: church leaders are bringing marriage ministry “in house,” with effects that are nothing short of miraculous.
I’m a dreamer, but wouldn’t it be great if in a decade from now, two schmucks like Doug Fields and I are sitting around saying, “You know, it wasn’t that long ago that there was no such thing as marriage ministry, now every church knows they have to have a marriage ministry.”
Don’t let us dream on our own, tell us how we can continue to turn this dream into a reality.
From 2001-2010, Ted Lowe worked as the Director of MarriedLife at North Point Community Church. His wife Nancie played a huge role in hosting and planning MarriedLife programs at North Point. It was during their time at North Point that they decided they not only wanted to help the married people at North Point, but married people at churches all over the world. So, in partnership with Orange, and church leaders they are working fast and furiously to—
help churches help marriages.