If you want to reach the heart of a kid, then you have to reach the heart of his or her parents. And the number one way to do that? Care about their marriage. Today on The Pod, we talk about how to incorporate a marriage ministry into your church that’s not only effective, but doesn’t require a fleet of staff to pull it off.
First we hear from Ted Lowe, who shares some approaches to marriage ministry that fall short, as well as some mindset shifts that must happen in order for leaders to be proactive and strategic in their support of the married couples in their community. Then we join guest hosts Sarah Bragg and Holly Crawshaw as they interview Todd Graham on practical ways to engage your entire family ministry in being cheerleaders and resources for married people everywhere.
Ticket giveaway for Orange Conference 2019 (4:14)
Ted Lowe talks about the MarriedPeople strategy from Orange (5:55)
Approaches to marriage ministry that fall short (6:57)
- The hands-off approach
- The topical approach
- The reactionary approach
Approaches to marriage ministry that are proactive and strategic (10:53)
- From intervention to prevention
- From children’s ministry to family ministry
- From isolation to relationships
- From information to experience
- From feminine to feminine AND masculine
- From general to focused
The four core habits of the MarriedPeople strategy (23:13)
- Have serious fun
- Love God first
- Respect and love
- Practice your promise
Sarah Bragg and Holly Crawshaw interview Todd Graham (26:34)
Todd’s background in ministry (28:35)
Why many churches don’t have strategies for married people (31:11)
Two things churches can do to help marriages grow (33:10)
- Be a cheerleader
- Give them a toolbox
If you want to get to the heart of the home, you have to get to the heart of the parents—and you do that by getting to the heart of their marriage (38:22)
Using the MarriedPeople strategy and curriculum, even just one person can implement marriage ministry at their church (41:44)
Finding the right people to lead your church’s marriage ministry (43:46)
Most people actively talk about and engage with their marriage less than 10 minutes a month (46:42)
Todd on Twitter: @tgraham83 (52:08)
Dave’s final thoughts (52:56)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Married People: How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last (book by Ted Lowe and Doug Fields)
Todd is the Family Pastor at Eastside Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia. He is also a speaker, church strategist, and creative writer/collaborator with MarriedPeople, a division of The ReThink Group. A native of Atlanta and graduate of Lee University, Todd has worked as a family, parenting & marriage advocate for 18 years. Along with a career as a Family Pastor, he has bi-vocationally served Cobb County as a Police Officer and Fire Fighter.
Ted is a speaker, blogger, and the Director of MarriedPeople, the marriage division at The reThink Group devoted to influencing those who influence the next generation. Before working at Orange, Ted worked as the Director of MarriedLife at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia and is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, in Pasadena, California. Ted and his wife Nancie have been married since 1995 and they have three busy kids.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
Adapted from the MarriedPeople.org blog:
Prevention is far superior to intervention. When a church has a preventive approach to marriage, the problem is that they never know what they have prevented, so they don’t have emotional stories to tell. When a church creates a tool or sets up a relationship to save a marriage, it often results in a measurable and sensational story; which is great. We will not know until heaven what good marriages were made great, what divorces were prevented, and everything in between. But there is no argument that preventing a couple from crisis is far superior to crisis intervention.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
Of the three approaches to marriage ministry that fall short, is there one on which we rely to heavily? [hands-off, topical, reactionary]
Of the mindset shifts to marriage ministry listed above, which one feels the most natural to make? Which seems to be the most difficult?
In our communication with married couples, do we engage in way that seems feminine or do we encompass both feminine and masculine characteristics?
Who is someone I can be a cheerleader for in his or her marriage this week?
When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.
Ashley serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the USA Director of Carry 117. She has worked with students in public education, athletic and ministry settings for the last 12 years. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating on stage, developing leaders, working with students and world missions. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.
Join Us Next Week
Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast.
We hope you’ll join us next time for episode 076—Overcoming Cynicism, Burnout, Emptiness and Other Challenges In the Way of a Healthy Life & Ministry—with Carey Nieuwhof. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.