If there was ever a time for churches to be actively involved in marriage and family ministry, this is the time.
Marriages and families are struggling. That’s not anything you don’t already know. The bad thing is that so many in our world are looking in the wrong place for answers. They are looking; it’s just that the church isn’t doing a very good job at providing the answers. Therefore, couples are finding answers about marriage from Hollywood couples or secular authors while God‘s Word is full of answers on how to do marriage and family well.
The local church has to step up and be a vehicle for providing help to marriages and families today. Whether you are a big church or a small church, there are many ways that this can be done, and I’d like to share a few.
First, we believe there should be some sort of marriage, parenting or family class available at your church at least every other quarter. Providing a weeknight Bible study for couples is another suggestion, if a class is not doable. Leading a marriage class in your church can be as simple as providing each couple with a marriage book and having them read a chapter and discuss it the following Sunday. There are lots of good Christian marriage and family books available today that will have couples learning about how God designed marriage and have them spending time in God‘s Word.
Second, churches should be providing resources for couples and families at this time. If you do not have a counselor on staff or anyone that can provide this, at least have a list of local Christian counselors that you can provide for someone needing help. One of the best things you can do is remind families that counseling is a healthy thing, and there is no stigma or weakness in asking for help.
Third, consider at least once a year providing a marriage, family, parenting or financial workshop for your church members and people in your community. People in your community have questions on all these topics yet don’t know where to look for answers. When a church provides answers and opportunities for information, this not only blesses the community but provides outreach for the church. We know for a fact after doing marriage and family workshops for the past 10 years that these are great opportunities for outreach to community members. While community people won’t come these days to a revival, Gospel meeting, etc., they will come in droves to a marriage workshop on a weekend with a special speaker. Every place where we hold a workshop, there are more community people at the workshop than there are actual church members. Churches then get busy making contacts and do outreach to these families who come for the marriage, family or parenting workshop. Consider bringing in someone that you know that will do a good job presenting God‘s plan for families and marriages. With a little promotion, you’ll be amazed at how many local community people will actually come.
Fourth, another simple way to do marriage and family ministry in your church is to give a marriage/family book to young couple and let them know you’re going to check in with them in a few weeks to see how they like it. We have found that after couples start the book, we can check in and ask if there is anything specific that they’re learning from the book that we can be praying about. Church leadership is learning that they can help couples earlier who might be having issues instead of waiting until they’ve reached the breaking point.
Finally, consider providing some good healthy options for the couples at your church and in your community. We host a childcare night once a month or so, where couples can drop off kids for about 2 hours at the church building for free childcare, so the couples can go on a date. Some couples don’t have access to a babysitter or can’t afford both babysitting and dinner out, so this helps to alleviate one of those two things.
We just wanted to share a few things that you could be doing in your church to bless marriages and families.
Trey And Lea Morgan