A ministry entitled Marriage Mentoring is one of the best ways to strengthen couples of all ages in your church.
Marriage Mentoring is the process of having a seasoned and experienced couple spend time with a less experienced couple to help show them the way.
The amount of time the two couples stay connected varies, but generally averages nine to twelve months. They can meet for coffee, in their home for a meal, or whatever they mutually decide upon; and its typically once a month.
Marriage mentors are not advice givers or counselors. Instead, their mission is to listen, encourage, and share their own marriage journey.Become wise by walking with the wise. -Proverbs 13:20 Click To Tweet
Statistics tell us that 82% of couples say they want a marriage mentor, and as you might expect, couples who have a mentor couple say their marriage is happier and healthier.
We recently launched marriage mentoring at our church and the statistics have rung true for us. Over 80% of our young couples (married 15 years or less) have jumped on board and the feedback has been very positive – from the mentorees and mentors.
After spending two years launching this ministry and observing the impact, I thought I’d share my top 5 reasons marriage mentoring is needed at your church:
It deepens relational roots
As important as it is for young couples to find your church to be friendly, they also need opportunities to develop actual friendships. They are looking for meaningful relationships.
It bridges the generational gap
If your church is like mine, you have multiple generations in the pews. We’ve all heard of the tension between older generations and younger generations regarding worship music and styles. Marriage mentoring is an opportunity to connect the generations in a meaningful and relational way.
It ensures the future health of your church
One of the key components of healthy churches is healthy families, so there’s nothing better a church can do than invest in the present and future health of its young families. And since the marriage relationship is the nucleus of each christian household, marriage mentoring is a critical place to focus.
It’s in alignment with the Great Commission
Every church’s ultimate goal is to make disciples. Marriage strengthening ministry starts out addressing specific marriage-related topics, and eventually boils down to the need for each person to deepen their relationship with Christ and become more like Him. Yep. That’s discipleship.
It engages older couples in ministry
Not only does it reach and keep younger couples, it engages older couples (especially baby boomers) in meaningful ministry together.
Most couples don’t feel qualified when they hear the word “mentor”, but the training quickly points out that its o.k. for their marriage to have flaws. In fact, a willingness to be honest about those flaws is enormously valuable.
Here are a few of the qualifying questions:
- Are you relatively happy in your marriage?
- Do you both share a motivation to become trained as Marriage Mentors?
- Are you able to laugh and learn from your mistakes?
- Are you invested in growing your own marriage?
- Are you committed to your spouse?
- Are you willing to share some of your time to help another couple? (taken from www.marriagementoring.com)
More and more churches are waking up to the need for on-going ministry to marriages, and mentoring is a great place to start. Feel free to contact us if you have questions about our process.
By the way, we used Les and Leslie Parrott’s material for our training. Go to www.marriagementoring.com to find out more. They have plenty of resources to get you started.