5 Tips to Promote Your Marriage Education
I want to give you some tips on promoting your marriage education and marriage mentoring. These are things that have worked for me. If I knew this when I was starting out, it would have saved me lots of time and effort.
If you’d rather watch a video, you know what to do.
Tip #1: Aim the Content at the Couples in Distress
I know that couples that are in a good place see marriage classes as a date. They want something fun. But, when we do a marriage seminar we’ve found that between 30% to 60% of the couples are struggling. If you make the content too light, the struggling couples will view it as fluffy. They’ll walk away frustrated. That’s not what I want to do!
We don’t always advertise it as for couples in distress – that will turn them off couples that don’t want to go to the “bad” marriage class.
But, if you aim the content at the couples that are struggling, the healthy couples will also learn.
Tip #2: Don’t Call it Marriage Mentoring
I believe in mentoring. I think that it’s fantastic for couples to learn from another couple’s experience. But, when we’ve put it in the bulletin that way, we have had little success. The word mentoring is very undefined and people don’t know what it means.
We call this marriage education. It’s a class. We start up these classes all the time – big groups and small groups. If it’s one couple meeting with another couple, we call that a private class. It’s threatening for some couples to go to a small group, so a private class option works for them. In our class for distressed couples, we’ve had participants that have driven 60 minutes so they don’t see anyone they know.
It needs to be available right away. The downside of a big class is that it often doesn’t start quickly enough. It’s tough to tell a struggling couple to come back in 4 months. That’s one advantage of a couple-to-couple or private class.
Tip #3: Put a Session Limit on It
If you just say mentoring, no one knows what that means. People like to know how their time commitment upfront. We say that this will last for 7 sessions. Couples sign up knowing there is an end.
When we do this as a group, we end after the 7 sessions. When we meet with an individual couple, we might extend it longer. But, at that point if the couple is finding value in it and they are more likely to agree.
Tip #4: Get the Men
I don’t like to make assumptions based on gender. But, studies have shown that women are far more likely to ask for help. I’ve heard women over and over again say, “I would come, but my husband doesn’t want to.”
When men are the initiators it’s often because they have waited too long and their wives have given up.
Tip #5: Pastors, Refer Couples
Pastors can leverage their time by recruiting lay couples and then referring those that are struggling to them. Couples often want to meet with a pastor over signing up for a class. Your mentor couples can leverage your time!
As always, let me know what works for you!