Join the Mission. Impact Struggling Marriages!
My wife and I lead a ministry at our church to couples that are in crisis. Every year, we teach over 100 people whose marriages are in distress. We also teach marriage seminars. We love to impact struggling marriages
A few years ago my wife and I were meeting with a couple and they were struggling.
We said, “You should come to the next class.”
“When does it start?” they asked with a little bit of hope in their eyes.
“Four months from now.”
They looked desperate.
That is a really tough message to deliver for someone that is looking for help right now. We met with them individually, but we knew that they would be helped by the organized instruction in our class.
This wasn’t the only time we ran into this. This became a regular occurrence.
What We Did
I wondered how other churches met this need so I did some research. There are occasional seminars that happened once or twice a year. Churches often get video programs either on DVD or online. Some churches do small groups based on these. What they share in common is that they are time-based, which is a limitation. The solution needs to be on-demand.
We have also used PREPARE/ENRICH, which is a great marriage assessment. It works great for pre-marriage and enrichment, but it doesn’t work very well for a crisis couple. But, I do like the insight and talking points that the report generates.
I started to brainstorm. How can I address this need for on-demand training? Wouldn’t it be great if there was on-demand, online learning that combines the strengths of marriage curriculum and the individualization of assessments?
So I spent the last several years building out an online platform that does just that. I wanted to make it the most effective it could be. So, I based it on the most-up-to date online learning techniques. And, I created reports based on the couples answers to questions that help a mentor to know what to talk about.
I wanted this to actually be effective and work. A year ago we started recruiting sites to pilot the program and to give us feedback of what’s working are not working. I found that therapists appreciated having a tool to use and we had a number help us out with this. We’re very pleased with our results.
We worked out the bugs. We got feedback and refined the tool. We validated the results.
Here’s the results:
- 78% of distressed couples improve their marriage satisfaction
- 87% see healthy changes in their thoughts, feelings and behaviors
- 96% are more committed to changing themselves in order to have a healthier marriage
- 98% are more aware of how they impact their spouse
I want to provide training to lay people. My mission is to equip the church to more effectively help couples that are struggling with their marriages.
I also want community. I want to leverage your experiences and working with couples. I want to know what you find that works. What doesn’t work? What questions do you have? Together we can be more effective at reaching and impacting couples that are struggling.
Would you consider joining this mission with me?
If you know others who could benefit, please share!