Help Keeping the Knot Tied 1


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Day 1 of Kingdom Growth Conference

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Help Keeping the Knot Tied 1

  1. 1. Help Keeping the Knot Tied I Marriage Ministry First Steps Pre-Marital Knots for Engaged Couples by Rev. Brian and Maria Dixon Lakeland Baptist Association Kingdom Growth Conference – Parklawn Assembly of God Church May 12, 2010
  2. 2. Course Description <ul><li>Is your church intentional about helping its members have healthy marriages? What kinds of support and pre-marital counseling does your church provide for people who are contemplating marriage? </li></ul><ul><li>This class is intended as a starting point </li></ul><ul><li>for developing or improving such a ministry. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Course Objectives <ul><li>By the conclusion of this course, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge, understanding, attitudes, values , curriculum and skills that are essential for: </li></ul><ul><li>(1) Understanding of the preeminence of a marriage ministry in your church, especially in the context of current societal views as demonstrated by statistical evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Identifying the essential elements of what constitutes an effective marriage ministry, and the steps necessary to establish one in your local church. </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Presenting a biblical, logical and reasonable approach to connect couples at various stages of marital commitment, such as engagement, enrichment or endangerment. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Three Day Schedule
  5. 5. Wisconsin Marriages in Trouble <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>In Wisconsin, the number of marriages that occurred between January to August of 2009 were 26,607 and the number of divorces that occurred in the same time period was 1,193. As such, state wide divorces affected 16,490 children under the age of 18. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 58, No. 18, May 10, 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In Milwaukee County, there were 4,252 marriages in 2009 and 2,436 divorces in the same time period. We had a 57% divorce rate, where as the national average is around 50%. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Wisconsin Marriages and Divorces, 2009 – WI Bureau of Health Statistics </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Marriage Ministries are Rare in Black Churches <ul><li>Marriage and parenting programs: 3% of Black churches </li></ul><ul><li>18% of other churches </li></ul><ul><li>Source: National Congregations Study </li></ul>
  7. 7. Religious Effects on Black Married Mothers in Urban America <ul><li>Compared to African American mothers who attend church infrequently: * Churchgoing African American women are 73%more likely to be married at the birth of their child. * Churchgoing African American married mothers are 31% more likely to report that they have excellent relationships with their husbands compared to African American unmarried mother who attend church infrequently. * Churchgoing African American unmarried mothers are 148 times more likely to marry after the non-marital birth. * Churchgoing African American unmarried mothers are 62% more likely to rate their relationships with the fathers of their children as very good/excellent. </li></ul><ul><li>Source - </li></ul>
  8. 8. Step #1: Establish a Marriage Ministry Team (MMT) <ul><li>A ministry is only as good as the people who run it. Before getting too far down the road , spend time </li></ul><ul><li>recruiting couples who can manage the ministry details and demands, and ensure the long-term success of </li></ul><ul><li>the Marriage Ministry. </li></ul><ul><li>Find the right people first. </li></ul><ul><li>Get enough people to make it go. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the marriages that matter most. </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out what everyone can do. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Step #2: Determine Marriage Ministry Objectives and Goals <ul><li>Set up the MMT for success. Present the scope, scale, and purpose of the Marriage Ministry. Without clear objectives and goals, enthusiasm and motivation can quickly turn into discouragement and burnout. Here’s how to keep your MMT focused and motivated: </li></ul><ul><li>Decide who the MMT is reaching out to. </li></ul><ul><li>Alleviate confusion before it can happen. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay special attention to the calendar. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep expectations in check. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Step #3: Diagnose the Needs the Marriage Ministry Will Meet <ul><li>It is common knowledge that all couples need regular marriage enrichment. All marriages go through different seasons, and most couples experience similar relationship challenges. Assessing the specific needs of couples in your congregation and community ahead of time will result in better planning, focused implementation and more successful results. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask couples what they want and need. </li></ul><ul><li>Pick how much the MMT will be doing. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a curriculum that meets your needs. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Step #4: Plan the Marriage Ministry Work and Work the Marriage Ministry Plan <ul><li>Sometimes ministry results fall short of expectations. After the fact, the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” second guessing begins and momentum and excitement fade quickly. Many of the hindsight insights could have been addressed ahead of time with thoughtful consideration and constructing a detailed plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Get leaders trained as soon as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Lock in dates, times and locations. </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out the registration process. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the end in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>Revitalize the relationships of those who give the most. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Step #5: Spread the Word about the Marriage Ministry <ul><li>So, you’ve got a MMT, a strategic plan and a Marriage Ministry event or class. While some subscribe to the “if we build it they will come” theory, reality shows that no one will show up unless they’ve heard about it. Marketing the Marriage Ministry, and more importantly, the Marriage Education classes and programs, are essential to ensure marriages improve. </li></ul><ul><li>Give people something to look at. </li></ul><ul><li>Never underestimate the power of a search. </li></ul><ul><li>A personal invitation can go a long way. </li></ul><ul><li>Spread the word through others. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Curriculum Option <ul><li>Start Smart Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>- Live the Life by Richard Albertson </li></ul>
  14. 14. Start Smart Overview <ul><li>Start Smart is a comprehensive premarital program for churches and mentor couples that can be customized by adapting 4 core elements: </li></ul><ul><li>1. An online premarital inventory </li></ul><ul><li>2. A free interactive workbook </li></ul><ul><li>3. Five mentoring sessions </li></ul><ul><li>4. Experiential learning of specific communication </li></ul><ul><li>and conflict resolution skills. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Start Smart Session One <ul><li>Expectations for the Marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Career/Education </li></ul><ul><li>Family, Friends, and Leisure </li></ul><ul><li> But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. [Luke 14:28-29 (NLT)] </li></ul>
  16. 16. Common Problem Areas <ul><li>Balancing job and family </li></ul><ul><li>Debt brought into marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Finances </li></ul><ul><li>Constant bickering </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with parents or in-laws </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency of sexual relations </li></ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations about household tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Communication with spouse </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of time spent together </li></ul>
  17. 17. Activity: Love Letters <ul><li>My bride, my very own, you have stolen my heart! With one glance from your eyes and the glow of your necklace, you have stolen my heart. Your love is sweeter than wine; the smell of your perfume is more fragrant than spices. Your lips are a honeycomb; milk and honey flow from your tongue. Your dress has the aroma of cedar trees from Lebanon. My bride, my very own, you are a garden, a fountain closed off to all others. [Song of Solomon 4:9-12 (NIV)] </li></ul><ul><li>Think about what love means to you. Then write a love letter to your beloved, answering the questions: Why do I want to marry you? What makes you special? What are my hopes and dreams for our future together? Be Creative. Borrow lines from some of your favorite love songs and poems. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Start Smart Session Two <ul><li>Character and Personality </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Daily Temperature Reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Appreciations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Puzzles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Complaints with Request for Change </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Common Characteristics for Personality Types
  20. 20. Start Smart Session Three <ul><li>Conflict Resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. [Colossians 3:13 (ESV)] </li></ul><ul><li>Compatibility </li></ul>
  21. 21. Family Conflict Background <ul><li>Each person brings to a marriage their own unique way of resolving conflict based on what they experienced as they were growing up. </li></ul><ul><li>1. When conflicts arose in our family between my father and mother. </li></ul><ul><li>My father would? </li></ul><ul><li>My mother would? </li></ul><ul><li>2. When conflict arose between my parents and me or my siblings. </li></ul><ul><li>My father would? </li></ul><ul><li>My mother would? </li></ul><ul><li>3. What characteristics from your family do you find yourself mirroring? </li></ul><ul><li>4. What characteristics from your family do you want to leave behind? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Start Smart Session Four <ul><li>Sexuality and Intimacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. [Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Finance </li></ul><ul><li>Remarriage </li></ul>
  23. 23. How Do You Spell Intimacy? <ul><li>Men: S - E - X </li></ul><ul><li>Women: T - A – L - K </li></ul>
  24. 24. Activity <ul><li>1. In what ways have the media and western culture impacted your view of sexuality? </li></ul><ul><li>2. What messages about sex do you wish had been clearly conveyed to you while growing up? </li></ul><ul><li>3. How comfortable are you with the idea of God being present in your bedroom? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>4. How does the thought that God designed your erogenous zones and orgasms change the way you think and feel about them? </li></ul><ul><li>5. What are the “hedges” or “boundaries” you will need to establish with friends, co-workers or clients of the opposite sex after you are married. </li></ul>
  25. 25. 7 Basic Steps to Financial Security by Dave Ramsey <ul><li>1. Put $1,000 cash in an “Emergency Fund.” </li></ul><ul><li>2. Pay off consumer debt using the “Debt Snowball” ( except the home mortgage). </li></ul><ul><li>3. Finish the Emergency Fund </li></ul><ul><li>4. Invest 10% of your income in retirement. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Save for Kids College Fund. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Pay off your Home Mortgage. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Build Wealth and Give. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Remarriage Questions <ul><li>Martial Settlement Agreement. </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting </li></ul><ul><li>Finances </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Ex-Spouses and their family </li></ul><ul><li>Holidays, Birthdays, and Family Traditions </li></ul><ul><li>Children </li></ul>
  27. 27. Start Smart Session Five <ul><li>Parenting </li></ul><ul><li>Male/Female Roles </li></ul><ul><li>Christian Spirituality </li></ul><ul><li>For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. [Genesis 2:24 (NIV)] </li></ul><ul><li>The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. . . I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. [Ezekiel 18:20, 30-31 (NIV)] </li></ul>
  28. 28. Resources <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>For Milwaukee Residents - SDC Free Program Healthy Relationship & Marriage Enhancement Program – Call (414) 906-2765 to sign up </li></ul>
  29. 29. Questions