When John Ramos became lead pastor of Heart of Worship International Church in Winnipeg last year, he saw that its strength was in its families — 60 families attend the church, some even spanning four generations!
“I’m a firm believer in when God said to Moses, ‘What is that in your hand? Let’s see what we can do with it,’” says Pastor Ramos. “In looking at this church… I saw how our church composition is mostly families. And I [know] that the strength of a family is the couple. So one of the things we were looking for is: how can we strengthen the couples that we have already?”
Pastor Ramos heard about FamilyLife Canada’s Marriage Ministry Workshop from another pastor and attended the seminar with nine other leaders from their church. Their church has recently launched a marriage mentoring ministry, and already, they have nine mentor couples meeting with younger couples to have guided conversations on essential marriage topics.
Greg Smalley, vice president of Focus on the Family says, “Most pastors… often don’t consider the negative impact failed and mediocre marriages have on the mission of their church.” If you are married, your relationship with your spouse affects every relationship you have: your relationship with your children, how engaged and involved you are at church, the way you interact with friends and neighbours.”
“Strong marriages tend to lead to higher church engagement, attendance and passing on faith in the home and in the community,” says Brent Trickett, the Associate National Director of FamilyLife Canada. “All of these things lead to a stronger, healthier church.”
Plus, it’s no secret that pastors can’t do everything and they can’t be everywhere. They are just one part of the church and should not be relied upon to be the sole provider of marriage support and intervention. Others need to be empowered to do marriage ministry themselves. For example, when couples become marriage mentors, we often hear how they grow spiritually and deepen their own relationship as they support other couples.
At FamilyLife Canada, we recognize that no church is the same. That’s why we can help your church build a plan for marriage ministry that is based on your church’s mission, vision and values. To help you customize your plan, we provide some ideas and coaching to help you start where you are and do what you can. Every church we work with comes out with a plan customized for their specific ministry context.
Pastor Ramos describes what he is most excited about: “I’m not just looking at… our couples now, I’m looking at our kids and the grandkids. I want them to grow up in an environment where a strong marriage is the norm. And when they get married, having mentors is the norm. And we know that not only benefits the church, but in time, it benefits society in general.”
For more information on how to start a marriage ministry in your church, please get in touch!
firstname.lastname@example.org | 1-877-352-6888 or contact the FamilyLife coach in your area.