If every church in Canada was a marriage mentor centre,
it would revolutionize our country.
Marriage mentoring is a tool that equips churches to strengthen and support their existing marriage ministries, build capacity by activating lay leaders, and ease the burden of marital care for pastoral staff.
This initiative fills the gap between premarital education and crisis counseling. Most marriages don’t need an overhaul, just regular tune-ups. Mentoring is designed to help couples who may not be at the end or their rope, but who do have struggles. As they journey with mentors, they gain practical tools to thrive in their relationship and stay together for good.
Pastoral support is a key, but this initiative works best when it is led by lay people who have a passion to strengthen the marriages around them.
With their pastor’s support, Nicole and Dennis Van Ee helped their church become a Marriage Mentor Centre. Since the spring of 2019, they have led the recruitment and training process and currently there are 7 couples mentoring in their church in Martensville, Saskatchewan.
“It feels like every time we are intentional, God blesses those efforts. It’s our goal and desire to reflect Him well and to further God’s Kingdom. As FamilyLife has often said, we want to bring hope
and healing to marriages.”
– Nicole & Dennis Van Ee
“We really felt unified in mentoring together as a couple as we prayed together for our mentee couple, read scripture together and served our Lord and Saviour together as a team. Thanks for giving us this opportunity!!!”
– Mentor couple trained by Nicole & Dennis
Brook and his wife Vanessa started mentoring two couples in September of 2019 after a Weekend Getaway strengthened their marriage.
“It brings us great joy to see God working through this program, to see marriages strengthened and transformed into the way God intended marriage to be.”
– Brook & Vanessa
With their pastor’s support, they took the lead in helping their church become a Marriage Mentor Centre.
By mid December, their church in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, was commissioning 12 mentor couples to journey alongside other couples in their community who had taken the Marriage Mentor Training (See Training Workshop Outline).
Starting a Marriage Mentor Centre (FAQs)
Marriage Mentoring is a tool you can use to supplement the other great things you are already doing for marriages. For couples to feel equipped to start mentoring, they would need to take the 3.5 hour Mentor Training (See Workshop Outline).
What does it take to get started?
If you can get at least two couples in a room or online together for 3.5 hours of training, you have all you need. We also recommend that pastors find a marriage champion in their church to get this going. We provide coaches to help them every step of the way. Every church has couples that could build into younger couples and take the pressure off of the pastoral staff.
How much does it cost?
$30/Couple to join in for an online or in person training hosted by FamilyLife Canada. Or churches can run their own training using the Training kit ($125 plus tax — trains 2 couples and includes materials to mentor 2 other couples). After that, the mentoring materials would be $25/couple.
How is this different than any other marriage helper?
The MMI was designed to take the pressure off of pastors and staff who do a lot of counseling. Often couples just need someone to listen to them and help them have conversations that lead them to oneness. These conversations can happen proactively instead of waiting until it is too late. You might already be using a marriage class or video series. The MMI can be used to take the information shared in those few weeks to solidify skills and commitments over the course of a year.
Has it worked anywhere else?
Is my church the right size for something like this?
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