Whether you’re developing a new marriage ministry or growing an existing ministry — it’s important that your staff, leadership and volunteers are on the same page on a few key items.

This list applies to pre-marriage mentoring, but has application to general marriage ministry.

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  • Elder’s Statement — Do you have standards in place regarding:
    • Re-Marriage: Under what conditions is a person free to re-marry? Also consider a Divorce statement.
    • Sexual Purity: Do you require a commitment to purity? Living Arrangements: What if a couple is living together? Spiritual Condition: How do you define equally yoked? Do you marry seekers? Will you marry unequally-yoked couples?
    • Who can be married at your church? Who can engage in your marriage process? Does a couple need to attend your church? For how long?
    • Will you mentor non-Christians? Seriously consider this evangelistic opportunity.
    • Marriage Criteria What biblical principles govern whether or not your church will marry a couple? How will that be communicated to the couple?
    • Pre-Requisites. Prior to affirming a couple’s ceremony date, what is required of the couple? A marriage workshop? A budget class? Mentoring?
  • Decision to Marry Who makes that decision? Are your volunteer mentors empowered to do so? Will leadership stand by those decisions?
  • Your Mentoring Program Who will mentor? You? Volunteers? If volunteers… What are your recruitment criteria? Who will recruit and train? Have you developed a mentor-training program?Have you considered ongoing refresher training? Consider these four important components of any strong training program —   skills training, mentoring, testing, and small group.
  • What pre/marriage topics will be addressed?
  • What objectives or values are most important? Community? Evangelism?
  • Spiritual Growth?What are the core building blocks of a quality marriage?
  • What will be the duration and frequency of a mentoring session?
  • What kinds of issues might qualify a referral to professional counseling?
  • What assessment tool/inventory (such as PREPARE-ENRICH) will be used, if any

Jim Mueller is the President of Growthtrac Ministries
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