This topic is is adapted from the 365 Bible YouTube channel.
Couples mentoring often falls upon pastors, but singlehandedly mentoring every couple that needs help gets overwhelming. A strategic approach to marriage mentoring will prevent this situation, reaching more people with quality mentoring than one person would be able to reach alone.
- A couple needs help. This happens regularly, and you want to be able to support the couple well. These couples could be premarital couples, couples in a crisis, or couples who want continued support in their marriage.
- Train marriage mentors in your church. (This is step one in the video and should come first chronologically when implementing this process.) Train your mentors to be ready for the couples that need help. That way, when you step in as a pastor, you can do some but not all of the job, and the couples will have continued and quality support. Find resources to help with this process at Pursuegod.org/mentor.
- Mentor the couple. The couple is coming to you because of your role as a pastor, so meet with the couple for a few weeks. Before you begin, make sure that you clarify that marriage mentoring is not the same as counseling and that they are going to be connected with a marriage mentor in the near future.
- Make the handoff. Set up a mentoring relationship with one of the mentor couples you’ve trained. Now, your role is to follow up with the mentor couple. Make sure they feel supported and have enough resources. It’s important that your marriage mentors are trained before this happens.
Marriage handoffs help create a culture of marriage mentoring in your church. As a pastor, you have an important role in the training process and in the mentoring process, and you will be able to reach more couples more effectively than on your own.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- How do you manage marriage mentoring or couples who need help?
- What system for marriage mentoring does your church currently have in place? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this system? Explain.
- How is this system similar or different to your church’s current approach to marriage mentoring?
- Identify church attendees or members that you think would be good marriage mentors? What makes these people good candidates?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.