What's involved in setting up a Marriage Mentor centre in your church?
This is not another programme. It is a tool you can use to supplement the other great things you are already doing for marriages. In Marriage Mentoring, the mentor couples receive effective video training. Both the time (three hours) and cost are minimal. Mentor couples are then paired with mentee couples and the two couples commit to meeting once a month (approximately) for one year. In each meeting, the couples choose from 14 different conversation topics. Each topic supports a healthy marriage with a conversation guide and a take home project.
What does it take to get started?
If you can get at least two couples in a room together for 3 hours you have all you need. We also recommend that pastors find a marriage champion in their church to get this going. We provide a coach 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 pastor/staff encouraging couples.
Is my church the right size for something like this?
If you have one couple that wants to help marriages you are big enough. It is scalable to fit any size church.
How does it work?
After attending an evening of Mentoring Training you will be ready to start mentoring another couple. You will get together with your mentee couple once a month over the course of one year and guide them through a series of conversations found in the Marriage Mentoring Conversation Guide as you help them grow closer together as a couple.
What's the commitment?
There is a three hour training to get you started and then you will meet with your mentee couple once a month over the course of a year to guide them through the Conversation Guide. Your meetings with them will probably be 60-90 minutes. You will decide where to meet; either at your home, or maybe a nearby cafe.
What are the benefits?
For churches, trained mentor couples are a rich resource who expand the church’s marriage intervention. The long term benefits of investing in younger couples, strengthens their marriages and ultimately alleviates the pressure on pastors to do all marriage enrichment in the congregation. Stronger couples, become stronger parents and families, which eventually strengthens the overall church community. Plus, pastors no longer carry the entire responsibility of marriage intervention/counseling within the congregation. The mentor couple also experiences a lot of personal growth as they share their marriage story which is a further benefit we’ve observed, strengthening the marriages of mentors and mentees alike.
How much does it cost?
$50.00 per Mentor couple to attend the Marriage Mentoring training run by Power to Change. This includes a Marriage Mentor Guide plus a Conversation Guide. (Your Mentor couple would then purchase their own Conversation Guide for $20.)
Who is Marriage Mentoring for?
If you have a good marriage and you want others to experience the same kind of marriage you have, mentoring could be for you. We know your marriage is not perfect but your success should be shared with others. This is not counselling, so you are not 'experts', and you don’t need to have all the answers. In terms of who can benefit from having an older couple help speak into their relationship - we hope the answer is everyone! Because many of the issues in marriage are common to all couples, Marriage Mentoring works well with people of faith and those who have no faith at all.
Are we qualified?
If you have a healthy marriage and a heart to help others' marriages, your life experience qualifies you to be a mentor. You don’t need a perfect marriage, just a willingness to share your story with another couple and listen to theirs.
Who do we mentor?
If your church is a Marriage Mentor Centre, they may have people wanting to be mentored right now but you can mentor any couple that is not as far down the road as you. We recommend that you be at least one stage further along than them in life.
Is this counseling?
No, in fact if there are serious issues in your marriage – unfaithfulness, abuse, addictions or severe mental health issues – we urge you to find a good marriage counsellor. Mentoring is not designed for serious relationship repair; it’s designed for couples who proactively want to improve their marriage.
Is this confidential?
Yes, both couples will commit to absolute confidentiality. They will protect your story, as you protect theirs.
Who is behind Marriage Mentoring?
The Marriage Mentoring Initiative is brought to you by Power to Change. We provide coaching and resources that equip churches to encourage couples in their community.