The church should be the place where marriage is the strongest, but again and again both statistics and personal experience reveal that Christian marriages have all of the same problems faced by the rest of the world. How can churches redeem marriages and remake them so that they transform individual souls and reflect the glory of God?
This leader's guide is for church leaders--small group leaders, pastors and worship leaders--who want to have an impact on the marriages in their church. Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III will show you, step by step, how to put together the materials in the Intimate Marriage Series to create a powerful marriage emphasis experience for your whole church--even singles.
If you are leading a small group of married couples, using this guide will extend your confidence and help you avoid pitfalls that are unique to a couples group. Allender and Longman identify key principles for helping individuals grow, actions and attitudes for effective leadership, how to set goals in a group, how to stay productive, and how to deal with the unexpected with grace and wisdom. They also recommend other Bible study resources to take you deeper into the topic of each group session.
If you are a pastor, you will find resources to guide you through a churchwide marriage emphasis. You'll find a vision for planting small groups of laypeople who can support and encourage each other in their marriages. And you'll find extra research assistance, like notes on the Bible texts used in the series and sample sermons to give you ideas on how to preach through a series on marriage (with sensitivity to singles).
If you are a worship or drama leader, you will find a drama that you can freely reproduce and perform in your church to further illustrate the key themes of this marriage series.
The church is about relationship. As your church works through the Intimate Marriage Series, men and women will receive the resources they need to grow the kind of marriages that last, that challenge them to personal transformation, and that draw those around them into deeper relationship with Christ.
How to Use This Book
1. A Marriage Movement
2. Counting the Cost of Leadership
3. Starting the Journey
4. Embracing Chaos, Conflict and Change
5. Bible Study Theme Overview
6. A Marriage Sermon Series
Appendix: Marriage Drama