More than 65 percent of the 330 registered for this Texas church’s first in-person marriage outreach since the pandemic were not members of the congregation.
The pastor tells us the event, which ended Friday night with a simple marriage devotional, “had couples talking to each other again – some brought to tears.” More on that in a moment with photos below.
But before going deeper into these details, check out this new 3-minute animated video on Communio’s model would provide some valuable context for how these outreach events fit into our larger strategy. It summarizes the Data-Informed, Full-Circle Relationship Ministry™.
The outreach event is just the first programmatic rung of Communio’s Ministry Engagement Ladder™. This is a strategic framework that helps a church design, market, and run a series of experiences that attract couples and individuals from inside the church – and from their surrounding community – and puts them on a multi-step journey into skills-based relationship ministry that strengthens marriage.
Communio consults with churches on the planning and execution of these events and provides digital marketing and outreach services to help them reach those in their community they have not reached before. Our team also helps the church select the right skills-based relationship enrichment content for the final rung of their ladder – the Growth Journey.
So far, churches that run with this model are seeing incredible results:
Their team created an indoor “block party” (originally planned for outdoors but was moved inside due to unexpected rain and cold) in a large event space on their main campus. They had live music, yard games, and a cookout as well as provided low-cost childcare for more than 120 kids – a key best practice Communio recommended the church include to draw in young couples.
“We had many more guests for this event than we had on Easter,” said Pastor Scott. “With the way that Communio ran the marketing for us – we were able to find families who perfectly fit the programs of our church. Due to the geo-locating of the advertisements, we were able to meet families who live right around our church but had never been inside the doors.”
Toward the end of this fun event, the church incorporated a small dosage of relationship enrichment content in the form of a short devotional talk and questions for couples to work through together.
“With just a basic marriage devotional at the end of the night, we had couples talking to each other again, some brought to tears,” said Pastor Scott. “We found that most couples just wanted to have fun again, they wanted to laugh together and that was one of the best parts of the night.”
It all set up to encourage couples to enroll their kids in summer youth activities and join Re-Engage couples’ groups in the fall – a highly effective, 16-week marriage enrichment program created by leaders at Watermark Church in Dallas.
Couples were invited to join the parish’s ongoing engagement next month – the second rung of their engagement ladder – for live music and drinks at a local Denver brewery. It’s here where couples will be invited to join a half-day marriage retreat as a Growth Journey – the third and final rung of their engagement ladder – where practical relationship enrichment skills will be delivered, and marriages are transformed.
This major event is the kickoff to an innovative ongoing engagement series they are calling the “Summer Fling” where couples will be challenged to go on at least ten dates (alone together or on a double date without kids) for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid vacation prize.
Couples need to “prove their date night” by emailing or posting a picture on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with a hashtag mentioning FOTP. The prize will be announced and awarded at a big marriage retreat they’re hosting in the fall – which FOTP is leveraging for the Growth Journey rung of its engagement ladder. Couples need to attend the retreat in order to claim the prize.
Some big things are happening. Communio-supported churches are getting really creative in how they outreach to couples in their communities to draw them into their new Full-Circle Relationship Ministries™.
It’s clear there’s a major pivot happening across our citywide initiatives in the Mile High City and Fort Worth toward marriage and relationship ministry. Similar activities are ramping up in Midland-Odessa, Billings, and through our Church Networks and individuals Church Platforms spanning from Pittsburgh to Spokane.
It’s been a challenging year for many, many families. But churches are answering our Lord’s call to “be light” in this dark time.
For more information or to explore bringing Communio’s model to your city or church, call us at (703) 347-7800 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit our website – www.communio.org – for more background on our work.