Church Impact

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R.A.M Series Spread Outside of the Church - Montana

We start with a church from the Big Sky country. This church is in a working-class community in Montana that engages frequently with at-risk communities in the largest city in that region. Their leadership built out their Ministry Engagement Ladder® and deployed one of our recommended, skills-based Growth Journey programs – the RAM Series. The Growth Journey, you may recall, is the top rung on the Ladder. 

One of their members wrote a longer email to our church strategist – I’ll share one brief excerpt here:  

“My marriage is stronger because of it. It taught me so many techniques I’m applying in my life and my relationships. I know if it’s helping me, it could help other people.”  

Toward that end, this on-fire young husband has begun taking the lessons from this experience into the treatment facility where he works – and it’s changing lives. Will share more on that in just a moment. 

Communio has supported more than 220 churches across 19 states in deploying a Data-Informed, Full-Circle Relationship Ministry® framework in their context. The objective in each partnership is to produce a metanoia – mindset shift – from the pulpit to the pews that transforms the surrounding communities.

The mindset shift is the realization that the collapse of marriage (and resulting decline in resident fathers) over the last 60 years is the leading cause for the collapse in Christian faith over the last 40 years. To produce authentic renewal, churches must create new ministry that focuses on forming new marriages, increasing the health of marriages, and improving the efficacy of fathers.

Now, let’s go back to the story I referenced at the beginning. The young husband named Josh brought these ideas to a treatment facility where he works. 

One of the men he worked with has been in and out of prison his entire life and he’s fathered about 20 children. In his conversation with the man, Josh shared insights from the RAM (Relationship Attachment Model) Series, which explores five sequential dynamics of healthy attachment — Know, Trust, Rely, Commit, and Touch.

Why have I never known any of this? What would my life be like if I had known these principles and if I had gotten to know somebody before going straight to touch?”

He then declared that he wanted to be different, he wanted something different from his life, and he was going to use RAM to do it.

Date Night Challenge in Akron, Ohio

Following the Ministry Engagement Ladder® framework, Grace Akron, a multi-site evangelical church, deployed a series of ongoing engagements leading up to a large deployment of a skills-based growth journey. 

In working with one of our church strategists, they designed and ran a Date Night Challenge scheduled from November through February. Now, research out of the University of Virginia demonstrates that couples who prioritize regular date nights have lower divorce rates and higher quality relationships. More than 600 couples signed up and engaged in regular date nights together where light skills activities were offered as part of their self-guided date night experience. 

The Date Night Challenge concludes this Friday with a Date Night Gala where 110 of those couples have already signed up to attend in person. At the gala and through their Date Night Challenge process, the church is promoting Alpha’s Marriage Course beginning next month. This plug-and-play, seven session Christian skills-course is infused with Gottman Institute tools to improve relationship health. 

71 percent growth in Sunday Mass attendance at St.Helen in Vero Beach, Florida

Next, we visit St. Helen’s Church in Vero Beach, FL.This Catholic parish partner has been running their full-blown Ministry Engagement Ladder® for more than two years with skills-based growth journeys, Christian community built up through ongoing engagement, and innovative outreach events. 

The pastor there shared with me that their Sunday attendance is up from 1,400 each week to 2,400-2,500 since the start of working with Communio. He said it’s creating parking issues for his parish on Sunday mornings.

Before Lent started today, this church made sure to hold their third annual Valentine’s Day Couples Date Night last weekend. They sold out their facility with nearly 160 married people gathered at tables for two along with a dance floor.

It also included a fully packed-out youth ministry – showing the efficacy of the church’s effort to engage parents of young children. I included a couple pictures from the night below.

The parish has followed Communio’s guidance and developed a robust free babysitting and youth ministry around their couples’ ministry further incentivizing couples to grow in relationship health.

The Valentine’s Day Date Night event included the modeling and practice of relationship skills activities provided through Communio’s Ministry Toolbox. I’m told they had a huge turnout both from members of their parish and first-time guests.

A great picture of one of the happy couples on their date night.
Church gym filled with couples for date night.
Kids ministry is thriving.

New Communio-Church Partners Moving Hundreds in Relationship Skills Practice in Houston, Texas

I spoke late last week with Lead Pastor Terrance Johnson from Higher Dimension Church in Houston, Texas. This large Black church partner with more than 1,000 average weekly guests just launched their partnership with Communio. 

They decided to kick off the public ministry with a mini-conference called The Answer Conference – all rungs of the Ministry Engagement Ladder rolled into one event.

“I want this to be the launch of our relationship culture,” Pastor Terrance told me.

He plans to move over 500 people through 8-hours of Christian relationship skills practice later this year, with smaller ongoing engagements for each of the four key outreach areas: men, women, couples, and singles.  

Our team is bringing this church’s leadership out to Hampton University to speak at the Conference on the Black Family next month to share their early experiences on embracing an evangelizing focus through marriage ministry.

Staying in Houston, we could visit King’s City Church, another majority Black Church, which just launched their second Growth Journey. They’re hosting a program called Love Talks with 20 different couples from their church. They plan to finish the study with a group date night that will fall into the ongoing engagement level of our ladder.  

This all follows up a Growth Journey seminar on Faith and Finances, talking through how finances can also impact our relationships. Over 50 people (couples and singles) were in attendance.  

Micro-Date Nights Across Dallas & Fort Worth, Texas

Now, driving up I-45, we could visit Fellowship of the Parks in the DFW area where they’re adopting a new strategy for their outreach and ongoing engagements. This innovative church partner is hosting several micro-date nights at each of their five campuses.  

Each campus will host one larger outreach event that Communio will run its microtargeted marketing around. At the North Fort Worth campus, they have 100 couples signed up for the event – nearly half of them (46 out of 100) are not members of this church. This is a practical way churches are using relationship and marriage ministry to share the gospel.

A Creative Event For Both Singles and Couples in Englewood, Colorado

Heading over to All Souls Catholic Church in Englewood, CO, which recently had a creative event engaging both singles and couples.  This is an ongoing engagement event meant to build community and fellowship among singles and couples. It’s a key step to building out the more meaty portions of the relationship ministry.

Participants were invited to honor the saints for an evening of free hors d’oeuvres and craft cocktails inspired by the lives of the saints. Throughout the evening, the drink station leaders highlighted the lives of five specific saints and their stories and invited participants to enjoy a craft cocktail inspired by those saints.

The 70 attendees represented singles and couples from both the church and parish school community. This event was used as a catalyst for inviting couples to participate in the skills-based Marriage Course by Alpha. This plug-and-play, seven-session Christian skills course is infused with Gottman Institute tools to improve relationship health.

The success of Drinking with the Saints led All Souls to establish it as a recurring event on the parish social calendar.