by Jessica Asbell
I am currently leading the charge in helping our families strengthen their marriages by using the MarriedPeople strategy.
I am actually the Children’s Minister at my church.
And I have never been married.
So it might seem odd that I’m the one implementing the MarriedPeople strategy.
But, I am a child of divorce. My parents divorced when I was very small. My mother married my stepfather when I was six, but they divorced when I was twelve. So I know the pain and the issues with trust that come from being a child of divorce.
So when Ted Lowe and Doug Fields spoke about the MarriedPeople strategy and their book, Married People: How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last, at the Orange Conference a few years ago, it resonated with me. They talked about how one of the best things you can do for the children in your ministry is to help keep their parents marriages together. This statement may not seem earth-shattering, but it blew me away.
As the Children’s Minister, I could actually do something to help the kids in my ministry not have to go through the anger and pain I experienced. So I bought their book and excitedly brought it to our Minister to Young Families. He liked the idea, but it wasn’t the right time.
This year, he became our Senior Pastor. I brought up the idea again, and we began implementing the strategy. So far we have partnered the date nights with our Parent’s Night Out, had our first large group event, and done our first small group study.
I’ve heard stories of funny nicknames that were revealed in the large group, and that one couple who are with each other 24/7 actually didn’t get any of the questions right in their Not So Newlywed game!
Our couples have responded very well to these events and they are having a blast with it. Is it awkward for me that I’m single and doing a marriage strategy? Sometimes.
There are times when I’m not sure where I fit with this: Should I be at the event even though I’m not the target audience, or should I be with the children—since I am the Children’s Minister? But in the end, it’s totally worth it.
Ministry to children involves their families as well. And if I can help their parents marriage, then I am a better minister to those precious kiddos.
Jessica Asbell in the Childrens Minster at First Baptist Church Roswell in Roswell, GA.