There is nothing quite like the joy of watching a newly married couple. The honeymoon phase is a wonderful experience and one can often tell if a couple is newly married. There is something about their smile and glow that beams happiness.
Too many times, I have had to say goodbye to these young married couples as they have felt a need to move on. But some have stayed involved.
How do you get married couples to stay involved?
- Allow them to minister with other young married couples. Sounds simple, right? It can sometimes be difficult to find other young married couples who are ministering in your church. They are in between the stage of being single and having children. Connect them with other couples in the same place. They long for a community to share their young married stories.
- Give them lots of options. Be flexible with their involvement. You could invite them to minister to newly engaged couples. They are less likely to serve on a weekly basis. How can they serve on a monthly basis? Maybe they can volunteer for a couple months for a one-time event like planning a retreat or a bible study. You could also invite them to come and speak to young people once a year about the joys and challenges of marriage. Sometimes having shorter commitment times could be the one thing that gets them to say yes.
- Mission Trips. At this stage, young married couples are starting to think about children. At some point, they know their time won’t be theirs. It will belong to their children. Right now, they have freedom. If your church leads mission trips to other communities, this is a good opportunity for them to take an extended trip away to serve others. They are less likely to travel far once they have children. A mission trip might be one of their last opportunities to travel until their children are older.
- Let them be a role model. Our youth need to see young married couples modeling their faith and volunteering in the church. Talk to this couple about what it means to be a role model for those that are younger than them. They might take this opportunity to serve in youth or young adult ministry. This is not about making them feel guilty. It’s about helping them realize how valuable they are to your ministry.
- Let them take a break. I have to admit, at this point it might be good to let them take a break as they get used to living together as a married couple. Especially if they have been volunteering before they got married, now is a good time for a break. Moving from total independence to living out their marriage covenant with another person is quite a change. Let them take a break.
Question: In what ways are young married couples without children volunteering in your church?