Pastor’s Frequently Asked Questions
We invite you to give us a call if you have any questions about how MarriageTeam could supplement your marriage ministry and strengthen marriages and families in your congregation. This FAQ section answers many of the most common questions.
MarriageTeam uses the internationally acclaimed PREPARE/ENRICH Inventory as a resource to supplement the coaching process. The inventory has been given to more than 3 million couples. It was revised in 2008 to include a personality profile that is very helpful. MarriageTeam also uses a workbook that address communications, anger, bitterness, forgiveness, conflict resolution, problem solving, appreciating personality differences, intimacy, goal setting and creating mutual accountability for change.
MarriageTeam uses the coaching process to facilitate lasting change. Change comes when new knowledge is applied. The coaching process teaches new skills and helps couples apply them to achieve better outcomes. It also ensures complete understanding of the issues, explores options for change, facilitates agreements on what changes will be implemented, and creates accountability for following through on the agreements. Coaches also do everything that marriage mentors do except they do not give advice. They meet and pray with a couple, go over materials together and appropriately share their experiences.
Yes, the materials are biblically based and scriptural references are available in the materials. While the coaching is biblically based, it is not a bible study. Coaches work with couples to help them gain new relationship skills and understanding. Couples then apply the new skills and understanding to get different results. Coaches help the couple create mutual accountability for implementing the desired changes. Coaching is all about changing behaviors to create the results the couple wants. All coach couples are Christians.
Coaches are trained to use the coaching process to help couples discover what will work specifically for them. Coaches also help the couple create agreements around specific behavior changes. The process creates accountability for achieving common objectives. A recent PREPARE ENRICH study found that couples who completed coaching had a 196% improvement in Communication and a 145% improvement in Conflict Resolution.
We have found that there are couples in every congregation that would love to help struggling couples if they just knew how. We suggest a two-pronged approach. First, ask couples you believe would be good coaches if they would attend training to learn more and become coaches. Second, open it up to the congregation and take volunteers. MarriageTeam will help with the screening via the ENRICH Inventory and the training process. Couples who successfully complete the training not only are qualified to coach another couple, they feel qualified to coach another couple.
MarriageTeam has taken all reasonable steps to eliminate liability issues and carries liability insurance. Couples are coaching for MarriageTeam and not for their church even though they may be coaching couples in the church. Referring couples to MarriageTeam helps protect the church from liability. It is similar to referring a couple to a professional counseling service. In addition, coaches do not tell couples what to do. Couples who enter coaching sign an agreement recognizing that they are solely responsible for the decisions they make and coaches do not provide any legal advice and are not licensed counselors or therapists.
Their first source of help is MarriageTeam. We are quick to identify situations that require professional help and make the appropriate referrals. In most cases, the coaches just need to talk through the situation. Together we brainstorm alternative approaches for the coaches. If necessary, we have access to licensed professionals who can provide additional support.
We have found that coach couples are very resilient. They are taught in training that the coaches cannot care more about the couple’s marriage than they do. Coaches are acting in good faith doing their part trusting that the Lord will soften hearts and do His part. It is no different than any other helping profession. The most common comment we hear is each coaching experience strengthens the coaches’ own marriage.
- Contact the pastors who work closely with MarriageTeam and ask them . A list of pastors is available upon request.
- Send a couple to training to see how the program works.
- Read the testimonials from couples, coaches, and pastors.
- Look at our program outcomes:
- A PREPARE/ENRICH study found that couples who completed MarriageTeam coaching almost tripled their Communication scores and increased by one and a half times the Conflict Resolution scores.
- Couples who complete coaching rate their experience an average 9.1 with 10 being the best.
- Distressed couples who complete coaching report an average improvement in their relationship from 3.8 to 7.6 on a ten point scale.
- We track results and have found that roughly 25% of couples who enter coaching have talked about divorce. Over 85 % of those who complete coaching decide against divorce.
MarriageTeam understands that as a pastor you have the primary responsibility for strengthening and saving marriages in your congregation. We are here to serve you to help troubled marriages in your congregation. If you make a referral to MarriageTeam, we will do the intake, administer the inventory, make the placement with a coach couple, and do all the follow-up. If you would like to place the couple with a specific coach couple, we will make that happen or get back with you. Upon request, we will update you on progress. We go out of our way to provide value and service to you and your church team. These on-going services are part of the value you receive when you partner with MarriageTeam.
Cost for up to 12 coaching sessions that are 2 to 3 hours is $399. For premarital, not previously married, non-cohabitating couples the 6 coaching sessions cost $239. Terms are available and MarriageTeam works closely with couples to insure no one is denied coaching for financial reasons. Having said this, there are a couple of reasons why we ask that couples pay for these coaching services:
- Couples who pay for services do much better in coaching than couples who do not pay.
- The ministry is able to offer these services at significantly reduced prices because of its many donors. Nevertheless, donations do not cover the entire cost of providing the services. The cost for 25-30 hours of coaching is about $16 per hour. This is significantly less than a counselor or pastor would be paid to provide comparable services.
Furthermore, there is a money back guarantee. “If you believe you did not get your money’s worth from your coaching experience, put it in writing and we will refund your money less the inventory and materials ($75).”