What Pastors Are Saying
See what pastors are saying starting with Dr. Gary Chapman.
Dr. Gary Chapman, Pastor, Author of The Five Love Languages
If you are a pastor, I know that you feel the pain when you see couples in your congregation divorce, and all of us have experienced that. A few years ago, I met Alan and Autumn Ray; they started a ministry called MarriageTeam in which they train lay couples to be marriages coaches. They will take couples in your church and every church has at least one couple who has a passion for marriage, and they will train them so that they come back and you have someone that you can refer couples to who are struggling. Over 85% of those couples who go to their coaches find real help and turn away from divorce. I want to challenge you to check it out. I think you will find this to be a great partner for you and your ministry.
Kevin Palau, President, Luis Palau Evangelistic Association, Portland, Oregon
MarriageTeam is a participant in the Marketplace Coalition of the NW and I am familiar with their marriage coaching ministry. It is definitely worth checking out if you are considering creating a lay couple marriage ministry.
Ed Wilgus, Lead Pastor, Family Church, Sutherlin, Oregon
Our church participated in Marriage Team Coaches Training in January 2012 and now has several coaching couples in our church. One new coaching couple experienced some major challenges with the couple they were coaching. They contacted the Marriage Team office which was quick to respond to the need and were able to direct the new coaches to successfully work through the challenges. By the way, the couple they were coaching were separated when they began Marriage Team Coaching, today they are days away from completing the course and are back together under the same roof and experiencing renewed relationship. As a pastor, I have found MarriageTeam to be a great resource not only in helping me direct our coaches but in providing information as a marriage specialist. I have great hope today for the marriages in our church because of our relationship with Marriage Team. I am excited to finally have a coaching system that allows lay people the opportunity to rescue hurting marriages and to have coaching couples who I can, with confidence, hand off hurting marriages to knowing that this process gives this couple the best chance for marriage success that I am aware of.
Don Hallworth, Community Groups/Discipleship Pastor, Journey Church, Bend, Oregon
I was first introduced to MarriageTeam by my sister and her husband as they shared how much it had enriched their marriage to coach couples who were struggling. Having now gone through the training provided by MarriageTeam, my wife and I were very impressed with the structure and approach of this ministry. There are several components of MarriageTeam training that lean heavily on Biblical principles that I believe help create the success that this ministry has enjoyed.
- Sanctity of Marriage – Rather than the coaching couple sharing giving advice, the emphasis of coaching is to build within the marriage that is in trouble. There is a real emphasis upon the mystery of what God has joined together. MarriageTeam is structured to get the troubled couple working through things together – communication, bitterness and forgiveness. There is something deeply God honoring by holding up the sanctity of this marriage working together no matter how broken it may be.
- Paul’s “One another’s” and Hebrews 10 – “Spurring one another on” – The Apostle Paul uses the phrase “one another” over and over again. We are to encourage one another, admonish one another, confess to one another and bear one another’s burdens. When a marriage in trouble begins to experience another couple pouring their time and genuine care into the hurting couple, I believe they deeply experience the power of “one another” ministry and they are genuinely “spurred on.”
- The Power of the Holy Spirit – I think the part of MarriageTeam that has been most profound to me is the emphasis on what we do and what God does. I deeply appreciate that there is recognition that the exercises and discussions are merely tools for God to do something enduring in this broken marriage.
- Equipping – Ultimately as Pastors we are the one’s who equip other that Ephesians 4:11 speaks of. The MarriageTeam ministry is the best tool I’ve seen to release couples in our churches to help facilitate stronger marriages. Through significant training weekends, ongoing support and well written communication tools, you can have great confidence that hurting marriages in your church will receive biblically rooted help.
I have never experienced such a practical resource to strengthen marriages as the program that MarriageTeam offers. I encourage you to find out more about how this ministry can help you build marriage strength in your local church.
Dave Morris, Lead Pastor, Hillside Christian Fellowship, Portland, Oregon
Marriage Team trainings are excellent, with 24 hours of excellent material and an amazing equipping… and the fee is $0.00!!! We have trained couples now at Hillside and they are doing great… They signed up for coaching, and since walking with their coaches to a healthier marriage, they have become coaches… Additionally, we’ve had several of our young engaged couples go through Marriage Team for their pre-marital counseling with their ‘trained’ lay people… these amazing coaches have spent time with these young peeps, and even shown up to their weddings… they have become amazing mentors through relationship… Imagine: “‘Saints’ equipped to ‘do’ the works”… amazing!! I cannot overemphasize the amazing blessings being in relationship with Marriage Team… an amazing opportunity!
Charlie Granade, Senior Pastor, Ridgeview Bible Church, Chadron, Nebraska
As the senior pastor of a church with many young couples, the amount of premarital counseling and crises counseling is daunting. Marriage Team has allowed me to rise up and develop a team of lay people to come along side me in this process. As a result, I can spend my time on other important things such as vision, leadership development, etc., while empowering the body to do what it has been called to do. Because of what the Lord has done through our marriage coaching ministry, our church has already seen two couples go from being separated to having wonderful marriages and one couple transform from being freshly divorced to being remarried. Just three weeks ago, I did a marriage vow renewal ceremony for a couple whose lives were transformed from God using the coaching process developed by Marriage Team.
Bob Carlson, Senior Pastor, Brush Prairie Baptist Church, Vancouver, Washington
We have greatly appreciated the ministry of MarriageTeam. We recently had three couples complete coach couple training. Almost immediately MarriageTeam was able to facilitate good matches with couples seeking help so that the coaches have had a very positive coaching experience. This effective linking of new coaches to couples seeking help, also helps to ensure that the MarriageTeam training they had received is reinforced in practice and does not just atrophy after the training. MarriageTeam has helped us as a church to better serve our community with a very genuine marriage outreach. Their marriage coaching model also helps us link older and younger couples together so that we can open up opportunities for inter-generational connection and blessing within our church family. I heartily recommend MarriageTeam’s coaches training and ministry model to other pastors and churches. The effectiveness of MarriageTeam has opened up new ministry opportunities to members of our church and freed our pastors to devote more of our time to other ministry needs.
Dr. Mike Wilde, Senior Pastor, Laurelwood Baptist Church, Vancouver, Washington
I recommend, in the strongest way possible, the Marriage Team ministry that was “birthed” out of our church. The founders had a vision of helping couples have healthy marriages and I can tell you that Marriage Team is the “real deal.” In the many years that we have worked together, I have seen real miracles. I think of the testimony of one of our youth who thanked God and the congregation for saving his family and I know it was due to the work MarriageTeam did with his parents. Finally, I have seen MarriageTeam equip several couples in our congregation for active ministries in serving families as a witness for Christ. I have heard from them how they have not only been a blessing to others but how their marriages have improved as well. MarriageTeam is really an expression of what every church should be doing, “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ,” Ephesians 4:12.
Warren Higley, Red Sea Church, Portland, Oregon
The feedback I have received has been very positive…Thanks again for the support. It has been a huge relief for me as a single pastor to have your organization provide what I cannot.
Tom Schiave, Pastor, Community Harvest Church, Camas, Washington
The training hit on every important topic and provided extremely helpful tools. It’s the best material I have been exposed to. Better than the classes I have taken in Seminary/Bible school.
Summary of What Pastors are Saying
MarriageTeam conducted a Pastor’s Round Table Discussion on February 3, 2011. There were 16 participating pastors. We listened carefully to what pastors are saying. The issues and concerns raised at that session are summarized in this Pastors Rountable Results 2 Table along with what MarriageTeam is doing to address these issues.