Love is in the air: 6 sweet ideas for couples ministry


Whether you have an existing ministry for couples, desire to start one or want to host a stand-alone event, this is the perfect season to focus on activities that strengthen the bonds of marriage.

Help couples in your congregation and community strengthen their relationships with these ideas.

1. Offer free child-care.
Quarterly or monthly, give couples and single parents the opportunity to go out. Host childcare at your church and offer to arrange carpooling for group outings. You also could host an intimate dinner at your church and take formal pictures. Or keep it low-key with a movie night accompanied by popcorn or appetizers. Mix up the activities to keep these events fun, fresh and inviting.    

2. Set an example.
Honor couples and teach children and young adults about the sanctity of marriage by recognizing wedding anniversaries. Present couples with a blessing and flowers or a gift basket during your services. Publish the anniversaries in your bulletin, newsletter, website or social media page. The public recognition honors the couples and shows others examples of solid, faith-based marriages.

3. Offer family counseling.
If your church has a licensed family therapist on staff, publicize his or her services. Consider offering a seminar or workshop. If your church or community needs a licensed therapist, consider bringing in someone on a temporary or contract basis. Then evaluate whether a permanent position is feasible. You also can provide your congregation with information on where to find counseling in your area. Don't underestimate the importance of premarital counseling to lay the foundation for a healthy marriage.

4. Develop a mentoring program.
Do you have young couples or single parents struggling through difficult times? Mentoring ministries can provide excellent guidance and support. You can host events, such as workshops or social outings, for your entire mentoring group. Also encourage the mentors to meet or call each other for support and advice.

5. Publicize United Methodist marriage events.
Send interested couples to a marriage retreat – you might also include non-congregant couples from the community. Make it easier for the trip-takers by coordinating travel (carpooling or a bus if the location is close or an airline package, if not) and lodging. You often can get deals on both airfare and lodging if you book in advance and for multiple people. Arrange child care to allow young couples to participate.

The General Board of Discipleship has information on marriage events and programming. Encounter is a United Methodist program designed for married and engaged couples of all ages. The website allows you to search for events by month and state.

6. Host an in-house event. Host your own retreat, and open it to the community or nearby churches. Ask outside experts to speak or present. Ask a United Methodist pastor in a nearby community if he or she would lead a workshop or invite a social worker from your local hospital to lead a discussion. Ask your congregation to suggest topics – and make sure to include those topics in the schedule. Would they like to learn how to communicate more effectively or how to make more time for one another? Give yourself plenty of time to plan. If you have a technologically savvy audience, you might consider an online retreat, but think through the pros and cons of face-to-face sharing and conversations and those that are electronic.

If you don’t have an existing couples ministry, your first task will be to develop a mission statement, place someone in charge and plan programming. Adapt ideas from these articles on starting other ministries: launching a Christian singles ministry, 11 tips for starting a home-repair ministry and 8 ways to start a sports ministry.

Related Articles

D-I-V-O-R-C-E spells opportunity to help
Sum is greater than parts when churches work together

Topics: Church Family, Marketing & Outreach

Subscribe to monthly MyCom eNewsletter
Questions?  Email us at
Bookmark and Share

Guide to pastoral transitions (Part 1 - The First 30 Days)

Guide to pastoral transitions (Part 2 – Day 31 & beyond)

5 freebies to grow ministry

Converting squishy ministry goals into clear measures

3 ideas for connecting with your community this summer

More trends you may have missed (Part 2)

How to move people to give or take action

4 sermon series to connect with millennials

Cultural trends you may have missed

15 outreach ideas for Easter

"Steve Jobs" your church

Connecting with the "plugged-in" at your church

Focus Christmas outreach on relationships, not gimmicks

Engage in global mission without leaving your church

Back-to-school outreach ideas

Treasure hunting to connect with your community

Get real! Young adults have authenticity radar

Use the art of storytelling to resonate

Rethink VBS: Turbo-charge your plans and invitations (Part 1)

Rethink VBS: Step up promotion and follow-up (Part 2)

8 Ways to connect young adults to the church

Is your Easter “outreach,” out of reach?

5 tips for successful service events

Drop the bullhorn and engage your community in conversation

Ministry ideas for your church's IT superheroes

How to stream worship beyond the sanctuary (Part 2)

Reaching out to the boomerang generation

How churches use pay-per-click ads for seasonal outreach

Recharge your congregation’s batteries this fall

Integrating singles ministry with family ministry

Take on the 21-day complaint-free church challenge

Art needs the church: How to create artisan communities

Beyond the bake sale: cool fundraising ideas for everyone

7 awesome ideas for Holy Week and Easter

Love is in the air: 6 sweet ideas for couples ministry

6 tips to launch a career ministry

12 ways to care for military members and their families

Weighing in on the obesity epidemic:

Connect print with mobile media via QR (Quick Response) codes

Recycle content: 6 ways to reach larger audiences

Placing your church within an arm’s reach

Pruning your programs to grow

Icebreakers and fun games for kids and youth

6 marketing ideas from retail giants

Take this quick quiz: Earn an “A” in marketing

10 quick tips to fire up your men's ministry!

4 ways sundaes are like marketing

Church partnerships: 7 steps to make big ideas reality

11 party games and jokes for team building

Launching a Christian singles ministry

Short mission trips when money is tight

Change the world: 5 sweet outreach ideas

9 tips for giving and receiving criticism

Committees: how to get the most from their time

5 ways to use Google’s powerful marketing tools

How interns can bolster your marketing efforts

Brain meet storm: Quick tips to think outside the box

Teaching the who, what and why of The UMC?

How does TechShop work?

How does TechShop work?

Successful church mergers: how marketing can help

Get green with your carbon footprint

Tap emotions to keep eyes open to big issues

Reaching Hispanics through health ministry

Church planting for cheap

12-step programs boost mission and congregation ranks

5 ideas for holistic ministry with the homeless

Inspire youth with a summer 'staycation'

You don’t need a house to belong to a church!

7 ways to attract new members

Caring for the caregiver: offer relief and alternatives

Draw more than bees with a community garden

6 fun, non-worship ways to reach youth and college students

Connect volunteers to opportunities at a service fair

D-I-V-O-R-C-E spells opportunity to help

7 marketing resolutions for 2010

Turn tax season into outreach time

What is the online word on your church?

Does your church have curb appeal?

8 ways to start a sports ministry

Church marketing plan enhances outreach

Gobble up culture at Thanksgiving

Heat up lukewarm summer attendance

Inspiring prison ministry ideas

Small churches can make big impacts

Fun summer ministry ideas

Work Together to Survive Economy

Draw a big crowd with event marketing

Teen lounge brings new opportunities

Scouting: another church door

Serving without being suckered

Don’t let rising gas prices get you down!

Want to Practice ‘Radical Hospitality’? Here’s How!

Growing congregations reach outside themselves—and prosper

To thine own self be true: assessing your congregation

Moodle goes to church: using the open source application to inform, inspire and engage church members

Overcoming your "fear of flying"

Nine tips for communicating with Hispanics and Latinos

Comment Policy

Contact Us

This will not reach a local church, district or conference office. InfoServ* staff will answer your question, or direct it to someone who can provide information and/or resources.


*InfoServ ( about ) is a ministry of United Methodist Communications located in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. 1-800-251-8140

Not receiving a reply?
Your Spam Blocker might not recognize our email address. Add this address to your list of approved senders.