Establishing a Marriage Mentor Program ... the KEY to a successful couples ministry! PREPARE/ENRICH provides the core structure and is proven to prevent divorce and improve relationships
Marriage Mentor Training step-by-step
This PREPARE-ENRICH relationship inventory has been recently revised and is customized for each couple online and now includes an extensive personality assessment. There is a Mentor Supervisor Manual with resource CD and a complete Mentor Manual with supplemental Biblical references. It includes 18 exercises which you can choose from. It is the most researched and widely used counseling and education tool with counselors and clergy. If you only have one tool for helping couples, this is it.
Getting started: Marriage Mentoring is a key to congregational-based premarital preparation and marriage enrichment coupled with solid religious education on marriage. Every congregation has couples that can do this but have never been asked and equipped.
Step 1: Cast vision and train clergy (or lead mentor couple) in PREPARE-ENRICH Inventory. This may be accomplished simultaneously with step 3. First Things First's Founder, Bob Ruthazer, CFLE, conducts this training twice annually. We can help you determine strategy & vision in your congregation.
Optional Step 1A: One possible strategy would be to host a couples enrichment "skills" class (such as It Takes Two, which is based on Christian-PREP) for any couples in the congregation and specifically invite couples you nominate as possible Mentor Couples. These couples would enrich their own marriage and learn skills that they will both use and teach others.
Step 2: Invite potential Mentor Couples who have usually been married about 10 years, so they have gone through some ups and downs (5 years for blended families). They should have growing relationships not perfect ones. (The Mentor Supervisor Manual resource CD has a form letter you can modify and interview questions attached.)
Step 3: Train Mentor Couples who will use PREPARE-ENRICH (under your supervision). We usually charge $100 per mentor couple (different materials from certification program). We like to have at least 8 mentor couples if possible to make it worth the investment in training, and we can open it up for other churches to add couples at your training. We generally find four two-hour classes in evenings or two four-hour Sunday afternoons work best, but could be done in an all-day Saturday format.
Optional Step 4: Create a Blended Families (Step Family) Support Group.
Note: We can certify leaders at the same time we train your mentors, but it would be much better for you to get certified first, so you have a better handle on it and can give more informed input when we train your mentor couples. Every church makes some modifications to the program to fit their needs, and we can help you determine the best course for your particular needs and church culture.
Other training: It Takes Two, based on C-PREP (Christian Prevention and Relationship Enhancement ) Workshop, is great preliminary or supplemental training in communication and conflict resolution tools to pass on to new couples.
This may seem complex or overwhelming...but the rewards are substantial. Many congregations have been using this process for many years and are experience a singificantly reduced divorce rate. We can make it simple for you to take first steps to establishing an effective Marriage Mentoring Program in your church!
The costs of a broken marriage are substantial...for the couple, the congregation and community but most significantly for the children... YOU can do something to help!
Our founder and Programs Director Bob Ruthazer is a Certified Family Life Educator and has over 18 years church based experience. He and his wife Dianne have been married over 34 years and bring a host of experience and real life examples. They engage the participants and hold their attention with a combination of lecture, video clips, personal applications and practical skills - plus they bring humor to this serious topic!
Questions or Scheduling: Call Bob Ruthazer at 804.288.3431 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for consultation or to schedule one in your congregation.