By Warren Bird
Leadership Network continues to build its team with high-capacity leaders who can serve churches in powerful ways. These leaders are field-tested as innovation catalysts in their local churches, and they bring their unique backgrounds and experience to their pursuits with church leaders around North America.
We are excited to introduce some of those new leaders to you in a series of question and answer blogs. In this Q&A, you will meet John McGee of Watermark Church in Dallas, and catch how marriage ministry can expand a church’s mission into the community:
What background qualifications do you bring to your work with marriage ministry?
I have been doing marriage ministry for 15 years. I have started premarried, newlywed, and enrichment and restoration ministries here at Watermark. Our premarried ministry will have over 1,000 couples this year. Our “re|engage” curriculum is now in over 150 other churches around the world.
I have also trained and consulted with several hundred churches in their marriage ministries.
Why are you excited about working with church leaders around this topic? What difference do you hope to make?
I think this really is one of the best ways to be “missional” in a community. People will often look to the church when they are preparing for marriage or when they are hurting. If the church exhibits excellence at this time of need in their lives, the community will begin to see the church as the place to go for training or help—much like a great university or hospital.
In terms of health for the church, everything gets better when a church has healthier marriages. Attendance, giving, service, and discipleship of kids at home, etc., all go up as the marriages in the church get healthier. It is one of the best levers you can pull for church health.
How are you involved with your local church, and how has Leadership Network intersected with it?
I am the director of marriage ministry at Watermark. Leadership Network has been a constant place of new ideas and fresh thinking.
Want to hear more of what John has to say about how an effective marriage ministry can impact your church? Listen to what John shares about HUB:Marriage and Healthy Relationships.
What can leaders hope to experience through your HUB Marriage and Healthy Relationships Ministry group?
Here’s a few things we hope to accomplish for the HUB:Marriage and Healthy Relationships group when we pull leaders together from marriage ministries around the country as I share what I’ve learned in 15 years of marriage ministry at our church, and in my work interacting with other churches:
- Develop a robust plan and start implementing it right away.
- Be exposed to current marriage ministry models that are working.
- Be exposed to the current research and cultural trends.
- Meet other like-minded and innovative churches to share their learnings and help speed up the innovation process.
- Gain a big vision for how their church can be used in their community.
John McGee is one of the most strategic thinkers on the planet when it comes to marriage ministry. What he and his team pull off every week at Watermark Church is nothing short of miraculous. Anyone passionate about marriage ministry would be wise to learn from this brilliant, yet humble guy.
Ted Lowe, Founder of MarriedPeople
What’s the biggest challenge you want to help churches work through in this area? And the biggest opportunity to help them seize?
Most churches just do “stuff for marriage,” and don’t think very big about the opportunity. The challenge and the opportunity is to design your marriage ministry to become a congruent and core part of the mission of the church, and to create a compelling vision that will attract great leaders.
What do you do for fun?
I love to run, hike, and lift weights with my son and travel. Pam and I went to Iceland last year for our 20th anniversary, and as a family we are trying to see all 30 Major League Baseball parks. We plan to pick up the six on the West coast this summer!
The landscape of relationships is going through a sea of change greater than any time in recent history. Change is always accompanied by new and unforeseen opportunity. If your church is interested in rediscovering healthy relationships, building thriving marriages, and working toward family formation to www.leadnet.org/relationships for more information.