How to develop a wedding follow-up system to disciple young couples

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 5/23/23 2:30 PM
Boyd Pelley
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weddingIn 2022 according to the popular wedding site, The Knot:  20% of weddings took place in October, 15% in September, and 19% in June-August.  2023 is likely not much different.  That means wedding season is here. 
Many pastors do pre-marital counseling to help couples plan for a marriage as well as their wedding.  This is a great way to disciple young men and women as they prepare to do life together.  That discipleship doesn't have to stop on the wedding date.  We've had a few pastors or staff call to ask our suggestions for building a first year of marriage follow-up system.  It's a brilliant idea!   We provide an incredible set of tools to implement a system like this no matter how simple or advanced you want it to be.  Here are a couple of examples of things you could do.

Schedule a simple reminder.  The best way to schedule a reminder to reach out to the couple is to go to the member profile for the bride or groom and add a Note.  Make the content of the note a summary of your counseling.  Add in a reminder about something specific to ask them about.  Then schedule when you want a reminder sent to you and assign it to yourself or the pastor for whom you are entering the note.  You can follow this same procedure multiple times at say the 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month benchmarks.

If the note needs to be more confidential than a generic "Pastoral Care" note, then create a password protected Note Type (Members > Settings > Note Types) for that particular pastor.  

Provide an ongoing 1st year of marriage training / support system.  To do something more advanced like this, follow the steps we typically recomend for any workflow.
  1. Map out the training.  This means identifying the resources you want to give them.  It could be content like a series of videos that are already done, or something you want to create like a series of emails or landing pages (step 2).  Then decide the time frame between each item.  For example:
    • Put them in workflow.
    • Wait 4 weeks.
    • Send a personalized email with a prayer for them.
    • Wait 4 weeks.
    • Send a text with the link to the 1st of 3 newly married Youtube or Podcast devotionals.
    • Wait 1 week.
    • Send 2nd text to devotional 2.
    • Wait 1 week.
    • Send 3rd text to devotional 3.
    • Wait 16 weeks (6 months since wedding)
    • Create note for pastor to call or text.
    • Wait 26 weeks (1 year since wedding)
    • Create note for pastor to call or text.

  2. Create the resources.  Go back through step 1 and create the Email, Text, and Landing Page assets you outlined.  Save these as Templates.  Now, you have all the pieces of the puzzle.

  3. Build the workflow.  Finally, go to Communicate > Workflows > Create Workflow.  Start by giving it a name.  I like outlining the purpose and goal in the description.  On the Steps page add in the time frames and asset elements. 

  4. Activate the workflow.  The workflow is in draft mode until you actually activate it on the workflow list page. 

  5. Enroll the couple.  Scroll down to the Recent Workflows section on the member profile pages for both the Bride and the Groom, and enroll them in your wedding follow-up workflow.

Some of my favorite memories as a pastor were times spent in pre-marital counseling with young couples. It was a great time to clarify their understanding of the gospel.  I loved helping them discover from the Bible that God's plan for marriage starts by submitting to Him. 

I did a lot to help them learn to walk with God and each other before marriage, but I wish I would have done a better job of discipling them that first year.  We would love to help you do that!


Tags: Communication

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