The Birth of the Messianic Marriage Matters Conference
Since its inception, Word of Messiah has been committed to “train Messianic Leaders to plant and develop congregations in Jewish communities.” Sam Nadler had been working directly with leaders for years, but in 2009, Word of Messiah began offering Developing Healthy Messianic Congregations in a seminar format.
While the host group always had its members in attendance, other leaders—from their region and sometimes beyond—made their way to join these meetings to benefit from the information. Meeting with congregation leaders in this way gave Sam a greater ability to have his finger on the pulse of the challenges they face.
What Do We Expect to Accomplish Through the Marriage Conferences?
As Sam interacted with congregation leaders, he observed the need to address congregational health on a more fundamental level. He notes, “The key to a strong congregation is not just a strong pulpit. It has to do with families. The local Body of Messiah is made up of families.
A congregation can be no stronger or healthier than the families that make it up. So, the bottom line is this: If you want to have a strong and healthy congregation, you need to have strong, spiritual families.” This is the goal of every marriage conference we hold: establishing biblically solid families from the roots up!
A secondary benefit has surfaced when couples live out their biblical roles and experience “shalom in the home.” Young families who visit Messianic assemblies want to see strong families.
They are attracted to be part of a congregation with healthy families where they can be mentored and encouraged!
One young couple chose to relocate to another state so they could attend a healthy Messianic congregation that emphasized the importance of enabling Jewish children to understand and maintain their Jewish heritage.
Having a spiritual emphasis is common with this group
These parents of four children love that, “Every Shabbat, the leaders pray for the children and remind parents that the children’s ministry only reinforces what is taught at home.
The congregation prays for and encourages dads and moms, but the primary teaching must happen in the home.” Parents who understand their biblical roles are encouraged to “raise their children in the reverence and admonition of the Lord.”
This young mom went on to say, “We went to a birthday party for a 10-year-old in our congregation. At the park, the children sat around the picnic table, and each prayed for the birthday boy, and then they prayed about the situation in Ukraine and other things.
Someone brought a guitar, and we all sang praises to the Lord. I’ve never experienced this at a birthday party! But having a spiritual emphasis is common with this group. It’s wonderful!” This kind of mentoring by example develops as couples and families learn about and carry out their call to ministry.
From One-On-One to a “Renewable Resource”
The marriage conference was born out of the need to strengthen the basic family unit. For years, Sam provided one-on-one biblical marriage counseling—both to couples in the congregations he planted and some of the congregational leaders he was mentoring. It was just Sam pouring God’s Word into these precious people’s hearts and homes.
Finally, in 2019, the book, “Messianic Marriage Matters: Restored to Our Original Design“, was published. Word of Messiah Ministries began offering the Messianic Marriage Matters conferences in 2020. Then, it was Sam providing guidance to many.
We have learned that some couples still use their books…
Attendees received handouts, but there was SO MUCH information to absorb; it was “like force-feeding a canary with a firehose.” It is impossible to retain all of the biblical references and principles that Sam packs into a two-day seminar.
Conference attendees refer to the book during the event, but they also have this invaluable resource to use as a reference in the weeks and years ahead. (Each chapter in this 300+ page book has carefully chosen discussion questions for couples to mull over together.
We have learned that some couples still use their books by picking one topic to address on their “date night” to continue growing together.)
Who is Invited?
In our social media posts promoting the Marriage Conference, we appeal to ALL marriages—newlyweds, oldie-weds, happy, struggling, and anywhere in-between. We also invite singles who may not even be in a relationship but want to prepare themselves to become “Mr. or Mrs. Right” for their future spouse, should God lead them into marriage.
We welcome anyone, congregation leaders included, who wants to give biblical counsel on marriage to others. (And, interestingly, even a single person could give biblical counsel to someone with marriage questions. The authority isn’t with one’s personal experience. The basis of authority is God’s Word and His design for marriage!)
Every marriage can use a tune-up now and then
These conferences were always in-person, hosted by local congregations. And then came COVID. Not to be deterred, we began offering these conferences online in 2020 and have found widespread interest and appreciation for the online venue.
Logistics are minimal, and the overall cost to attendees is significantly reduced with no need for travel, housing, or meals. Additionally, something is appealing about attending “from the comfort and privacy of your own living room.”
Just as our cars need routine maintenance to keep them running smoothly, every marriage can use a tune-up now and then. Please join us in prayer that God would prompt Messianic leaders to encourage couples in their congregations to attend. Our goal is to help develop HEALTHY CONGREGATIONS filled with STRONG FAMILIES!
We invite YOU to follow us on social media.
Please use our posts as prayer prompters for these events. Also, YOU would be welcomed to JOIN US at our next marriage conference on May 21-22! You can register at http://ow.ly/ey1v50HvCnL.