Just Married Groups
Just Married Groups are designed to help couples set a firm foundation at the outset of marriage. The schedule below assumes you will be together for 9 months, meeting every other week. Over the course of sixteen group sessions, you’ll explore a number of marriage-related topics together—topics like faith, expectations, and finances.
A small group should be a community that supports the spiritual growth of every one of its members. But that's not automatic. To succeed, the leader and group members have to decide to build that kind of community together.
This 4-week study will give you practical approaches to building healthy relationships and pursuing spiritual growth so you can make the most of your new group.
Leader Goals: Cast vision, encourage connection, communicate purpose and goal of group
Group Task: Complete the Group Agreement
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. We are not born empathetic. We cultivate empathy by interacting with people through the ups and downs of life. As we laugh and cry with our friends and family, we begin to empathize with them. We can also build empathy through stories, as we engage with the thoughts, feelings, and perspectives of those you listen to or read about.
Leader Goals: Facilitate conversation about healthy communication. The first couple (one you think is ready and will do well) tells their story.
Group Task: About one couple will share their story each week until everyone has gone.
State of Your Marriage
Regularly talking about what’s going on between you and your spouse is one of the best things you can do for your marriage. Most married people operate under the assumption that no news is good news. They think that if their spouse were struggling in some area of the marriage, they’d know about it. But that’s not necessarily the case. What you’re experiencing in your marriage right now may differ significantly from what your spouse is experiencing. If that’s the case, you need to know about it.
Leader Goals: Begin talking about marriage, again being real and authentic.
Group Tasks: One couple tells their story each week until everyone has told their story.
Meetings 7 & 8
The Gospel of Luke
Luke describes how Jesus launches his ministry of good news for the poor and how he brought together people from very diverse backgrounds to live together in peace. Luke also documents Jesus's long trip to Jerusalem, mentioning increasing conflict with Israel’s religious leaders along the way. Toward the end of this book, we read that Jesus explains to his disciples that God's plan was always for a suffering Christ to conquer evil through his death and resurrection.
Leader Goals: Engage the group’s spiritual walk, introduce or deepen their time in the Bible and relationship with God.
Group Tasks #1: One couple tells their story each week until everyone has told their story.
Group Task #2: Encourage the group members to purchase (and even begin reading) The Meaning of Marriage (which you’ll discuss beginning on meeting 8)
Tip: On the off-weeks you can encourage couples to meet 1:1 for double dates. These off-weeks are also good opportunities as leaders to meet with couples 1:1.
It’s often said that growing in faith involves becoming a lifelong student of God. That’s true. But you also need to become a lifelong student of yourself. If God designed you uniquely, then the more you understand your own strengths and weaknesses, the better you can connect with your heavenly Father and use your gifts to glorify him.
Leader Goals: Help each couple move towards greater self-awareness, especially in regards to expectations and communication.
Group Task #1: One couple tells their story each week until everyone has told their story.
Group Task #2: Purchase The Meaning of Marriage.
Tip: The other assessments at this site are good additional one-week studies.
The Meaning of Marriage
Using the Bible as his guide, coupled with insightful commentary from his wife of thirty-six years, Kathy, Timothy Keller shows that God created marriage to bring us closer to him and to bring us more joy in our lives. It is a glorious relationship that is also the most misunderstood and mysterious. With a clear-eyed understanding of the Bible, and meaningful instruction on how to have a successful marriage, The Meaning of Marriage is essential reading for anyone who wants to know God and love more deeply in this life.
Leader Goals: A deep dive into the theology, purpose, and practice of marriage. We recommend studying weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8. Discussion guides for each of these chapters are located at the link above.
Group Task #1: Be open, honest, and reflective as you learn more about marriage.
Tip: If group members are having a hard time getting through the book, encourage them by sending your favorite pages or passages to read. The author also has a sermon series based on this topic that you can purchase at: https://gospelinlife.com/downloads/marriage/
If your goal is to find happiness, no amount of money will ever be enough. But this one principle can change the way you view money and help you find peace.
Leader Goals: Help your couples begin talking about and making a plan for their finances.
Group Task: Complete the Growth Plan at https://tinyurl.com/JustMarriedGrowth for the discussion during the next session.
Tip: Finances can feel very personal and complex. If your group members feel overwhelmed, you may consider a longer study on finances together if your group continues.
Spiritual Growth Plan
How will you continue growing afer this group ends? This growth plan helps you identify goals and next steps for personal growth.
Leader Goals: Help your group identify how they will continue growing after this group ends.
Group Task: Share openly about your goals with one another. Ask how you can help.
Leader Goals: End well! Celebrate what has happened together. Invite your group members to name their next step.
Group Task: On your last night together as a Just Married group, spend some time celebrating together. Have each person share one memory from the group or how God has grown him/her through the experience. Have each couple share their next steps for continued involvement in a group.
Tip: For more information on this topic, check out the Celebrate Change leader training.