Here at Northminster we believe that God was at his best when he invented marriage! The Bible tells us that God IS love, and that all love comes from God. The Bible tells us that God wants us to be happy. He sent Jesus so that we can experience life to its fullest! And just to make the point, Jesus' first miracle was performed at a wedding. He turned water into wine so that the celebration would continue unabated!
The Northminster Church family believes in preparing couples for more than just the wedding day. As beautiful and wonderful and important as the wedding ceremony is, we believe that marriage is a lifelong commitment. It is not a commitment to be entered into lightly. We believe that good preparation prior to marriage gives couples a head start in building a marriage that will last. To facilitate this, our Marriage Ministry uses the well-known FOCCUS inventories to identify areas of strength and target areas of growth areas in the relationship of a couple preparing to embark on the exciting journey of marriage.
What is FOCCUS?
FOCCUS stands for "Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study."
- An INVENTORY of 156 basic questions on marriage and 33 additional specialized questions on interfaith marriage, remarriage and cohabitation.
- The source of a PROFILE of unique issues, challenges, strengths, realities.
- A means by which a couple can OWN and SHAPE their marriage preparation process.
- An OUTLINE for FACILITATING appropriate and on-target discussion and educational support for couples.
The inventory helps both the engaged couple and the mentor couple or pastor determine their particular understanding of marriage. It allows them to work together toward a common concept of marriage and the expectations with which each partner enters into the process.
FOCCUS is NOT a test or a labeling or predictive device. Instead it is A DISCUSSION INSTRUMENT intended to maximize the total marriage preparation by tailoring it to the individual couple and by providing comprehensive content and process that best serves both the couple preparing for marriage and those working with them.
The inventory is not used to determine whether or not a couple should get married. Instead, it is intended to provide each couple with an assessment of their own unique strengths, beliefs, and attitudes in a safe and nurturing environment. It is meant to facilitate meaningful discussion that is directed toward the growth and strengthening of the marriage relationship.
To date over twelve thousand churches and other user organizations are using FOCCUS inventories. We find it a great discussion starter between the couple and pastor or mentor couples, facilitating a very productive exchange of insight into what makes a relationship thrive.
How do you get started?
Call the church at 309-691-6322 or e-mail us.
Arrangements can be made for both members and non-members. We can also make arrangements for those not planning to be married at Northminster, but wishing to benefit from our Marriage Ministry preparation program, or for those planning an off-site weddings. Call for more information.
Marriage is the most complex of all human relationships. It is affected by expectations, personality, family of origin, finances, in-laws, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, sexual needs and expectations, health issues, children, parenting expectations and skills, friends, role expectations and relationships, past relationship experiences, cultural conditioning and spiritual beliefs. Yet, as is often said, it is easier to get a marriage license than a drivers license. Here at Northminster we do our best to help couples get off to a great start!