marriage
preparation
ministry.

The Marriage Preparation Ministry is committed to building Christ-centered marriages that will stand the test of time. 

Basic standards for New Hope weddings.

REGULAR ATTENDEES OF NEW HOPE
We are committed to serving those who are members or regular attendees of New Hope for at least four months.
A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD
A Christian is one who has come to know Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior, and is committed to living in accordance with Scriptural principles (i.e. maintaining sexual purity, living in a separate residence from your future spouse, seeking a partner of the opposite sex with the same spiritual commitment).
A DATING RELATIONSHIP FOR A MINIMUM OF ONE YEAR PRIOR TO MARRIAGE
There is no shortcut to building intimacy, trust and communication. We believe that a one year dating relationship is the minimum in light of the permanent nature of a marriage relationship.
BEFORE SETTING YOUR WEDDING DATE
A minimum of 4 months is needed to complete the marriage preparation process. This should allow enough time to complete the material, interview, and participate in the required premarital coaching sessions. The marriage preparation process should begin as the couple seriously considers marriage. More than 4 months may be needed to work through and process issues that may arise during the marriage preparation process.
PARTICIPATE IN THE PRE-MARITAL PREPARATION PROCESS AND MENTORING
This process is designed to help a couple evaluate and strengthen their relationship using sound Biblical and psychological truths. Biblical roles, communication, intimacy, sexuality, financial principles, and other topics are addressed in an understandable and practical style.
Note: Due to the individual nature of interpersonal relationships and levels of maturity, there may be some exceptions to these guidelines if approved by the officiating minister in conjunction with the Senior Pastoral Team (as approved by the Lead Pastor and Elders).

The Engagement Covenant.

We believe that marriage is holy and sacred gift from God and is meant to be an incredible blessing! We are convinced that this blessing can only be fully experienced within the boundaries of marriage outlined in Scripture. In this regard, Pastors reserve the right to decline officiating a wedding if couples do not agree with the Biblical “engagement covenant” which includes the following:

  1. A covenant of Belief: Believing that God has intended Christians to marry only Christians, we require that both bride and groom individually come to an understanding and acceptance of Christ’s sacrificial death, and that commitment to our Lord and Savior be made evident. 1 Corinthians 6:14-16, Romans 10:9-10
  2. A covenant of Purity: Believing that the sexual relationship has been designed and intended for marriage, we ask that you agree to abstain from any sexual relationship until after the wedding. Furthermore, believing that living arrangements that include cohabitation prior to the wedding is a compromise of your Christian witness, we ask that you agree to separate living arrangements until the wedding. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
  3. A covenant of Faithfulness: Believing that the Church is God’s Greenhouse to grow strong marriages, we ask that you find a place of involvement in His Church, the Body of Christ, and pursue a lifestyle of faithfulness to your church family. Hebrews 10:19-25

The marriage preparation process.

This ministry is designed to serve those who wish to be married by one of New Hope’s pastors and who have been regular attendees for at least four months.

Step 1 – Call or stop in the office to obtain a set of personal profiles (Wedding Profile Application)
Step 2 – Fill out and return the profiles to the New Hope office as soon as possible. These profiles are not intended to be a test that you pass or fail, rather they are intended to provide initial information to the marriage preparation ministry as to how best to help you prepare.
Step 3 – If either person is divorced, they either must have attended Redeemed or have completed the Divorce Care & Recovery Workbook. We believe it is essential that both members of the marriage relationship understand the Biblical truths and principles involved in divorce recovery and remarriage.
Step 4 – Initial meeting with the Assigned Pastor or Mentor Couple and Covenant marriage preparation agreement. After we have received the profiles, we will contact you as soon as possible to make an appointment with one of our Pastors or Mentor couples. The purpose of this step is to walk through the Biblical principals of marriage and the expectations of the marriage preparation process from this point forward.
Step 5 – Complete the Prepare/Enrich pre-marriage assessment. You will be emailed a link to this assessment along with instructions. The cost for this is approximately $35. Prepare/Enrich is the leading relationship inventory and skill building program used nationally and internationally. It is built on a solid research foundation and significantly improves couple’s relationship and provides couple exercises to build their relationship skills.
Step 6 – Participate in the Marriage Preparation Process.  After we have received the Prepare/Enrich relationship inventory, we will contact you to make an appointment to begin the marriage preparation process with a combination of your assigned pastor and/or New Hope mentor couple. The marriage preparation process is to provide you with honest and supportive feedback about your relationship. The pastors and mentors provide teaching, interactive discussion, and exercises to help you build a strong foundation upon which to build your upcoming marriage.
We are often asked at our first meeting, “When can we get our wedding date and plan the wedding?” We want you to know, in advance, that we want you to have a great wedding…but we are even MORE interested in helping you have a great marriage! Because of this, we generally require two or three meetings before we finalize the wedding date with you. This amount of times is usually required to adequately explore key areas of marital readiness (areas like spiritual compatibility, family backgrounds, sexual purity, communication skills, financial stewardship, etc.) We have no desire to delay your wedding date. Rather, we desire, as stated earlier, to help you prepare for the best marriage possible!
During this preparation process, we will be guiding you to appropriate next step. That step could be:
  1. Schedule your wedding date! 2. Address some areas that will strengthen your upcoming marriage. 3. Guide/refer you to a professional counselor for additional support and wisdom. 4. Connect you with a trained mentor couple from New Hope to provide counsel, help and encouragement both before and well after the wedding.
Step 7 – Meet with the officiation pastor and wedding coordinator, to plan the ceremony. Scheduling the wedding ceremony must be made a minimum of 4 months in advance of the intended date. This period allows sufficient time for counseling and permits advance facility and pastor scheduling for other church ministries. Tentative scheduling will be made upon the receipt of the pre-marital questionnaire forms. The prospective Bride will receive a confirmation stating rehearsal and ceremony date time within a reasonable time after receipt of the complete form.
Note: The pastoral staff performs weddings and marriage preparation as a sacred Biblical trust. As such, they reserve the right to postpone or deny any ceremony. Postponement or denial by one member of the pastoral staff will preclude requests to the other members of the New Hope pastoral team.