Tag Archives: Sacred Marriage

10 Quick Tips: How to Officiate a Wedding

This past weekend, I had the privilege of officiating/performing/conducting (what is the right word here?) my sister-in-law’s wedding.  The wedding was absolutely beautiful (and not just because it was on a golf course), but had a unique, rustic look.  But you’re not reading this for decoration tips, so I’ll get right to your wedding ceremony advice…wedding

  1. Pre-Marital Pre-vention.  Pre-marital counseling is a must for many reasons, but concerning the ceremony it does these 3 things: builds trust, allows you and the couple to become more familiar, & gives time to discuss the ceremony at your own pace.
  2. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel. When preparing your wedding template, save yourself some time and email every pastor you know that has done a wedding. Get their templates as a wedding ceremony smorgasbord, without the soft serve ice cream. Mmmmmm, soft serve…sprinkles…what was I talking about again?
  3. Research & Read. Start reading marriage books. Seriously, whether it is “Sacred Marriage”, “Real Marriage”, or “The Meaning of Marriage”…start reading and getting concepts and ideas you would like to have in the ceremony.
  4. In the multitude of counselors, there is safety. GET ADVICE! Make it simple.  What is one thing you wished you knew about doing weddings? What do I make sure to do, and what do I make sure I don’t do?
  5. Prayer. Make prayer an important part of the wedding day. Pray with the groomsmen, pray during the ceremony, and pray throughout that God would be glorified!
  6. Practice Makes Perfect. More on this next week, but the rehearsal is more than just a formality, it will eliminate a great deal of problems. Rehearsal practice is more important than you think.
  7. Don’t be Funny. OK, there may be some weddings that are less rigid and a laugh or two can happen. But whenever you’re tempted to say something funny, don’t! Stick to the script. When writing the script, if you think a joke would be good there, YOU ARE WRONG!
  8. Remember, no one will remember you (and that’s OK!). In talking to other pastors, this was a very common sentiment. What you say is important, but no one is there to listen to you and they won’t remember what you said. But that’s OK, it’s all about the celebration of two lives God has brought together, and the representation it is of Christ and His Bride! Let them remember Jesus.
  9. 3 Ring Binders are Your Friend (Especially Outdoors). I’ll make this quick. 3-ring, 5×8 binder, clear binder pockets, cut script paper into sleeves, place card stock paper in sleeves for easy turning of pages. This set up eliminates problems such as: rain, wind, and flipping of pages.
  10. Short & Sweet. The nice thing about doing weddings is everyone expects the pastor to read from a script. So do that, but time it and make sure it is not too long. Better to be a little short than a little long. Make sure to include the meaning of marriage, the Gospel, challenge to the couple…and then head straight to vows-town.

 

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Review Time – Movies, Books, & Curriculum

Grab some popcorn, your milk duds, and a large coke (unless you live in New York City, then it would have to be a large water and add sugar later)…because it’s time for some reviews!

Let’s begin with book reviews, because if I started with movie reviews, you may stop reading this article:

Move – by Hawkins & Parkinson

An interesting concept – take a survey of churches across the country varying in size, denomination, and landscape…and see who is successful in developing Christ-followers and what is done to develop those Christ-followers.

The Good:  As I said in the summary of the book, it certainly is an interesting concept.  Church leaders should read this book to gain a better understanding of what works in developing Christ-followers.  The people at Willow Creek were humble enough to admit there were some parts of their model that failed or fell short.

The Bad:  Did not need to be as long as it was.  Could have been reduced, partly because the charts that were given told you the story and the verbiage explaining it seemed repetitive at times.

Recommendation:  Worth a look.  The research is valuable to any church.

Sacred Marriage

Could it be that personal holiness is a higher priority than happiness in marriage?  How can drawing closer to the Creator make me draw closer to my spouse?  This book has the answers.

The Good:  Let me put it this way, I can already see a difference in the way I treat my wife as a result of the principles in this book.  It is a great teaching tool to understand communication, how to treat your spouse, and most importantly, how your relationship with God will affect all the above.

The Bad:  That I didn’t read this sooner in my marriage.

Recommendation:  But it.  Read it.  Allow your marriage to enjoy the benefits.

Radical

What if the “American Dream” is ruining the “American Church”?  It is time for a radical faith that Jesus calls for in the gospels.

The Good:  What a challenge.  It takes you from feeling comfortable to feeling convicting.  This book provides some powerful illustrations and challenges that take you to task.

The bad:  Some of it seems a little out of reach, and could cause some confusion.  I hate to say anything bad about Dr. Platt and this wonderful book, but I could see some younger in the faith seeing poverty as righteousness, and you need to be careful in making that comparison.

Recommendation:  If you want to be challenged, then read it and let it change your heart.  If you don’t want to be challenged, keep reading Calvin & Hobbes.

 

Movie Reviews

Courageous

Sorry, I am a little late to the party here.  We just recently showed this movie at our church, and man was this a powerful movie.  I know I was the first to pick up my kids from the children’s ministry after this movie!  What a challenge to parents and grandparents.

The Good:  It got to the heart of the issue in our families, the need for the fathers to step up.  It was challenging, convicting, and heart-warming.

The Bad:  It doesn’t have a Hollywood budget, so I should cut it some slack, but the acting at times was a little robotic.  Getting better though!

Recommendation:  A must see for Fathers.  Christian films are getting better and this should help erase some of the stigma that has been created from some previous films.

The Avengers

All of the latest comic book heroes in one place, and in the same summer as the Spiderman and Batman movies…I might as well start riding my bike down the block, get my Super Nintendo out, and start wearing tube socks again…because I feel like a kid again.

The Good:  The action was non-stop, and the storyline was very well done.  Loved the humor that was built into many of the scenes.

The Bad:  Could always clean up the language, but overall was pretty clean.

Recommendation:  If the box office ratings tell you anything…

 

Curriculum

re:View -by Cedarville University

Students need to understand how to engage culture, while maintaining truth.  How do you accomplish this balance and what is culture teaching?  Some good questions and answers for this series to tackle.

The Good:  The clips are well-done and Dr. Brown’s teaching segments are dynamic and informative.  If you want your students to influence culture, instead of allowing culture to influence them…then this is for you.  This gives you a great tool to allow for some incredible discussions and helps prepare students for life outside the church.

The Bad:  You need creativity or it could become a routine.  With an DVD curriculum, you need to change up the routine so the students stay interested.  For example, don’t show both clips everytime or at the same time.

Recommendation:  This is a tool I have been looking for…something that allows students to engage their culture and promote quality discussions with their friends that lead to the gospel.  Walking out of this series, the students will be more prepared for the real world and their culture.

 

Hope this helps guys.  As always, love to hear your feedback from what you are reading/watching/using.

 

 

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