This post has been used by permission and has been adapted from The Village Church blog about the Radical Marriage content by Mark Clark that he will be teaching at our marriage retreat in November.
This blog post was originally posted November 12, 2015.
For the last 6 months, Mike and Robin Nierychlo have been leading marriage groups for couples in their church, using the Village Church Radical Marriage sermon series. They moved to Vancouver Island about four years ago, where they live and work on their vineyard.
When they were preparing to start their own winery and praying about that decision, they really got the sense that their home and vineyard needed to be "a beacon on a hill, a place for people to come and recover or get to know the Lord more."
So, early this year, when they saw a need in their church for healing and strengthening of marriages, they felt God was asking them to provide an avenue for that to happen.
When the Nierychlo’s began thinking about starting a marriage group, Mike mentioned the idea to his brother-in-law from Langley. His brother-in-law had just finished working through the Radical Marriage series with his community group from another church and recommended it. So Mike and Robin looked into it.
“We thought, ‘Okay this is straight out of the Bible and Pastor Mark is easy to listen to, and says it like it is.”
Soon they showed it to their pastor and his wife. “We wanted to have their blessing to use it as part of one of the ministries of our church,” Mike says. “The pastor and his wife just loved it and they said, yes, do it!”
They started their first group last May. Each group includes four couples plus Mike and Robin. They do an eight-week session to work through the seven sermons and end with a potluck dinner. The first week always begins with a "date night" dinner for the couples to get to know each other and get to know Mike and Robin. “We love hosting,” Mike says. “Part of the reason we love the wine industry is that we love being hospitable. So we eat a good meal together and then we start with the first video.”
“God is working through people in the group and the videos. There have been tears, late nights, and healing. And we’re just sitting here with our eyes wide open, saying, ‘Okay, yep. Go for it God'.”
The marriage groups have strengthened both new and old marriages and have even acted as a stepping stone to restoration of marriage for some. These groups have also strengthened the sense of community within their church and led to new friendships, as couples begin to get to know each other better and support each other.
“It’s nothing that we’re doing. All we’ve done is said ‘Yes’, opened our front door, and pushed play. And God has been able to work through that,” says Mike.
They recently completed their third marriage group, and their fourth will begin in January.