Book now to host this event!
Your church or ministry organization can host the God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars couples’ event based on the book by Julia M. Bruce. The GLMW event is a fun and interactive event that will challenge the married couples in your church to intentionally cultivate their marriage as they invest daily through the activities and guided discussions about God’s design for marriage.
You will not want to miss hosting this event.
Event will be led by the author.
Building a Godly, healthy, strong marriage takes work. Yet many marriages — even Christian marriages — leave God outside of the relationship. Godly marriages do not happen without intentionally cultivating it, investing in it, and learning to put God first in your individual lives and in your marriage. We believe that one of the main missing ingredients in most marriage retreats and seminars is they are not teaching the importance of making God the first priority in marriage and individual lives and without God, marriages are more likely to fail. But when the marriage is forged with Godly and Biblical principles that are applied to both the marriage and the individuals, marriages are not only stronger, but so is the whole family. This, in turn, leads to healthier societies.
When couples attend other marriage retreats and conferences, they often get valuable information but when they return home, they rarely apply what they learn. However, when they combine the GLMW Event with the GLMW book, they get a year’s worth of intentional marriage-building instruction through guided Bible study and activities. They can also join the GLMW Facebook community where they can interact with other couples who are working through the book and join the daily discussions to further strengthen their marriage.
This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture and digging into God’s Word together will help them develop marriages that honor God as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning.
Each couple will receive a copy of the God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars book signed by the author. For more information on hosting this event, complete the online form below..
We prefer a minimum of 25 couples so that the interactive activities are more fun and so couples can encourage, challenge, and learn from one another. Smaller churches can get with other area churches and co-host the event, so please don’t let our minimum preference prevent you from holding this event. We want to strengthen as many marriages as we can. If you are unable to collect 25 couples, contact us anyway and if we are going to be at a location near you, we will still come and lead this event or provide you with the information of the larger event near you that your church will be able to join.
To check available dates, request more information, or book now, please complete the online form below:
Your church’s or ministry’s investment:
- This event is best held as a Friday evening and all day Saturday event, but can be tailored for a smaller event and shorter time.
- We recommend that the host site provide 4 meals and 2 snacks, which includes beginning the event with dinner on Friday night and then breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday with a morning and afternoon snack on Saturday. Based on the financial situation of your church, you can build this expense into the price you charge per couple or provide it out of your church/ministry budget. Find ways to keep costs down, such as simple meals like spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread and see if local grocery stores will donate items such as one of the snacks or meat for one meal. You can then insert a “thank you” into your event program.
- Provide bottled water, tea, sodas to be available throughout the event.
- Travel expense for the event speaker to include hotel, meals not part of the conference, and either airfare and rental car or $0.50 per mile for driving as calculated by google maps (whichever is the lesser expense). Event leader will submit receipts for expenses.
- Conference fee payable to the event speaker: $900 per 25 couples (includes an autographed copy of the GLMW book per couple at the author’s discounted price), which equals $36 per couple. A non-refundable $250 booking fee is due at time of booking and will be subtracted from the total fee. Half of the remaining fee is due six weeks prior to the event. Balance will be due the day of the event. Should the event be cancelled by the church or ministry organization, fees are refundable (expect for the booking fee) up to two weeks prior to the event. It is preferred to reschedule the event instead of cancelling. Should the event leader cancel, all fees (including booking fee) will be refunded if a date to reschedule is not available.
- The church/ministry site will be responsible for determining the cost per couple, collecting fees, and obtaining RSVPs. To determine a cost per couple, estimate your total expenses and divide it by the estimated number of couples you expect to attend. Utilize volunteers as much as possible to keep the cost down. We also encourage you to seek out members willing to sponsor/scholarship another couple so that couples on a tight budget are able to attend. After setting your fee, set a low cost (approximately $25 per couple) as a sign-up fee. Half of the remaining amount due should be paid to you by eight weeks prior to the event. The remaining amount should be paid to you by two weeks prior to the event. If you wish, you can set additional payment dates along the way, to break up the expense and make it easier for couples to afford.
- The event leader will need access to the event site early Friday morning for set up and would appreciate volunteers on site to help.
- The GLMW team would need space to set up a place to sell products.
- Get buy-in from your pastoral and ministry staff. Your members will see the importance of attending if the pastoral/ministry staff attends.
- Consider setting up an on-line registration through your church’s website with payment by credit or debit card. You could also choose to set a discount if they pay in full.
- Consider setting up a mobile app for your event. The app could include a speaker bio, information about the praise and worship team, the event schedule, resources, social media, registration and payment, business and individual sponsors, a place to donate for event scholarships, and an appreciation for all your volunteers.
Optional Ideas For an Enhanced Experience:
- End the event with a group marriage vow renewal service led by your pastor. (If your pastor also wishes to participate in the marriage vow renewal, ask a pastor from a neighboring church to lead this) You can choose to follow this with a wedding-style reception with wedding cake, punch, and light finger foods, if you wish. You could also make this part of your Sunday morning service with a pot-lunch following the service.
- Inform smaller churches in your area that you are hosting the event and invite them to join you.
- Invite a praise and worship team/band from another local church to lead your group on Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday evening. Consider offering them a free or discounted price to attend the event.
- Allow couples to invite family and friends to the vow renewal service and reception.
- Network with area restaurants and businesses to provide gift cards or passes that you can use to either provide each couple with at least one gift card or pass for a date night or create themed gift baskets with the cards/passes you receive that you can use as random give-aways throughout the event. You could also get donations from stores to make the gift baskets. Plan to acknowledge companies that donated items, gift cards, or passes at the event either on paper handouts or electronically via media projection. Be sure to send a thank you card to each company that donates.
Optional expenses or ways to utilize volunteers within your church/ministry organization:
- Workers to provide child care for children under 12.
- Plan a ministry project or fun event for teens at the same time as the event or use them as some of your volunteers for this event.
- Kitchen staff to prepare and serve meals
- Parking attendants (for larger events)
- Media staff to manage sound and media projection
- Purchase a GLMW welcome bag for each couple (includes a GLMW notebook and pen for taking notes, a GLMW Event t-shirt, and an informational page about the GLMW Facebook community page). You will need to collect shirt sizes with your registration. If you choose not to purchase the welcome bag, we are able to offer the t-shirts and notebooks for sale at the event. Price for welcome bag TBD.
- Purchase of printed official GLMW publicity package (prices TBD) or utilize our downloadable graphics (coming soon!) to create your own publicity.
- As soon as you book the event, begin promoting it on your church’s website. Speak with local radio stations about a free public service announcement. If your denomination has state and/or local offices, talk to them about putting it in their newsletters and websites if you want to invite the general public. Talk with area churches and see what other churches might want to participate. This will increase your attendance at the event as well as your pool of volunteer possibilities.
- If you would like to plan the event as a weekend “get-away,” the church/ministry organization would secure the venue and build the expense into the cost per couple. Hosting the event at your church/ministry site, will save couples money but can create more work for your staff/ministry teams.
- Purchase our complete GLMW event planning guide for step-by-step planning that includes time frames to keep your event on track and help you organize your teams through the planning process. (guide coming soon).
- You can decorate for this event anyway you wish – or not at all. You can go simple or extravagant. It’s all up to you and what your event budget will allow. You might consider a coffee shop theme which will correspond to the book cover.
- If you struggle with getting enough volunteers, offer them a discounted or free attendance at the event as your budget allows. At the very least, offer them free meals. We also suggest some small token of appreciation for every volunteer.
- Put out a call for vendors to set up booths with either free give-aways or to sell products at your event. You can charge vendors a booth fee that will increase your budget for the event and keep costs down for your attendees. All you need to do is provide a table for each vendor. Should they need access to an electrical outlet, place their table near an outlet and give them a higher vendor fee. Ideas for venders include your local Christian bookstore, members of your congregation that makes/sells crafts of any kind or those that sell products such as Plexus, Mary Kay, etc. Any restaurants or entertainment business (bowling, movies, adventure parks, etc.) in the area could also be invited. If you have a Christian adoption or foster care agency in your area, invite them as well.
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