From The Associate Pastor’s Desk: The Gospel and Weddings

close up of wedding rings on floor

Photo by Megapixelstock on

This may come as a surprise to some, but on Saturday I will be officiating my third wedding! The reason many do not know about these weddings is because all three of them have been for unsaved, military couples that live well outside of Washington, Iowa. It has been a surprising ministry opportunity to say the least. I never would have thought that I would be able to minister to fellow soldiers in this way. The reason I have chosen to officiate for my comrades is because weddings are a great way to plant seeds of the Gospel!

However, there has been one challenging aspect in sharing the Gospel during these weddings. Because the couples live so far away, it is very difficult to find multiple opportunities to share the Gospel with them

Despite this challenge, I still do my best to share God’s Word with them. Typically, I meet with them at least three times throughout the whole wedding process. During those times, I certainly do a lot of other things as well, such as get to know the spouse, help plan the ceremony, do some marriage counseling, conduct the rehearsal, interact with strange people in the wedding party, and then do the wedding itself. Nonetheless, using the event as a platform to share the Gospel is always my goal throughout the process!

This is normally how it is done:

During the first meeting, we all three get to know each other and plan the wedding ceremony. I don’t necessarily whip open my Bible the first chance I get in this meeting; but I do give them a glimpse of the Gospel by caring for them, getting to know them, sharing my testimony with them, and serving them throughout the whole planning process.

My second meeting gets a little more serious, and I always warn them of this in meeting number one. During this time, I try to fit probably 3-4 weeks of counseling into an hour or two… This can be a real challenge, but it has always been beneficial and a lot of fun! I first make clear that I want them to have great wedding; but more than that I want them to great marriage. My goal is to always hit home three biblical truths that can really lay a good foundation for any marriage whether you are saved or not!

  • “Love is a choice and not feeling” – This is hugely important to understand and is also easily misunderstood in today’s society. This is also a great place to insert the Gospel with John 3:16. God was not “in love” with mankind, therefore He sent Jesus; instead He chose to love mankind, therefore He sent Jesus.
  • “Marriage is a commitment to love and not a commitment because of love” – It is a commitment before God be unified to and to love only that other person for the rest of your life.
  • “Marriage is picture of Jesus and the Church and not just a piece of paper” – This is another great place to insert the Gospel by explaining the picture of husbands loving their wives and wives following their husbands as is laid out in Ephesians 5.


The last time I see the couple is at the rehearsal and on the wedding day itself. This is yet another opportunity to love on them, be a good testimony, and share the Gospel one last time with both them and everyone watching the ceremony. God has called His people to make disciples and to be proclaimers of the Gospel in everything we do–this is just one very practical and enjoyable way God has given me to share! Do people come sprinting down the aisle at the end of weddings to get saved? No, but the opening of God’s Word and picture of marriage does plant seeds, and it also opens the door for more conversation later.

Two weeks after this wedding, I have opportunity to officiate my first wedding with a saved couple. It has been and will be a whole new joyful experience; but I will have to share that with you another time!

An Interview With My Daughter…


Today is Take Your Daughter To Work Day! Yes, today I had the privilege of hanging out with my daughter, Ann-Marie (Age 6), while Heather took the two younger children to her MOPS Meeting (Mothers of Preschoolers). Time spent with my kids is always a precious time…even if it’s in the “boring office” (my daughter’s words, not mine). So, to liven things up for my daughter (and me), I decided to interview my daughter on her concepts of life, school, friendships, the church, and the Lord. Here’s what she had to say…

Me – “So, tell us a little bit about yourself.”

Ann-Marie – “Well, I like Caesar salads, and playing outside with my brother, and reading books during school.”

Me – “Ok. What would you say is the most important thing to remember in life?”

Ann-Marie – “That God is in control…”

Me – “Good answer! Next, tell us what you enjoy most about being homeschooled.”

Ann-Marie – “Well, Mom is the best teacher and it’s really fun being homeschooled.”

Me – “Alright. Tell us about your friends. How many friends do you have? And what’s the most important part about being a friend?”

Ann-Marie – “Well, I have three friends from camp and two from church; and the most important part of being a friend is that we should remember to help our friends when they’re hurt…or when they’ve lost their dog…”

Me – “Very good. Next, tell us what you like most about being a part of Prairie Flower Baptist Church.”

Ann-Marie – “Well, we have good teachers here that teach us the true Gospel.”

Me – “Ok. What else comes to your mind when you think about this church?”

Ann-Marie – “Well, when I think about this church, I think about a lot of things. But this is a good church and I really think that there’s good pastors and good teachers and good friends here…”

Me – “I like your answer. Final question…tell us about your relationship with the Lord. You just got saved last month, tell us about that.”

Ann-Marie – “Well, I got saved last month and my parents helped me and it was a very good moment because I really got to know the Lord. I’m glad I got saved because I knew something was wrong and I needed to really know the Lord…and my relationship with the Lord is good…it’s serious. I like to pray to Him and read the Bible…which you can always do, even if you’re busy…”

Some great answers, huh? I really enjoyed conducting this little interview with my daughter and I trust that some of her responses blessed and encouraged your heart. Have a good one!

Down Memory Lane…

memory lane.jpg

In today’s short blog post, I would like to take a trip with you down memory lane. As we do this, I would like to highlight some of the best pieces of advice I ever got from key people and organizations in my life. I trust that this little adventure will be encouraging and motivating to you…

  1. From My Dad –God is always good. There are no accidents. Pain has a purpose.” He termed this little slogan, the G.A.P. Truths. I pray I never forget these truths…
  2. From the Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Program – “Good followers make good leaders; and good leaders were, and still are (to some degree), good followers.” This Cadet Program (similar to the Boy Scouts) was something I participated in during my High School years. This little program was instrumental in stirring my desires to join the military after High School.
  3. From Winn-Dixie (My First Real Job) – “Pick it up, don’t pass it up…Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” My first employer installed within me a hard work ethic that was focused on excellence, no matter the task at hand.
  4. From the Pensacola Police Department’s Cadet Program (My Second Real Job) – “We’re not looking for heroes. We simply need people to come in, do their job, and go home.” Though never a police officer, I was hit with the reality that police officers are heroes that faithfully serve, day in and day out. There are moments of excitement for sure, but consistent faithfulness and long-term service are of more value than short-term fervency and intensity.
  5. From the U.S. Army – “Slow is smooth; and smooth is fast.” These words were uttered to me while on the Rifle Range during my Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Indeed, this little slogan has proved to be true in both my shooting and leadership decision-making.
  6. From Faith Baptist Bible College – “A good pastor will always be deacon dependent.” I remember these words having an impact on me during class; and I can testify to the truthfulness of these words now that I’m in full-time ministry. Indeed, true teamwork and mutual reliance upon one another is important for effective leadership in the local church.
  7. From Prairie Flower Baptist Church – “God’s will is often found at the intersection of obedience and opportunity.” These words, uttered from a very wise deacon, have really stuck with me. Indeed, so many people struggle with knowing God’s will, but the key is to remain faithful with the current tasks God has given you (obedience) and as new opportunities present themselves, you evaluate and make decisions with prayer.

Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me. Hey, do you have your own quotes that have really stuck with you? If so, comment below. I would love to hear from you!