Supporting the Support Systems
There are two main face-to-face resources available to marriages in need of some champions: pastoral counseling and licensed mental health counseling (sometimes called marriage and family therapy). We want and need to begin by saying that we love and respect both of these resources, as well as the brave, sacrificial, generous people who embody them. Some names jump to mind immediately - pastor and counselor friends of the ministry who have come alongside us since the beginning - you know who you are, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. That being said, we at Not Easily Broken Ministries do feel that we have a couple of unique things to offer to both of these resources.
The first thing we can offer is availability. Ministry is our 24/7/365 calling, which we recognize as a necessary model because marriage is 24/7/365 endeavor. Marriage is organic, constantly evolving, and no respecter of business hours. It happens at odd times, in odd places, under odd circumstances. Sometimes pastors and counselors are just not available to address the needs of their clients and congregants - but we're always available. Call, text, email, smoke signal, carrier pigeon - however you need to get a hold of us, whenever you need to get a hold of us, Not Easily Broken will be there.
Our second resource is our format. In most counseling and church contexts, you're meeting with an individual. In lots of churches, you're meeting specifically with a male. Again, not to say that there's anything wrong with men or with a single pastor or counselor's perspective - to the contrary, many pastors and counselors, male and female, have been instrumental in creating thriving marriages in the U.S. and around the world, and we absolutely celebrate their efforts. However, at Not Easily Broken Ministries, we consistently endeavor to offer both the male and female perspective through our married staff mentors.
Finally, Not Easily Broken Ministries offers some rare and unique resources. In this case, there are two. First is the PREPARE/ENRICH® assessment. You can read all about the assessment on our dedicated page by clicking here, or by visiting www.prepare-enrich.com. Briefly, PREPARE/ENRICH® is a customizable online relationship assessment tool that provides a thorough analysis of a couple's strengths and growth areas. It comes in 4 varieties: engagement, marriage, parenting, and pre-adoption or pre-foster care. The other resource is a proprietary conflict resolution platform that we at NEB Ministries have developed, which we have long-windedly referred to as the "Feelings vs. Issues Conflict Resolution System," which really needs a name-change. Until then, the Feelings vs. Issues Conflict Resolution System is a way of understanding the two fundamental types of conflicts that people tend to have, and how they relate to each other. You can read all about the FI-CRS in another blog post of ours by clicking here.
The first two things we offer we offer in cooperation with counselors and pastors. We want to come alongside both of these helping services and work together to provide a thorough system of care and support to marriages in need. This also applies to the PREPARE/ENRICH® assessment. PREPARE/ENRICH® requires certification and may not fit into every pastor or counselor's schedule. We work with local pastors and counselors to provide the assessment, interpret the results, and deliver analyses to the clients, in conjunction with the services offered by the pastor or counselor. The last resource, the FI-CRS, we offer as training to both pastors and counselors, so that they can provide it to their clients and congregants directly. The system is both a little complex and somewhat difficult for clients to get used to, primarily because it involves retraining the way your brain processes conflict scenarios and the way you naturally communicate in them. We offer support to pastors and counselors through our training and then through continued afterwork when they have questions about how the system might apply in a given situation.
Quickly, in closing, we'd like to add that right now, when we say "we" or "Not Easily Broken Ministries," we mean Paul and Carly Morales. We are the only two staff members currently employed with Not Easily Broken Ministries, as its Executive and Assistant Directors, respectively. We are also its only staff mentors, meeting directly with every couple who comes through our programs. We also rely on the generous support of our board of directors, who work tirelessly on our behalf to help continue spreading the impact of this ministry. However, it is our hope that our team will expand in the coming year to include more mentors and a larger board of directors. Check back tomorrow for a blog on how Not Easily Broken hopes to provide contexts for prioritizing relationships, and Friday for one more about how we hope to create & recruit a team of leaders (mentors and board members) doing just that.