This year’s Spring Break 2010 relationship seminar for Akron Alliance Fellowship Church turned out to be our best ever of the series that began in April 2008. Our focus on marriage and improving the marriage relationship has been a winning combination for our church seminars, and I believe that my lovely wife, Lynn, and I, can continue to share with others what we have learned from our research and our own experiences as an effective ministry that can benefit many married couples, not just those associated with our church.
Preparation for the seminar required off hours from our regular jobs with reading and research from several sources. Among them, the book For Women Only, by Shaunti Feldhahn, and For Men Only, by Shaunti and her husband, Jeff Feldhahn. One of the challenges that Lynn and I had, in preparation for this year’s seminar, was making sure that there was enough time for active group participation while making sure that there was not too much material to cover over the 8 ½ hour time frame of the seminar. In last year’s seminar, we covered the subjects of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. It was a daunting task, and, in retrospect, it was too much material. The summaries were very good, but it was not applicable for all participants, and it seemed unwieldy at times because the information was presented at almost breakneck speed with little time for discussion…lesson learned.
This year’s seminar was well sectioned with the primary focus on the first day of discussions on women letting men know that they want to be loved, and men letting women know that they want to be respected. The first day of the seminar set the tone for the rest of the topics on Saturday morning. The success of the seminar was the time spent in discussion after the presentation of the material. It was interesting how the participants were right in line with the material as we were presenting points. We liked the overall pace and the number of breaks in between sessions, and found that the handouts presented for use outside of the seminar (on Friday evening and the aftermath) was the best use of these resources.
We just learned that we will be presenting next year’s seminar based upon the five love languages for Spring Break 2011.