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Winkler's Mennonite Brethren Church has tapped into a unique strategy to help strengthen marriages in a really fun way.

 Several times per year they host a Date Night Kit event between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. It's not an event where you stay at the church but rather, pick up the kit and leave. The kits contain different things to formulate a date from a conversation guide to gift cards at a coffee shop or ice cream shop. Other things are included as well such as candy, chocolates, little note pads and pens.

The conversation guides help couples to laugh and have fun again. It probes couples to ask questions that they normally wouldn't ask on a typical date. 

Dan Doerksen, Family Ministry Pastor at Winkler MB Church said, "quite a few years back we were trying to figure out what is our strategy for investing in married couples in our church?"

The church realized one of the best gifts that they can give their kids and teens is to help their parents have stronger marriages.

"A strong marriage really is linked back to very simple, consistent activities and attitudes done over time. It's not one big event. It's not one big retreat or vacation or anything like that. Those aren't typically the things that build strong marriages. They're just those every day, every week rhythms that you build into your home and into your relationship."

The church decided to make this an actual event so people would get excited about it rather than just offering the kits after church on a Sunday. Young parents can also bring their children to the church for childcare while they go out on their dates.

"We do this at least two or three times per year just so that couples have a regular rhythm. We actually provide the conversation guides all year round," Doerksen said.

He also said the church has been doing this for years now and started with about 20 kits. They increased to hand out  60 kits and that wasn't enough, they ended up making more.

"Couples that have been married for 20 years are learning new things about each other," he said.

The kits are not just for the congregants of Winkler MB Church but available to anyone who would like one.

 

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