The cost of weddings is increasing
constantly. Many churches charge anywhere from $100 or more just to use the building
for a wedding. Add to that what the minister might or might not charge, custodial
service, musicians, etc., a young couple could wind up paying $500 or more before they look at wedding gowns, tuxedos, flowers,
gifts, the reception and honeymoon.
Because of this rising cost
many young couples are electing to be married in private reception/banquet rooms, outdoor gardens, VFW’s, etc. because
the cost is much less. The problem here is that many ministers often will not
perform marriages that do not take place within their churches. Couples in this
situation usually are forced to forgo a Christian ceremony in favor of a civil service.
To further complicate matters,
a young couple wishing a Christian service may be turned away from a church in which at least one of them is not a member. Also here in our area, near a military base, many couples only have a short window
of opportunity in which they can arrange a wedding due to military deployments of one or both of them (if both are active
duty). Many ministers will not officiate a wedding unless they have had several
long counseling sessions with the couple and due to the nature of military commitments the couple cannot attend this long
I believe that anyone, regardless
of their ability to pay, their affiliation, or lack of affiliation with a particular church, should be able to have a traditional
Christian ceremony. I also believe that certain circumstances will override the
need for long, drawn out counseling sessions.
Christians At Large Ministry
deals with this by giving everyone, regardless of finances, place of ceremony or church affiliation, the opportunity to be
married in a Christian marriage ceremony by a minister in the traditional way.
I also look at
this as a part of the evangelistic outreach of the ministry. Large groups of
unsaved people attend weddings and funerals. I am available to minister to any
guests or wedding party members who desires to seek or renew a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It is my view that what I
do is an opportunity to include a new relationship (salvation) and new traditions (communion) into the couples new beginning
as husband and wife if they so desire. My primary focus, as a minister of the
Gospel of Christ Jesus, is to always be available to further His message of salvation, love, and peace.