What is the meaning behind the name Foundation Groups?
The first few years of marriage are often difficult, and without community and support, even more so. Couples need an intentional environment to focus on laying a foundation to build their marriage upon. Foundation Groups provide just that. As the couples establish this solid foundation for their marriage, we hope they become more like Jesus, experience healthy community, grow in oneness with their spouse, and learn to live on mission with their life and marriage. We want couples to build their lives and marriages on the solid rock foundation of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:24-27).What is the commitment required for participation?
The best Foundation Groups will get together 4-6 times per month. They meet twice a month with their mentor couple to walk through the curriculum and then 2-4 additional times each month for accountability, social connection, and service. Couples who are fully committed, desire to grow together spiritually, rely on scripture, see this as an opportunity to give, not get, and set realistic expectations tend to build the strongest foundations for life and marriage.Does it have to be 15 to 18 months?
Technically no, but the goal should not be to fast track the process. The aim of Foundation Groups is to walk with newlywed couples through a significant part of their early years of marriage.What is the focus of Foundation Groups?
Foundation Groups have four primary areas of focus:
What makes for a good Foundation Group mentor couple?
- Intimacy with Christ - to see the importance of personal growth…it’s tough to work on your horizontal relationships with others, without a vertical relationship with Jesus. Paul Tripp says it this way: “A marriage of love, unity, and understanding will flow out of a daily worship of God as creator, sovereign, and savior… One of the beautiful things that marriage is meant to do is drive each of us away from habits of self-reliance into patterns of dependency on God.”
- Oneness as a Couple - the marriage relationship is the most unique relationship we will ever have, outside of our relationship with Jesus. It’s the clearest picture we have of the mystery of Christ and his bride, the church.
- Christ-Centered Community - to understand the importance of doing life together. Community helps us avoid isolation in marriage. We want these groups to become healthy communities. Whether they continue on in community or not after the group, we want them to know what they’re striving for.
- One Mission (as they honor God with their life and marriage) - marriage is one of the clearest pictures of the gospel in the world today and one of the best forms of evangelism too. What values, priorities, goals, and pursuits do your neighbors see in your life & marriage? Are you set apart?
A mentor couple is at least one life stage ahead of the participant couples, a minimum of 7 years of marriage is expected. Kids are not a requirement. Mentor couples love Jesus, love each other, have a passion for marriages, and are willing to be authentic and have frank conversations. Mentor couples are shepherds; they step into hard conversations. Mentor couples are not perfect examples but they are living examples worth following.What does Foundation Group cost?
Couples should plan on a $50 cost for Foundations participant's guide and MoneyWise, along with 1 or two copies of the Meaning of Marriage ($16), A Lasting Promise $(14), and Married Sex ($22).What does the Foundation Group curriculum look like?
The curriculum is put in place as a guide for your group. It is not meant to restrict your group. Groups can feel free to travel outside of the set curriculum to discuss the day-to-day issues that come up. Here is a general overview of what is covered:
Where did the idea of Foundation Groups originate?
- Community101 - Watermark publication Community | Foundation Groups help couples do life together, so they can begin to see that their problems are not unique. Through life-on-life discipleship, couples are transformed in the context of community as they care, encourage, offer acceptance, and hold one another accountable.
- The Meaning of Marriage – Tim Keller Biblical view of marriage | Too many couples enter into the commitment of marriage starry eyed, fully expecting their spouse to meet all their needs and heal all their hurts, not realizing the weight of the covenant they’ve entered into with one another. Having a proper view of God’s design for marriage goes a long way towards finding the fulfillment we all desire.
- A Lasting Promise - Scott Stanley et al Communication & Conflict | When two sinners are united in marriage and they live out their days in a broken world, conflict is inevitable. Couples need to learn how to communicate with one another in a way that leads to mutual understanding.
- Moneywise – Watermark publication Finances | Couples bring all types of financial baggage into their marriage. For some it’s school loans and for others it is years and years of poor stewardship and spending habits. Some are savers others are spenders. No matter the type of baggage, it can easily become a challenge in marriage and the heart issues need to be addressed.
- Married Sex – Gary Thomas and Debra Fileta | For many couples emotional and physical intimacy can be a big area of conflict because of some of the baggage each brings to the marriage bed. For others, the struggle has to do with unmet expectations. Either way, we want couples to be able to communicate openly about their differences and seek to love and serve one another.
The first Foundation Groups began at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas way back in 2002. They arose out of a need for intentional community among newly married couples. The Foundations logo was launched in 2010. In 2023 Eternal Church is interested in forming Foundation Groups for interested couples.