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Should We Wed the Unchurched?

(Few calls provoke more mixed feelings among pastors than those from strangers asking the pastor to perform their wedding ceremony. Any pastor who's more than a "Marryin' Sam" knows serious theological and spiritual questions are involved in Christian weddings. But to raise them increases the chances of offending an unchurched person.

Yet these calls also offer a great opportunity if handled with wisdom. When LEADERSHIP first published this article in 1986, readers responded enthusiastically to its gentle toughness.

Recently in a phone conversation, the writer, Doug Scott, said, "I have continued to use the approach described in the article and have become more and more convinced of its gentle wisdom. Our ministry to couples through this means has been the single largest contributor to the growth of our congregation in the last seven years.)

The pattern is familiar: a couple calls the church office to say they are planning to be married and want to arrange a wedding in the church. They are ...

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