Jump directly to the Content

Wedding Crashers

Officiating the weddings of unbelievers can be a key to reaching them.

Pastor, thank you so much for the awesome job you did at our wedding. You helped us become a little less skeptical of the Christian faith."

I was encouraged by this feedback but haunted by it as well. How many opportunities to impact unbelievers have I missed by refusing to do their weddings?

In most large U.S. cities, 25 to 45 percent of all weddings occur outside the church. And that percentage is rising. According to a 2006 survey by Condé Nast Bridal Media, there was a 9 percent decrease in the number of couples married in a church or synagogue last year.

While an increasing number of weddings are held in parks, banquet halls, museums, hotels, and private homes, the vast majority of couples say they want some spiritual elements in their ceremonies. Yet many pastors refuse to serve these couples on one of the most important days of their lives. Here are some of the reasons they give:

  • They don't attend my church.
  • They're already living together.
  • They've been previously married.
January/February
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Gordon MacDonald's Fall into Grace
Gordon MacDonald's Fall into Grace
A painful tumble and surgery taught him some things that "were worth it all."
From the Magazine
I Wanted to Die for Allah. Now I Live for Jesus.
I Wanted to Die for Allah. Now I Live for Jesus.
As a militant Muslim, I never expected to have any dealings with Christians, much less to befriend them.
Editor's Pick
Come Ye Pastors, Heavy Laden
Come Ye Pastors, Heavy Laden
Learning to walk under the weight of ministry's many hats.
close