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August 19, 2019 9:38 am
This week on Family Policy Matters, NC Family brings you Part 2 of a 2-part show with JP De Gance, Founder and President of Communio, an organization that works to equip communities and churches to strengthen marriages, families, and faith. De Gance continues his conversation with NC Family Communications Director Traci DeVette Griggs about Communio’s unique work to strengthen marriages and limit divorces.
Engaging in weekly radio show and podcast produced by the family house hi this is John Rust and residency family were grateful to have you with us for the speech program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters in the fold better equipped to persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation week on family policy matters family brings you part of our two-part shall we meet again, founder and president of community organization that works to equip communities and churches to strengthen marriages, families, and now you mention, singleness, and I think you've said before that marriages start when people are single talk about that bet. You know, obviously a great American many years before the wedding day is one of the things we tell folks and Dr. Brad Wilcox's research on your shoe. Virginia illustrates the decisions that were making us as single people long before we we ultimately find her spouse are making it harder and harder for us to live a happy marital life and 75% of of money and still say they want to get married should show 25% said that they don't want to, which is the highest number ever recorded, but still well over two thirds recorders of of millennial's aspire to get married. So then there's and coulters and nihilism around around relationships and it's important to know that the modal which is a survey turning as I was a math term that means most frequently occurring within a series of options for the modal occasion were a couple reports having sex for the first time is before a relationship begins and with if that's the case, what is the church doing to effectively step in there and and help folks know that that that's to make it more challenging for them now. We wrestled with asked how you do this effectively doors a great church that we worked with in Florida celebration church. It's the largest church in Jacksonville and they were wrestling with this with us and a pastor name when linear innovated because there's a lot of extra content off the shelf for singles content how to date somebody had a have a good relationship of sound advice promised nobody who's known the 23 010 class now for seven weeks to learn to date somebody so she got a challenge with distribution of of the content even more so than marriage content and what they did what Wayne did was take the core content turned into century 15 minutes 20 minutes style to talk and then had OpenTable discussions within a facilitator. Each table the whole idea was to get young adults to engage in the ideas of of sound, healthy dating habits unit in a Socratic way, rather than a didactic way.
So what was happening. He started to see what was happening was folks were coming to the conclusions of of yet. You may wish to stop cohabitating waiters stop living together. This is in the right way to go but it wasn't because they felt lectured tonight. Didactic sentence because they were invited into a conversation where they came to those conclusions and we saw something there that particular ministry was was offered to the young adults of that church and it became the most popular program at the church and so now were working to try to help churches understand the kind of model and replicated because we think really helping conversations. Good sound conversations around around us. What will lead folks in a much healthier direction. There's a lot of good stuff there that we could talk about and talk a little bit about the success that you haven't had in Jacksonville course you had the divorce rate in and around where you guys started these programs dropped 28% in two years.
Were you surprised that yeah we didn't think it would drop that quick that fast and then it settled itself but a 24% decline over three years from 2016 to 2018 and if this is a county that historically the highest divorce rate county in the state of Florida. It was rated by men's health magazine to be the sixth worst city in America for marriage. We can we didn't think you would see that quick movement but the thing that about divorce, more so than other relationship decisions is the inertia is in the favor of marriage. The challenge is the idea of hope. The idea that if you feel like you're in a really bad marriage and it's been it's a safe marriage. It's a bad marriage but it's but it's a safe one. There can be of a feeling of hopelessness and just helping people know that there is a way to be happy again and marriage has has a huge impact. We think a big part of what we did was really targeting starting folks with digital messages about having a happy marriage and find hope around marriage to everybody who fit that predictor score for having a marriage need was serving churches so that they can get widespread distribution of content. The biggest distribution mixers. Churches that were Southern Baptist churches in action Catholic parishes throughout the county is that that was the biggest Max. While some of the Southern Baptists and the and the Catholics partnered together. Maybe in the first time the first time that anyone could remember. The Southern Baptist convention of DeVol County and the diocese of St. Augustine which is what Jacksonville is part of co-sponsored a big marriage event. Gary Thomas a came and if I'm not mistaken to speak at.
It was well attended and all the churches and those are most of the churches in those communities promoted promoted the event so is pretty neat to see you listing the family policy matters weekly radio show and podcast of the North Carolina family policy Council. This is just one of the many ways since he works to educate citizens across North Carolina about policy issues that impact Carolina families.
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Visit our website and see family.org again that's in see family.org and be sure to sign up to receive our email updates, action alerts, and of course our flagship publication family North Carolina magazine. We also love for you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and so time you were with philanthropy Roundtable and I believe they funded what the cleanly Jacksonville experiment and now you're trying to replicate those results right in other communities in your in it with a new organization tell us about that yet. So is this place and help get this whole initiative started I was Executive Vice President. There was members. Individual members of the Roundtable the way it works is individual members that say look this looks good.
Working out where to help with this and so a coalition of them contributed that the $20 million of what I sometimes call risk capital because we didn't know what move the needle trying to do it to this sort of intervention. This quick hadn't really been done so we can have a benchmark to work against at the end of it we realized there's something here that was effective and it was beyond the normal mission of the Roundtable and you had a great boss and a man named Adam Meyerson who who really encouraged me in and our work and helped us spin off, and we formed Emilio. It was originally corporate in 2017 and operated a lot of the projects of this experiment and then became fully separated from the Roundtable in December 2018 and and now the work is begun to replicate. We've just in Billings Montana. Largest city in that there tri-state area out there and we will be launching a citywide project. There we have. We can't say the city but will be a city in Texas that were launching in very soon and then we will also be launching a city in the Mountain West were about 50% of the funding there so she will be in all before the end of the year, launching three cities and then individual congregations can actually reach out to us and say, look what we can't have the resources to full citywide push but we like to run with your model in our own congregation and we do have a what we call our church platform subscription where we can work directly with churches individually and help them help them go right so is if somebody does have the resources or they think they could raise the resources for a citywide push.
They would just get in touch with you. I'm assuming that it could definitely do that and I'll sit down with them and and also sometimes with funders to don't have the resources to do it all around but that will come and work with them in and they may have the networking where where they can pull folks together in an and we will do individual meetings and presentations to them and we were getting started with the largest evangelical churches in the state of Pennsylvania, church of more than 20,000 weekly attendees. They've decided to bring us in a historic Anglican church in Northern Virginia that dates back to the time of our founding a much smaller church bring us. And so, so there is there a variety of ways both individual and the congregation level and certainly in at the city level will let you go I would love to just get a word from you on starting these kinds of initiatives and I'm not necessarily talking about them marriage and in the ministries that you started that sure just a word of encouragement that you might have for people out there people who are listening to this podcast are our radio show and and think she know I really have a heart for tax when you know where to start. There's no way that even if I did I would be able to make even this kind of impact and close to it. What well words of encouragement. Would you have for them. Well a few different pieces of advice I give first is is really focusing on Obama trying to solve, and at and not being afraid of the data.
Meaning don't be afraid to just try to produce real results and measure yourself against it. Business guys understand that that not all their investments pay off a lot of times I think function in ministry, either intentionally or unintentionally shy away from producing or holding themselves accountable to results and so there seen frequently as as you good people, earnest people that are trying to do good things, but they they're not seen frequently as as sound investment areas by philanthropist and so that's you know that something I would go on and on about the that's the key is a couple key pieces of the guys. Thanks. So I guess if they don't have some of the background you have aspires analyzing some of this risk they could find friends they could pull in experts they could do research at the library. There a lot of ways to do that with us in sure and and and I tell people used for core ingredients to any major successful campaign. I think the first ingredient is you gotta find a problem that is significant, and then which almost everybody can do and then the second thing is you.
You gotta define a solution that's proportionate in some way to the problem. Okay so in the case of marriage is a big problem nationally and that was one of the reasons we we isolated down to kiss specific metro areas to say. Let's see what we can do it.
A city level, you can move it on the city than you can go much more broadly so than yet that the solution is proportionate to the problem you need to have a budget that's proportionate to the solution, or it will lack the credibility to be able to execute and in the fourth piece is is you really need the credibility to execute it, be seen as a safe vehicle. Now that that can be that you have that credibility directly work can be that there's folks, if you're working with that possess the credibility that can kinda rest on top of you that the resume can rest on top of your so to speak, but those four ingredients really need to be there. Well thank you and I'm sure this is going to inspire, let's let's just assume that that's the case so JP to Gantz. Thank you so much for being with us. How can people learn more about community out now will they can go to our website. Emilio.org and its CEO and Mary Emma's Mary you and is in Nancy. I owe.org community.org is the best place to find out about us great inks for joining us on family policy matters and for your innovative work to make a transformational difference in the marriage culture. Thank you so much you been listening to family policy matters.
We hope you enjoy the program and played the tune in again next week to listen to the show online insulin more about NC families work to encourage and inspire families across the website it NC families on that's NC family.org.
Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your family