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AMM Ministers: Cultivate a Relationship with Your Congregation

Published Tuesday, Dec. 13th, 2022

Ordained with AMM? Learn ways to deepen your relationship with members of your congregation


As an AMM Minister, you may serve in several vital roles within your congregations. 


Primarily, our ministers perform marriage ceremonies, or celebrate vow renewals and commitment ceremonies for couples and their families. But you may also be called to officiate funerals and memorials, baby blessings, house blessings, and other rites in addition to your role as marriage officiant. Or you may be called to provide spiritual counseling, relationship coaching, and more, depending on your personal experience and expertise.



AMM ministers meet with their congregations formally or informally, in homes or in designated places of worship and practice, and work with groups that are both small and large in size. You may choose to perform only a single wedding, serving a congregation of two, or to perform many weddings all over the country. Either way, each of those ceremonies, and the attendees, represent the service and the congregation respectively. 


However you choose to serve, we have a few tried-and-true suggestions that can help you cultivate stronger relationships with your congregation. 


This advice is useful whether you’re meeting a couple only once to perform their marriage ceremony, or cultivating an ongoing relationship. 



A minister performs a wedding ceremony outdoors for two brides in front of friends and family, photo is taken from the aisle, behind the guests, looking up the aisle toward the ceremony



Three ways to cultivate a deeper relationship with members of your congregation as an AMM Minister



  • Ask questions & listen with love


Ask questions to learn about what matters most to the members of your congregation. Then, listen closely with an open mind and try to honor these things in the work you do.


When working with a couple to prepare their wedding ceremony, this may look like asking questions about their love story, what brought them together, what makes their relationship ‘work,’ and what they hope the future will bring. It may include asking questions about their spiritual beliefs, family life, personal habits, and values.


If you're not sure where to start, try the questions included here: Gather Info for the Ceremony. 


Related: How to Tell a Compelling Story During Your Wedding Ceremony


When ministering to friends and family, this may include asking questions about their spiritual and mental well-being, their daily struggles or fears, their meaningful relationships, and their hopes for the future. Listening to those around you with love and non-judgement can help you serve them better.



  • Laugh together


Although ministerial work can sometimes be a solemn practice, it can (and probably should) also be filled with laughter. After all, shared joy is one of the best salves for the modern world.  

When preparing or delivering a wedding ceremony, for example, you may choose to share funny stories with your couples from past weddings to alleviate any worries they might have. Planning a wedding can be very stressful for a couple, and they will likely be grateful for your lighthearted approach. When communing with friends and family, something as simple as a well-timed meme or joyful anecdote from your day may be enough to lighten their hearts. 


Related: Who's Laughing Now? – How to Use Humor in the Wedding Ceremony

Indeed, mindful humor mixed with loving acceptance can be one of the most powerful tools any minister wields, helping to make the ups and downs of life easier to navigate. 



  • Be yourself


There is no one else exactly like you! As an AMM Minister, one of the most wonderful gifts you can offer others is to be your authentic self. And by being your authentic self, you help others feel comfortable to be themselves, too. This is one of the best ways to cultivate a close and trusting relationship with members of your congregation. 


Your authenticity will attract couples that are the best match for your officiating style, and your unique insights and inspiration.



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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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