About Us (what and why)

 

What?

Engage is a national network of Christian organisations with expertise in different areas around relationships (see Partnership Organisations). We’re facilitating collaborative work to look at the big picture of how these areas affect each other, and implement solutions to address the issues raised. See How it all fits together.


Our Vision

  • To make singleness or marriage a genuine choice for all Christian women and men, through a church which is gender-balanced and teaches about healthy Christian singleness, dating and marriage.


Our Aims

  • To facilitate action amongst Christians that raises awareness of the church gender imbalance and addresses the resulting issues for men, women and children.

  • To connect men to Jesus and the church to men (see www.cvm.org.uk), creating a gender-balanced church.

  • To promote teaching for the whole church about healthy Christian singleness, dating, relationships, marriage and parenting.

 

Why ‘making Christian marriage possible’?

Research indicates that the church itself is actually now the main barrier to Christian marriage (marriage between a Christian man and a Christian woman). The three key reasons for this are addressed by our aims:

  • Lack of awareness about why Christian marriage isn’t even possible for so many.

  • The church gender imbalance of 2 men: 3 women, and mostly 1:2 for single people (e.g. Tearfund 2012, Evangelical Alliance 2014, YouGov 2014, Church Census England 2005/Scotland 2016).

  • Lack of teaching about healthy singleness and relationships.

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Our society often has very different views about relationships, and Christians are affected by these cultural trends, across the generations.  At the same time, Christians are called to demonstrate to others what healthy singleness, dating, relationships, marriage and parenting can look like when they’re done God’s way.

 

Important note: Hopefully it’s clear that this is about Making Christian Marriage ‘Possible’, not ‘Compulsory’!

 

Why now?

  • Over the last few years, different individuals and organisations have separately had an increasing sense that there is a need to address issues that are currently causing barriers to Christian marriage.

  • People have been carrying out great work in areas such as the impact of secular culture on Christian relational patterns, the church’s culture, redressing the church gender imbalance with work amongst men, support for young people and adults around singleness, dating and relationships, and support for Christian marriage and parenting.

  • The age imbalance in the church is often reported and commented on, and the absence of men from our churches is also noted. What has not been so strongly considered is the social and spiritual implications of these for the church and for our Kingdom task.

  • In order to Make Christian Marriage Possible, it’s clear that we need to look at issues in context, and at how they inter-relate.

  • A key part of discipleship is about developing a biblical self-image and healthy personal wholeness, so that people may go on to build godly marriages and families in the future if they want to.

 

How?

Engage network organisations are collaborating on

  • Awareness-raising: about the national picture, and the Engage Vision and Aims

  • Needs identification: through good quality research and expert experience

  • Resourcing: by facilitating joint work and commissioning resources to help Christians

      implement solutions