Thursday, 05 January 2017 13:28

Family Teams for Life: Equipping Military Marriages

Written by  Ashley Sherlock
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The need for strong marriages and families will never go away. The legacy left by service men and women will affect their children and future generations for years to come. Lisa and Mike Conn, founders of Family Teams for Life, have been called to offer timeless instruction to those serving the United States to create and maintain strong families--for life.

Family Teams for Life is a nonprofit organization that primarily focuses on equipping military leadership couples with biblical and proven marriage and family skills. Using workshops, seminars, case studies and movies, this ministry provides couples with what they need to overcome the challenges that come with trying to remain a family while serving in the military.

 

In 1997, Mike retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years of service in the United States Air Force. The same year, he and Lisa formed Family Teams for Life, formerly Covenant Family Ministries, and became full-time local missionaries. They are supported by churches, Sunday school classes, businesses and individuals.

 

Mike and Lisa both come from divorced families. When they married, they were determined to maintain a strong and healthy relationship. Like the couples they council, Mike and Lisa have experienced rough patches in their marriage. After a couple’s Sunday school class, their marriage was turned around, and they knew they were being called to teach couples and train them in what the Bible says about marriage and family relationships. They began sharing tools that could have saved their own parents’ relationships, and would prevent other couples and children from experiencing divorce.

 

The goal of Family Teams for Life is for the military leadership couples that have been trained to serve as positive role models while they are on assignment. It is Mike and Lisa’s hope that by the example set by the couples they’ve trained, other military families will become more resilient and able to overcome the unique challenges and hardships of military life.

 

The workshops that Mike and Lisa conduct focus on topics like facing and overcoming challenges, having a positive attitude, the five love languages, personality types, family team development, and character-centered parenting. These workshops are presented by Mike and Lisa in support of the Maxwell Air Force Base chapel’s Family Teams for Life program. Other workshops are conducted for spouses from senior officer schools like Air Command & Staff College, School of Advanced Air & Space Studies, and Air War College. At the beginning of each five-week class, Family Teams for Life sponsors an outing that is made to bring spouses together for conversation, building friendships and establishing a support system.

 

What makes all of this worth it, in the words of Lisa, is, “Seven times a year, we have couples (who are here for only five weeks and stay in hotels, often with one car and several young children) say that they never dreamed they would have the opportunity to strengthen their marriage and family and experience Southern hospitality at its finest while at this assignment.” 

 

Mike says that the war fighting ability of our service men and women is directly affected by the strength of their families. Family Teams for Life is there to relieve the concern about relationships with spouses and well-being of children so that service men and women can give their 100 percent to their mission.

 

Through this ministry, Mike and Lisa have been able to see God’s promises come true in the divorces of their parents. Family Teams for Life would not have come into existence were it not for them. God used their difficult circumstances for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28.)

 

Currently, 90 percent of the Family Teams for Life training is devoted to officers and their spouses attending one of Air University’s officer training schools. In 2017, however, Mike and Lisa want to begin offering the same training to Non-Commissioned Officers and other enlisted couples stationed at Maxwell and Gunter. Ultimately, Mike and Lisa would like to establish a permanent Center for Military Marriage and Family Leadership Training so that the work continues even after their retirement.

 

Family Teams for Life’s number one need is financial support. The ministry is an independent, educational nonprofit, not associated with a specific church or denomination. Since they are not on staff at any church, they solely depend on God to provide funds through donations. In 2017, Family Teams for Life will need to raise $75,000 to provide dinners, workshops, and support for its four-person staff.

 

If you would like to partner with Family Teams for Life, visit www.cfmforhim.com, or mail tax deductible donations to:

 

Family Teams for Life

P.O. Box 242283

Montgomery, AL  36124

 

A Florida native, Ashley Sherlock made the transition to Alabama to pursue a degree in English. She has a passion for the written word, an affinity for the outdoors, a love for people, and a desire for the Lord.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 05 January 2017 13:50
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