Marriage and Family Ministry

Marriage and Family Ministry

RiverLakes is deeply committed to helping marriages and families grow spiritually.  We offer a wide variety of opportunities to help you grow in your marriage and family life such as Marriage Enrichment Classes, Couples Date Nights, Couples Retreats, Marriage Conferences, Parenting Classes, Seminars, etc.  For more information, please contact Brent Van Elswyk or Jennifer Brittian at the church office.

Find us on Facebook!

Brent Van Elswyk // (661) 589-9733, ext. 211 or

Heart & Soul Marriage Conference

Heart & Soul Marriage Conference

Featuring Chris & Alisa Grace

The Heart & Soul Marriage Conference is designed to help couples improve their spiritual and emotional intimacy with one another by developing a deeper understanding of how they connect and bond in foundational areas of a biblical marriage.

Friday, March 10, 2023

6:30 - 8:45pm

Saturday, March 11, 2023

8:00am - 12:30pm

Cost:  $99.00 per couple ($120.00 after March 3, 2023)


Includes Friday dessert bar and Mossman’s catered breakfast on Saturday

The Graces are much sought-after speakers that have written, taught and spoken nationally to thousands of couples and churches on healthy Christ-centered relationships.  They are co-authors of the Marriage Mentoring Workbook and Video Series, and serve on the national speaking team for Family Life’s Weekend to Remember marriage conferences.  Chris and Alisa live in Southern California where they have two adult children, two absolutely perfect grandchildren and their unexpected blessing who attends Biola University.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to invest in your marriage, connect with other couples, learn practical tools to help you experience renewed intimacy and enjoy deeper emotional and spiritual intimacy through improved communication and conflict resolution!

Childcare is available by request only

(Please feed children Friday and Saturday before coming. We will provide snacks only for the children)

For more information, contact:  Jennifer Brittian at (661) 589-9733 (ext. 238) or

RiverLakes Community Church

4301 Calloway Drive, Bakersfield, CA  93312

Upcoming Occurrences

  • Friday, March 10, 2023 at 6:30pm - 8:45pm
  • Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 8:00am - 12:30pm

Married for Life

A unique marriage enrichment event featuring Ted Cunningham, a gifted communicator who will make you think, laugh, and love God more deeply.

You’re invited to a fun and engaging event to prioritize and invest in your marriage.  Pastor Ted Cunningham will have you laughing and reconnecting in great ways.  He is passionate about marriage as he blends humor and Scripture to offer encouragement, hope, and healing to all couples.

Friday, March 11 | 6:30 – 8:45pm

Saturday, March 12 | 8:00am – 12:30pm

$99.00 per couple


Included: dessert bar Friday and full, hot catered breakfast Saturday

Sign up early! Cost at door: $120

Ted Cunningham is the founding pastor of Woodland Hills Family Church in Branson, MO.  He is the author of “Fun Loving You”, “Trophy Child”, and “Young And In Love” and coauthor of four books with Dr. Gary Smalley: “The Language of Sex”, “From Anger to Intimacy”, “Great Parents, Lousy Lovers”, and “As Long As We Both Shall Live”.  He is a graduate Liberty University and Dallas Theological Seminary.  Ted and his wife, Amy, have been married for 17 years and live in Branson, Missouri with their two children.

Childcare available by request only

(Please feed children Friday and Saturday before coming. We will only provide snacks for the children)

For more information, contact Jennifer Brittian at (661) 589-9733 (ext. 238) or

A Victorious Marriage: Learn to Love Well

A Victorious Marriage: Learn to Love Well


Saturday, February 27, 2021

5:30 - 8:00pm

RiverLakes Community Church

Community Center Auditorium

$30 per couple​

Enjoy an evening out with your spouse for a delicious dinner and the fellowship of other couples. Learn how to overcome common marital difficulties and how to experience a healthier marital relationship through Christian principles. This evening will provide an encouraging word and a Q & A session with RCC Pastors.

Childcare available by request only

Registration is now closed.

Acts of Renewal Marriage Event

Acts of Renewal Marriage Event

​Acts of Renewal

A unique marriage enrichment event

Featuring: Jim and Carol Shores

Friday, February 28

5:30 - 8:30pm

Saturday, February 29

8:00am - 12:30pm

Cost: $89 per couple (includes Friday dinner & Saturday light breakfast)


Childcare available by registration only

More Info: Jennifer (589.9733, ext. 238 or

More info about Acts of Renewal

Enjoy a fun and engaging marriage event that will have you laughing and reconnecting in great ways.  Speakers Dr. Jim and Carol Shores connect with couples, weaving professional comedy/theater into their talks communicating in a most entertaining way about relationship issues.  The Shores' presentations offer hilarity, but also insightful approaches to improving some of the everyday challenges of marriage.  Whether you're in a rough patch or in a good place, married 45 years or 45 minutes, Jim and Carol's honest style speaks to couples right where they are.  

An encouraging, fun and practical event you won't want to miss!

“Jim and Carol are dynamic speakers. They have a wholehearted passion to share God's truth through their authentic hilarious theatre and interactive presentations. What stands out is that they simplify complicated relationship issues so that the audience can make immediate personal application. Prepare for ministry that is fun, refreshing, enlightening, and enriching. You will definitely enjoy what Jim and Carol present about marriage and healthy relationships."

Dr. Greg Smalley, author and speaker

RCC Couples Date Night

RCC Couples Date Night


Couples Game Night

Saturday, August 6, 2022

5:30 - 8:00pm

Community Center

$30.00 per couple


Join us for Couples Game Night at RiverLakes!

Come have some fun while you fellowship with other couples and invest in quality time with your spouse.  This evening will also include a delicious Mexican-themed dinner followed by dessert and a fun interactive game. Register online or at the Sunday kiosk in the main auditorium.

(Childcare is available by pre-registration only.  Children will be served pizza for dinner)



Spring Premarital Counseling 2023:  Getting Ready for Marriage, with Dr. Brent Van Elswyk, will help couples construct a solid foundation upon which to build an enriching, fulfilling and growing marriage. Plan now to prepare for your marriage, not just your wedding. Traditionally thought to be only for engaged couples, this class is also suitable for couples who are "courting" or seriously considering marriage, as well as for newly married couples and those embarking upon a remarriage. Our Premarital Counseling series can assist any couple in building a strong and lasting relationship. Let this marriage be for life!


Wednesday evenings, March 8 – April 26, from 7:00 – 8:30pm. 


Visit and search premarital for more info, then call the church office to sign up at 589-9733.  $150 includes resources and couple inventory.


The next premarital series will be 9/20/23-11/1/23.

Premarital Counseling class includes lecture, worksheets, reading, workbook and discussion. On the first day you each receive a packet of material (including outline & worksheets), a workbook for assignments, and a number of resources/books to use as a couple. Topics include: Why Marry?; How Men & Women Differ; Expectations; Communication; Conflict Resolution; Issues (money/anger/etc); and Intimacy.  Plus, along the way, you will take an individual Personality Assessment and do an online Prepare Test (or similar option for remarriage). Toward the end, or shortly thereafter, Dr. Brent will provide appointments to meet with each couple alone for couples counseling and review of test results (for which he is certified).  If you prefer Premarital Counseling elsewhere, just as a couple and not in a group setting, we can recommend a licensed Christian professional.  We have found the group format more affordable while offering the benefit of learning from others as they may share and inquire from different perspectives. But this style does not appeal to everyone's taste or schedule. If you would like a referral, call Debbie at 589-9733 x222.

Upcoming Occurrences

  • Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
2019 Marriage Conference

2019 Marriage Conference


Marriage Livestream Event

With Dr. Paul David Tripp

Friday, March 8

5:30 - 8:30pm

Saturday, March 9

8:00am - 1:00pm

Cost: $40.00 per couple (dessert and breakfast included)

Sign up at the Church Office

Every Marriage is guided by a set of habits.  The question is:  Are they healthy habits that result in a God-honoring and joyful marriage, or are they bad habits that lead to a self-centered and strained marriage?  That’s why we are so excited to present “Habits of a Healthy Marriage” conference.

If you’re a married couple, an engaged couple, or a single person thinking about marriage, please make this a priority and invest in your marriage.

In this conference, Dr. Paul Tripp will show you how to:

• Develop Good Habits

• Pull Weeds and Plant Seeds

• Deal With Your Differences

• Protect Your Marriage With Prayer

Thank you so much for your consideration to attend the Habits of a Healthy Marriage conference and we hope to see you there!  For more information call or email Jennifer Brittian at 661-589-9733 (ext. 238) or  

Father Daughter Dance 2019

Father Daughter Dance 2019

​​​​Friday, February 8


Main Auditorium

$25.00 per family

Tickets available at the door

Taking our daughters on a date and spending quality time with them strengthens our relationships. Please bring a dessert or snack. Memorable photos will be available for an additional cost. Tickets available on the patio, in the church office or online beginning January 20. 

For more info, call Steve Henslee at 619.8811 or email

Art of Parenting Class

Art of Parenting Class

January 13 - March 3, 2019

9:00am | CC, Room 120

$25.00 per couple

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them."  ~Psalm 127:3-5.   

Parenting is a hard but most important work.   Family Life's Art of Parenting workbook study will help you set up a parenting framework that is biblical, reliable, and intentional.  It will help you aim your child's heart toward God.  Whether you're parent, stepparent, single parent or grandparent this material will be helpful in raising children of all ages. 

Marriage Enrichment Class

Marriage Enrichment Class

​"What Did You Expect....Redeeming the Realities of Marriage"

with Dr. Paul David Tripp

Sundays, September 30 - November 18

10:45am - Noon | West Portable

Sign up at kiosk table on Sundays beginning on September 9.

The Bible teaches that we all bring something destructive into our relationships – sin.  Yet we buy into the delusion that our biggest problem exists outside of us. We blame our spouse and we blame our circumstances, but we rarely take seriously the nature of our own sin.

This video curriculum will help you get to the bottom of your struggles - your heart - and help you find lasting hope for your marriage. It’s only when you worship God as Creator, Sovereign and Savior that you will ever love as you should.  What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage will challenge you to look into the mirror of God’s Word and see yourself with accuracy.

Marriage Conference 2018

Marriage Conference 2018

RCC Marriage Conference with Dr. Paul David Tripp

"What Did You Expect?"

April 20 - 21, 2018

$35 per Couple

Register at the Door

4301 Calloway Dr. Bakersfield, CA 93312

Somehow, some way, every marriage will become a struggle. If you want to enjoy a beautiful, lifelong relationship, you will need more than romance. You will need something deeper than shared interest and mutual attraction. According to bestselling author and marriage expert, Dr. Paul David Tripp, you’ll need realistic expectations, you need radical commitments, and more importantly, you will need grace!

Friday, April 20: 5:30 - 8:30pm (Dessert Only Provided)

Saturday, April 21: 8:00am - 1:00pm (Hot Breakfast & Snacks Provided)

Childcare Available by Request (Snacks and lunch provided for children)

For more info, contact Jennifer Brittian at 661.589.9733 (ext. 238) or

Couple Checkup Conference

Couple Checkup Conference

The Couple Checkup Conference is a unique marriage enrichment event that applauds your strengths and provides specific direction for how you can rise above your growth areas as you seek to increase intimacy and satisfaction in your relationship.


March 31 & April 1, 2017

with Ron Deal


  • 6:30 - 9:30pm
  • Check-in begins at 6:30pm with dessert reception
  • “Finding Strength for Your Marriage”


  • 8:00am - 1:00pm
  • Breakfast starts at 8:00am
  • “Living Your Prescription Strengths”

Registration: Please pay careful attention to each deadline below.

Early Bird: 

  • $79 or before March 17, 2017
  • To receive the full benefit from the conference, couples must register by this date. This includes your conference registration, online inventory (a $29.95 value), and conference handout.

Regular Rate:

  • $99 after March 17, 2017
  • This includes your conference registration, online inventory (a $29.95 value), and conference handout.

Childcare available upon request only.

Registration Closes: March 26, 2017

For more information, call or email Jennifer Brittian at 661.589.9733 or

Marriage Enrichment Class

Marriage Enrichment Class

Oneness in marriage doesn’t just happen.  It takes intentional investment of time and a biblical understanding of marriage to create a oneness that will grow and deepen over the lifetime of a marriage.  

The Marriage Oneness class will equip couples to grow in true intimacy, connection, and purpose.  Along with a profile to evaluate and address each couple’s own oneness level, Marriage Oneness includes Circle Up small group discussions, Oneness Work application exercises to complete together, and a personalized Next Steps Planner. 

Marriage Oneness equips couples in seven key areas:

  1. Communication
  2. Conflict Resolution
  3. Money
  4. Spiritual Beliefs
  5. Sexual Intimacy
  6. Roles and Responsibilities
  7. Family and Friends

Sundays at 10:45am in the West Portable

October 9 - December 4

Jennifer Brittian (661.589.9733 ext. 238 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))

West Portable

Ignite Marriage Conference

Ignite Marriage Conference



Marriage Conference

with best selling authors & international speakers


"Ten Best Decisions  a Couple Can Make"

Learn to Build a Love That Lasts

Friday, March 4 // 6:30 - 9:00pm

Saturday, March 5 // 8:00am - 12:30pm

$69.00 per couple

Childcare available upon request

Tickets are available at the church office or at the door the day of the event

Brent Van Elswyk (661.589.9733 ext. 211 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))

RiverLakes Community Church

I Still Do Marriage Simulcast

I Still Do Marriage Simulcast

​Saturday, October 4


Community Center

Childcare by RSVP only

Continental breakfast and lunch included

Purchase tickets online HERE.

FamilyLife® announces “I Still Do”, a one-day marriage event that will strengthen your marriage and rekindle the romance. Enjoy engaging speakers, musicians and worship leaders, and be encouraged to continue to invest in your marriage and live life as a team.


  • Understand God’s blueprints for marriage at a deeper level.
  • Learn practical tools to build a successful marriage on a firm foundation.
  • Rediscover the secrets of romance and intimacy.
  • Gain hope to rebuild a troubled marriage.
  • Discover the keys to make your marriage last a lifetime.

Brent Van Elswyk

Community Centery

Parent Dedication

Parent Dedication

Dedicate Your Baby on Sanctity of Life Sunday:  Parent Dedication is a formal commitment of parents with their child(ren) on January 22, 2023 at the service of your choice.  This is a public statement telling others of your love for the Lord, your intention to model that love to your children, and your willingness to be held accountable.  Attendance at Parent Dedication Class is required of both parents on Sunday, January 8 at 10:30am in Room 120 of the Community Center. Exceptions only by prior approval with Pastor Brent at 589-9733.  Please, no children over 6 months in Parent Dedication Class.  The Nursery/Sunday School program is available for childcare needs through 4th grade.  If you have already been to the class, your attendance again is not mandatory, but you must call the Church Receptionist in the office at 589-9733 by January 10 to confirm vital information. 

The next Parent Dedication will be on Mother’s Day 2023.

Marriage Community Groups

​Community Groups are RiverLakes Church’s best means of connection to the body of Christ. Each group has gospel-centered teaching, are working toward greater spiritual maturity, a safe environment for honest discussion about life and what it means to follow Jesus. Each group meets throughout the week.

Childcare is provided on specific nights on the church campus.

This year there will be two options for Community Groups: If you are interested in being a part of one of these Community Groups, please fill out our digital Connect Card and check the box to sign up for a group.

  • Sermon Based: These will follow the scripture content of the sermon given each week.
  • Marriage Emphasis: These will be offered to married couples, following a marriage discipleship curriculum.

RiverLakes Community Church will be having a Community Group Connection Lunch to connect new group members to a group. This will be held on Sunday September 11, 2022 in the Community Center following the second service.