Did you know that 40 percent of our congregations are part of a step/blended family? Imagine if these families had access to resources that would help strengthen their families, prevent re-divorce, and break the generational cycle of divorce.
Then imagine if these resources were also available to those outside the church walls as well! These are the goals for FamilyLife Blended, a ministry that offers numerous resources such as podcasts, radio spots, and curriculum for small group studies.
Steve and Jan Mathews, credentialed Open Bible ministers from Urbandale, Iowa, have been officially appointed by FamilyLife to lead a pilot project in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro to equip churches that want to provide ministry to blended families. As part of a team developing Family Life’s Local Movement initiative, the Mathews are looking for people they can train to bring this ministry to their churches and local communities. The Mathews will then create a template that will be expanded for use on national and even global levels.
Jan said, “This is humbling but very exciting! We know God has called us for such a time.” Steve and Jan’s marriage six years ago was a second marriage for them both, so they sought out resources to help them navigate their own blended family. After finding the Smart Stepfamily curriculum from FamilyLife ministry, the Mathews soon started leading their own groups.
Jan describes the results:
It was life-changing. We realized the immense need for these resources, especially in our churches. We’re passionate about preventing more divorces. Divorce rates are high for first marriages and even higher for remarriages. The dynamics are very different from first-marriage families. There simply were not many resources available before now. We believe by bringing this opportunity to our churches and equipping leaders to build stepfamily ministry, we will not only save marriages and families, but we will also have the joy of seeing God’s people deepen relationship with Him and thrive. We’re both passionate for the Great Commission, and this is an avenue for reaching the lost as well as drawing in those families who often stay in the shadows.
We’ve already been contacted by leaders in other states who want to develop this ministry. There’s a great need. We will help launch this ministry in any church that provides us with a point person. Our goal is to see changed lives, and it is a joy to watch it happen!
FamilyLife Blended is a ministry of FamilyLife, an organization that offers resources such as a Weekend to Remember, the JesusFilm Project, Passport 2 Purity, the Art of Marriage, and the new Art of Parenting.
To reach Jan Mathews, email [email protected] or phone (515)205-7540.
To reach Steve Mathews, email [email protected] or phone (515)494-6565.