What is Family Ministry?

We call Family Fire a family ministry, but what does that mean?

Our families are the home base and relational foundation out of which we live our lives. They’re usually the people we live with and are closest to, more important than neighbors, schoolmates, work colleagues, and even friends. But people are messy. Relationships are hard, and families aren’t always easy to belong to.

Our family ministry attempts to walk alongside people in families, like spouses, parents, and grandparents, and help them navigate all those messy relationships. What advice do the Christian scriptures have to offer families? How can the church be useful to people? How can Christian pastors, counselors, and psychologists help answer the difficult questions in strained or tenuous relationships?

We seek to nurture and support families in all their relationships, offering spiritual, emotional, and practical guidance, all from a Christian perspective. The goal of family ministry is to strengthen families and the people in them, helping them to grow in faith and live out Christian principles in their daily lives, especially at home. We believe that marriage and families are institutions designed by God, a gift for human flourishing. A strong, faith-filled family is a cornerstone of a healthy church and society.

We’re also an online ministry, offering an innovative and accessible approach to supporting and nurturing families in their faith journey through digital means. We want to reach anyone anywhere with resources for strengthening families as they live out their faith in the mess of everyday life.

One of our key tasks is teaching wisdom. We share relationship skills and biblical principles related to marriage, parenting, and relationships. Topics covered might include effective communication, conflict resolution, relationship navigation, financial stewardship, and honoring one another well. Mostly we do this through blogs and social media, but also occasionally through a video series and in-person seminars. By offering this guidance, we help families navigate the complexities of modern life while living with wisdom from within our faith.

Faith Formation is also a key task of Family Ministry. We seek not only a healthy home but one that flourishes by fostering a Christ-centered home environment. This includes encouraging regular prayer, worship together, and continual reflection on how God is in this moment with us. These activities are essential for individual spiritual growth and strengthening the family. We also seek to pray for one another as a community, bringing our praises and challenges to the feet of God’s throne. By prioritizing these practices, our families are better equipped to face life's challenges with a strong faith foundation.

Furthermore, we believe faith involves service, and teaching kids to share their gifts is an essential element of faith formation. We encourage families to live out their faith through outreach, acts of kindness, and service to others. This could involve volunteer opportunities, local community service projects, or just being a friend to those in need. By serving together, families model the love of Christ to their communities and teach their children the importance of compassion and generosity as a reflection of Christ’s gifts to us.

As an online ministry, we also hope to connect people with their local church communities. Being a part of a worshiping community not only connects us with other believers in devotional practices, but it also provides a connection for in-person pastoral counseling for couples and families experiencing difficulties. This might involve pre-marital counseling, marriage enrichment programs, and support for parents from the church itself. Pastors can provide a listening ear, offer biblical advice, and pray with families, helping them to work through issues in a way that honors God. Additionally, churches often have support groups for specific challenges, such as addiction recovery, grief, and single parenting, providing a community of faith where individuals can share their struggles and find encouragement. And beyond the congregation, churches can often recommend Christian counselors, who can provide professional encouragement and mental health management.

Our family ministry seeks to nurture and support families in building healthy relationships and living out their Christian faith. Through education, counseling, faith formation, community building, and service, we aim to strengthen the spiritual, emotional, and relational aspects of family life. We hope to see families grow closer to God and to each other, fostering a sense of purpose and unity that can withstand the trials of life.

About the author — Revs. Deb & Steven Koster

Revs. Steven and Deb Koster are passionate about caring for marriage and family relationships. As a pastoral team, Steven and Deb started Family Fire as a series of marriage seminars and expanded into Facebook and web-based ministry promoting God's design for living out our faith in relationships. The Kosters enjoy leading retreats to help couples explore spiritual, emotional, and physical intimacy, helping couples live as members of a Spirit-fired family. They have raised three awesome children into adulthood and launched two of them thus far into the adventure of married life. The Kosters reside in a historic home in Grand Rapids, The Parsonage Inn, which they run as a bed and breakfast and hospitality ministry. When not doing ministry, the Kosters can be found riding their bicycles on the paths around West Michigan.

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