Pastors are asking good questions.

  • “Why do we need a ministry to blended family couples when we have a marriage ministry (or family/parent ministry)?”
  • “What exactly do you mean by ‘blended family’ anyway? Does that include adoptive families or biracial couples?”
  • “Doesn’t ministering to divorced and remarried people send the wrong message about divorce and God’s design for the family? Isn’t this ‘going soft’ on divorce?”
Maybe you’re asking these and other questions yourself. We’re glad you are. As teachers of God’s Word and servants in His Kingdom, we need to ask hard theological questions and pragmatic ministry questions so we rightly handle the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). If you can invest about one hour, the resources on this page will offer a few answers to your questions.

Why should senior pastors care about stepfamily ministry?

Rob Bugh is an author and served as senior pastor of Wheaton Bible Church in Chicago for 26 years; he’s also part of a blended family. This presentation was made at the 2020 annual Summit on Stepfamily Ministry, hosted by FamilyLife. Please take 30 minutes to watch this video.

With these numbers, someday blended family ministry will be common in the church:

  • 62% of couples under 55 in the U.S. have a stepparent or stepchild relationship connected to one or both of the partners.
  • 40% of families raising children in the U.S. are blended families
  • 15% of first marriages form stepfamilies (find stat references here)

Next, we suggest you read Loving Mercy: A Theological Basis for Blended Family Ministry  by Ron Deal. This article wrestles with what we consider to be legitimate pastoral concerns about ministering to divorced and remarried people.

Next Steps

Once you’ve watched Rob’s presentation and read Ron’s article, you may want to take a few of these suggested next steps:

  • Share what you’re learning/thinking with other leaders in your church. What are their thoughts? What are the implications for your ministry?
  • Ready to begin? Visit Starting a Stepfamily Ministry for practical next steps and to get connected to a free ministry coach.
  • Visit the FamilyLife Blended homepage to browse our bank of articles, podcasts, events, online videos, and bestselling resources.
If you have questions for the FamilyLife Blended team, email blended@familylife.com.