Family Fire Celebrates Five Years of Ministry
August 03, 2015 • English
In July 2010 Rev. Steven and Deb Koster answered the question “How can we care for marriages and families in a place where people are already spending their time—online?” by launching a new Facebook ministry entitled Family Fire.
“Our first posts went out to a little crowd of around 30 people,” shares Deb. “Today, 34,000 people follow our Facebook page, we get hundreds of prayer requests, and we minister to people all over the world.”
Long before Family Fire hit cyberspace, the Kosters were leading marriage-enrichment seminars in local churches. “We’ve long had a ministry goal of supporting families spiritually as the foundation of people’s lives and personal ministries,” notes Deb.
When Steven became Director of ReFrame Media in 2006, Rev. Bob Heerspink, the late Director of ReFrame Ministries, encouraged the couple to pursue their ministry to families using media. Family Fire’s Facebook page expanded rapidly on the rising swell of social media, connecting with people in real time. They also launched a website as a deeper resource for information, encouragement, and advice about the spiritual, emotional, and physical facets of our most fundamental relationships. Articles and devotions from a diversity of authors offer unique perspectives in family ministry.
As Family Fire grew, Steven and Deb also began leading marriage and parenting seminars throughout the country in partnership with local congregations. Churches plan the events and the Kosters provide the teaching. Those who have attended the workshops affirm, “Everyone involved is encouraged.”
“The message is the same as it is online: we never struggle alone in our most intimate relationships; God’s Spirit gives us power to love, persevere, and build up,” says Steven. “Marriages and families are the essential building blocks of healthy churches and communities. We want to play a part in building Christ-centered homes. These retreats have become another way that Family Fire is giving back to the churches.”
Deb adds, “We love the opportunities to let the scripture speak into how we live life together.”
Family Fire invites its followers to submit prayer requests, which are distributed to more than 1,200 prayer team members who faithfully lift up these needs to the Lord. Some of these requests are urgent and heart-rending, because they relate to the most intimate places where brokenness can produce the most intense suffering.
In many cases, Deb reaches out personally. “It’s humbling to be invited to grieve with someone who is trying desperately to regain custody of her kids. Or to help someone make sense of the suffering that his family is going through. I have answered questions about dating and about parenting from all over the world. I’ve emailed with spouses whose marriages are falling apart, and with desperate parents whose kids are walking away from faith.”
Deb points out that many people in the Facebook community respond in prayer when they see the stories shared by other readers. “I personally love seeing them commenting on each other’s prayer requests and praying for each other!”
Thank God with us for His calling on this ministry over the last five years and for the Spirit’s fruit in families all over the world.
Note: A new Family Fire website will soon launch the ministry into its next season of ministry. Faster, responsive, and better organized, the site will put the resources that set Family Fire apart at readers’ fingertips. Readers can also subscribe to receive email updates whenever a new article or devotion is posted to the website.