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Smart Stepfamilies

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Articles for Ministry Leaders


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Stepfamily Ministry

Visit our Stepfamily Ministry section to view upcoming webinars, recommended resources, statistics, and more.
Redeeming the Remarried

Recently Smart Stepfamilies president Ron L. Deal was invited by Christianity Today magazine to write a feature article on why the church must minister to remarried couples.  The article appeared in the October, 2007 issue.  Read it on CT's site. 
Ministering to Stepfamilies

Stepfamilies find themselves trying to put all the pieces of their family together with little or no help. But churches have much to offer.
Getting Serious About Preventing Redivorce

Even though 40% of all weddings are remarriages and over 60% of remarriage divorce, redivorce prevention is only occasionally mentioned in the marriage education movement and literature, is rarely the focus of keynote presentations at marriage and family conferences, and receives very little attention in the media. Why?
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Guiding Stepfamilies Through Wilderness Wanderings

"I'm sorry. Your background and past might infect everyone else so we can't have you at our church."
We Need Help So Desperately!

The need is real. And the call for help is coming from every side...We don't know how to help.
A Philosophy of Family Life Ministry

How does stepfamily ministry fit into family life ministry in general?  What role should the church take in ministering to all types of families?  Whether you're just getting started or have an existing ministry, this philosophy of family ministry can help clarify the road ahead.
Starting Your Local Ministry

Many couples and ministry leaders are asking, "How do we get started?  We want to impact the stepfamilies and single-parents in our church and community, but we don't know where to begin."  This article will walk you through the process.
That's Interesting!

Research findings from the National Survey of Couples Creating Stepfamilies.
Getting Remarried with Children: Effective Pre-Stepfamily Counseling

Nearly one-third of US weddings today give birth to a stepfamily.  By the year 2010 there will be more stepfamilies in America than any other type of family and it is predicted that one-half of Americans will have a steprelationship at some point in their lifetime.  Yet, despite the prevalence of remarried couples and the unique struggles they face, counseling for pre-stepfamily couples is generally conducted in the same way as for those entering a first marriage.  This article asserts that adequate pre-remarital counseling must be different in content and practice in order for it to prepare couples for the realities of stepfamily life.
Pre-Stepcouple Counseling: A Sample Session Format

Just how should pre-stepcouple counseling be different from first-marriage premarital counseling?  See a sample session format.
Second Marriages: Helping Couples Embrace a Positive Future

Separation and divorce are a fact of the twenty-first century, whether we want to admit it or not.  While the church would like to think that every marriage will succeed and the married couple will live happily ever after, statistics do not bear this out to be the case. 
Ministering to Children of Divorce Through Their Lives

From our friends at the Institute for American Values, we commend to you this article by Elizabeth Marquardt.
The Stepcouple Divorce Rate

Just what is the divorce rate for couples in stepfamilies?  There has been much debate and now we discover that we may have been under-reporting the truth for years.

Recommended Resources for Stepfamily Ministry

A comprehensive list of web, book, and curriculum resources for stepfamilies and stepfamily ministries has been compiled for your benefit.
Divided Loyalties

Noted family therapist Bill Doherty, Ph.D. offers wonderful insights to understanding the challenges of stepfamilies and how to counsel them.  From the Smart Marriages website.
What is it with Men and Commitment, Anyway?

From marriage expert Scott Stanley, this article explores the issues around men and commitment.  Differences between how men and women development marital commitment are examined.  From the Smart Marriages website.
Stepfamily Developmental Tasks

Stepfamilies have key tasks they must manage to further their integration over time.  This chart outlines key tasks and examines stepfamilies with differing starting points: Following divorce, death, or an out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
Making A Difference: Ministering to 21st Century Families

This plenary presentation was delivered by Ron on August 12, 2005 at the second annual Association of Marriage & Family Ministries conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  The presentation challenges church leaders to mature their family ministry practice in a number of specific ways.  It also challenges the church to more fully integrate family life ministry into the overall ministry philosophy of the local church.  There was tremendous response to this presentation at the conference; we believe you, too, will be blessed by what Ron has to say.

Non-traditional Family Continuum of Care: A Ministry Model

The Continuum of Care is a developmental model for understanding the scope and sequence of stepfamily ministry. The model provides a panoramic view of the key events and processes that are involved in the development and ongoing life of stepfamilies...
Scriptural Issues Related to Divorce and Remarriage

Acknowledging Stepparent's on Mother's Day and Father's Day?

Should stepparents be acknowledged on Mother's Day or Father's Day in your assembly?  How do you go about it?  We asked our E-Magazine readers that question and here's what they had to say.
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Why the Couple Checkup?

Why should ministry leaders encourage couples to take a Checkup?  Why focus on strengths in marriage? 
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Smart Churches, Smart Stepfamilies

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Jon and Kate Plus 25

If you thought Jon and Kate plus 8 was complicated, just wait till they remarry. Article hosted by our friends at FamilyLife.
Being an Effective Teacher: What Makes the Difference?

A recent study published in the professional journal Family Relations examined what factors contributed to high class ratings of the teacher from participants of a stepfamily education program.

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