About The Family International
The Family International (TFI, as an international community of Christians, takes its commitment in sharing message about the love of God all over the globe seriously. It was founded in California in the late 1960s and has grown into a worldwide organization enjoying membership in more than 90 countries.
The Family International has evolved and enjoyed too much progress in its 42 year history, while seeking to establish a global missionary work. However, these changes and progress have not interfered with its core message: “God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16); “God is love… [and] since God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:8, 11 NIV).
This international Christian community is fully committed towards sharing the message talking about the love of God with people all around the world. It’s our belief that every person can enjoy a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and that this grants them both happiness and peace of mind, in addition to motivating them to continue the good news about His love. Generally, we share the same fundamental beliefs with Christians all over the world; while embracing a few untraditional doctrines. Our lives and faith are defined using how we apply God’s Law of Love – to Love God and our neighbor as we love ourselves, which is the fulfillment of “all the law and the prophets” Matthew 22:37-40 – as taught by Jesus.
Religious and Racial Tolerance—The Cornerstone of a Pluralistic Society
Our Christian faith has an inherent component which states that we have to demonstrate our acceptance and tolerance to all people, while presenting to them a Gospel which does not discriminate based on ethnicity, nationality or color. The Family International has ministered in more than 150 countries since it was founded in 1968. The current membership is composed of people from more than 100 nationalities; multiracial communities.
If a tolerant and pluralistic society is to be created, we believe that religious and racial forms of discrimination in addition to all types of prejudices will need to be opposed while promoting more tolerance and understanding. We are convinced of the sacredness of human life, and that everyone has to be respected since we are all individuals created in God’s image.
We believe that God’s love solves all of man’s problems, even in the contemporary complex society. We are a religious organization with focus on offering social services hence our translation of these principles is done practically through sharing God’s word of salvation, love and hope. We also believe in active participation in several humanitarian as well as relief activities.
We produce several inspirational, devotional and educational publications to millions of subscribers throughout the world annually. Some are available in most major languages. Sample some of our literature, which cover wide ranging topics on Viewpoints.
Activated remains one of our most prized and notable publications. It’s a monthly magazine which is published in more than different 20 languages worldwide. Each issue tackles topics which are considered relevant in our everyday lives, and brings a proper understanding of how to apply spiritual principles and activate the power of God in our day to day living.
Our members offer classes and seminars where people can learn more on spiritual development. The teachings at these seminars are designed to help people in terms of improving their personal relationship with God, covers all the fundamentals of the teachings as demonstrated through the Bible, while focusing on helping people to improve how they relate with others. The teachings also cater for predictions of all future events as seen through the Bible, among other issues.
Our worldwide membership is assisted through The Family International administrative structure, at the worldwide and regional level.
The spiritual and administrative directors of this community are Karen Zerby and Steve Kelly, who go by their pet names of Maria Fontaine and Peter Amsterdam respectively.
The administrative body of the Family International is known as TFI Services. Globally, TFI Services is in charge of both administrative and publications. It serves TFI missionaries through publishing devotional contents and counseling worldwide members; produces materials designed to motivate the public; ensures that mission works and programs don’t fail due to lack of sponsorship resources; disburses tithes and donations meant to subsidize TFI Services while aiding mission centers which operate from developing countries, or work under emergency conditions.
THE FAMILY INTERNATIONAL’S CHARTER
TFI has adopted a membership charter since 1995, were the beliefs, rights and responsibilities of all its members are codified. This charter outlines principles, goals and beliefs of the movement which, it considers to be the most important, in addition to the statement of faith, and codifying the administration.
The members of the Family International may share a common faith and purpose, but they are autonomous in how they operate while being guided by the Charter’s perimeters. All members and mission works are allowed to establish their own missions and goals, but these have to be done within the framework provided by The Family International’s purpose, as it is expressed through the mission statement.
Nobody is denied the chance of being a member of The Family International regardless of their nationality, gender, culture or race. Currently, it enjoys a membership made up of people from more than 100 nationalities. Anyone interested in being a member of this community needs to demonstrate his/her belief in the statement of faith, while contributing towards the mission of The Family International, which is properly espoused in our mission statement. This should be done based on their personal ability and choice.
TFI members are required to carry themselves, in their professional and personal lives, both ethically and with a high level of integrity.
More than 35,000 people have at one point or the other, opted to devote their lives in service to God and their fellow men through The Family International. Many are those who opted to retire after sacrificing many years in devotion to missionary work, though they are no longer actively involved as members of our fellowship. We continue to demonstrate our gratitude for the time and effort they invested in missionary work when they were part of the Family.
If you want more information, contact the Family International nearest you.
Building a Better World
The Family international’s primary goal is to improve other people’s quality of life through sharing messages revolving around hope, love and salvation as found in the Word of God. Our belief is that if God’s love is daily applied in our lives, most of the problems the society endures will be resolved, regardless of the complex nature and fast-paced life we lead in the world today. It’s our hope and belief that as we build a better world through impartation of the hope and guidance which are taught on the Bible, we will succeed in changing the world, one heart at a time.
Family members have always been known for providing all forms of assistance to anyone in need through multiple programs, which range from personal counseling sessions; to seminars which focus on stress and time management; to seminars teaching parents and educators on child rearing; offering the sick, the disadvantaged and the elderly the encouragement and assistance they need, rehabilitation of drug addicts; personal counseling offered to people in juvenile detention centers and prisons; assistance through humanitarian efforts as well as disaster relief and refugee camps; and organizing music concerts and theatrical performances which are designed to lift the spirits of he underprivileged in many countries. We encourage our members to work with international and national relief organizations frequently in order to provide food, supplies, help, comfort, as well as encouragement for anyone experiencing hardship or distress.
Since it was founded in 1968, The Family International has continued to enjoy a colorful history even after it changed its name from Children of God. Members of this organization have travelled all over the world while spreading God’s message using songs and literature, in addition to using multimedia productions. They did this while establishing a presence in more than 100 nations. It has overcome several challenges which stood on its path to build a worldwide Christian fellowship of communities which are self-supporting and autonomous; and they did this while catering for the needy using personal counseling sessions, seminars, disaster relief, humanitarian aid, without forgetting to share God’s love all over the world.
The origins of The Family International go back to 1968 in Huntington Beach, California. The founder was one David Brandt Berg (1914-1994), and was also known as “father David”. He founded this organization in the company of his wife and teenage children when he began a ministry aimed at ministering to the counterculture youth who used to congregate in the seaside town. Many of the youths who were ministered to, later experienced tremendous changes in their lives when they developed a personal relationship with God, through His son Jesus Christ. (If you want to read “MO Letters”, which are the writings of David Brandt Berg, click here).
Consequently, many of these youths opted to dedicate their lives in serving God and fellow man. Later, when the group grew to almost 100 members, the news media started referring to it as the “Children of God”. This number swelled to close to 130 communities comprised of full time members spread all over the world by 1972. The name of the organization would later change to The Family after a bit of reorganization in 1978.
As The Family International continued developing into an international organization, it underwent a lot of structural changes too. By 1995, a membership charter had been adopted, which required all the beliefs, rights and responsibilities of all full-time members of the family to be codified. All Family members and communities are allowed to operate based on their own decisions and initiatives as long as they are within the framework of the charter.
This movement has been identified by the global missionary and humanitarian activities it has been involved in. By 2010, Family members had shared the message of the Gospel with more than 298 million people, while more than 35 million people had prayed with the members to receive salvation, God’s gift to mankind. The Family International has produced and distributed more than 1.1 billion pieces of Gospel-based literature in close to 61 languages, and more than 2.2 million videos, in addition to more than 12.8 million audio tapes/CDs/DVDs in more than 20 different languages.
The Family International (TFI) can best be described as an international Christian community which is committed to share the message about God’s love with all peoples worldwide. Our goal is to bring hope and spiritual growth or renewal using the love of Jesus Christ, which is unconditional and isn’t bound to the limitations of race, creed or ones social status. We work towards creating a difference in our world through the provision of spiritual solutions for people experiencing challenges of life, then translating the love of God into actions which are manifested through kindness and compassion all aimed towards improving the lives of other people. Our endeavor is to follow the example of Jesus Christ, whose ministry was mainly “to preach the Gospel…to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind” (The Bible, Luke 4:18 NKJV).
Our commitment is to:
Make the World a Better Place: Sharing the message of God’s love for mankind.
We are passionate about changing the world and we do this by empowering people towards developing a personal relationship with God, thus changing the part of the world where they live. We focus on providing an environment which is both supportive and energizing thus making spiritual growth possible, and ideal for sharing the good news relating to God’s love and salvation, in addition to applying the ethics and values of Christians in the day to day living.
Spiritual Development: Offering the right kind of spiritual and emotional support which is perfect for managing the challenges brought about by modern life.
People in need of spiritual development in their lives, are given opportunities through TFI members through personal counseling and coaching sessions, support groups, retreats, seminars, and personalized comfort and encouragement which is provided during times of hardship and distress. Children are not left behind as members are encouraged to get involved in various programs which are both educational and good for character building, while parents and educators are taken through faith-based instructions.
Humanitarian Assistance: To enhance the quality of life of people who are displaced, disadvantaged and without hope.
TFI members continue striving in order to meet the needs of other people via various humanitarian efforts which include emergency relief efforts, volunteer training, capacity building for those who are underprivileged, educational initiatives and schools designed for the disadvantaged, sustainable development programs, computer literacy programs, benefit performances, distribution of medical relief, food and all forms of aid, in addition to HIV and drug awareness, support and prevention. Relief workers get emotional and spiritual support from members of the family. Members also get involved in visitations to homeless shelters, refugee camps, orphanages and hospitals.
International Media Contact
Contact for Media in Europe
Family Information Desk
Phone: +44 (0)203 291 2571
+44 (0)845 680 0521