Since many people are coming to this website based on search engine inquiries about, “latest news on Karen Zerby,” I thought I would write about the latest news regarding TFI and Karen Zerby.
Karen Zerby and Steven Kelly presented a paper regarding The Family International (TFI) at the 2009 Conference of the Center for Studies on New Religious Movements, hosted in Salt Lake City, Utah from June 11th to June 13th, 2009. An excerpt from the paper is below.
“Our primary objective in redirecting the vision and impetus of the Family is to enable it to prosper well into the future as a thriving religious community that is relevant to today’s world, while preserving its uniqueness and unconventional doctrines. . . We trust that the Family’s missionary zeal, coupled with its commitment to our unique brand of Christianity, will empower the Family to successfully transition into the future.” (Excerpt from Karen Zerby and Steven Kelly’s paper)
I was also amazed to read the announcement made by TFI spokesman, Lonnie Davis, that TFI has led 33 million people to the Lord Jesus Christ! Wow! That is an amazing effort!
“Family spokesman Lonnie Davis — who notes that the group keeps careful records of each pamphlet distributed, DVD sold and Web page viewed — said, “We’ve led 33 million souls to Jesus.”” (Local Utah media)
I would like to personally congratulate TFI in leading so many people to the Lord. We really need to hear more of such powerful testimonies in the body of Christ. I also think it’s fantastic that TFI is evangelism focused, and this sort of focus results in the types of conversion numbers we see above.
According to current TFI announcements and publications. TFI no longer practice their traditional communal living, and members now live in their own homes and work secular jobs. According to current TFI leader, Steven Kelly, TFI has undergone a reboot and is changing it’s traditional functionality, as the group seeks to reinvent itself and change with the new vision God has given the organization. According to Steven Kelly, he believes God has a new vision for TFI, and that they will operate a lot differently than what they did in the past.
It would be fair to say that as TFI moves away from communal living, they are seeking a new model for their fellowship and community. On a personal note, I think TFI could learn a lot from the Exclusive Brethren (a.k.a: Plymouth Brethren) Christian group. The Exclusive Brethren are a Christian group with some similarities with TFI, but instead of living in communal houses, various leaders of this Christian group own businesses, and all the members of the group work together at these businesses and fellowship together. It’s a very strong fellowship as the groups members spend time with each other at the workplace, and then resume fellowship during the week. Although it’s not communal living, it’s very close to it, as the groups members spend most of their days and weeks together. The Exclusive Brethren also has a very strong evangelical element to them, as they hand out tracts and evangelize on the streets regularly. In the past I have had friends from the Exclusive Brethren, and can sincerely say, they are some of the most sincere Christian’s I know. The Exclusive Brethren is definitely a lot different than the traditional churches, and studying their fellowship model and structure could be beneficial to TFI as they seek to change their community structure.
Those wishing to read more about Karen Zerby and Steven Kelly’s presentation at the Utah religious conference can do so by clicking here.
Those wishing to read about the latest news within TFI can visit their official website here. The TFI official website also includes photographs and reports about TFI’s most recent ministry work.