Our history

Steve and Cheryl Grissom founded Church Initiative in 1993. Steve serves as the president of Church Initiative and Cheryl as the ministry vice president. Here’s what led to the start of our ministry and how we’re serving local churches all over the world.

Focus: life crisis ministry tools for local churches

Drawing from their individual experiences with the pain of divorce, Steve and his wife Cheryl designed and developed the first Church Initiative curriculum—DivorceCare—in 1993. The innovative, video-based small group curriculum was developed using skills from Steve’s broadcast journalism and business career, combined with the expertise of leading Christian pastors, counselors, and authors.

After successfully using the DivorceCare program, pastors began requesting additional resources, similarly structured, to help minister to people in other life crises, such as grief due to a death. In 1996, the ministry changed its name to Church Initiative and chartered a broader mission: to create biblical, Christ-centered resources that mobilize lay people to help hurting people within the context of the local church.

In 1998, Church Initiative reached an important milestone by releasing the first edition of GriefShare, a video-based support group similar to DivorceCare that comes alongside grieving individuals. Now in its third edition, GriefShare continues to grow and reach more individuals every year.

Today, over 20,000 churches are equipped with one or more Church Initiative ministry programs. Here are some of the video-based support groups we’ve developed:

DivorceCare (1993): A recovery program that helps people rebuild their lives after divorce or separation.

GriefShare (1998): A recovery program for those grieving the loss of a loved one.

DivorceCare for Kids (2004): A fun, engaging program that brings healing to children of divorce, gives them hope, and offers tools to develop healthier relationships within their families.

Single & Parenting (2011): A program designed to encourage and strengthen single parents who are divorced, widowed, or never-married.

Church Initiative regularly updates each curriculum to keep pace with changing technology and the developing needs of churches and individuals. Our two most recent updates include third editions of GriefShare in 2014 and DivorceCare in 2012.

Church Initiative has a strong commitment to provide ongoing support to churches using its materials. The ministry provides free consulting, promotional tools, and an extensive leadership development website.