Marriage training for ministry leaders
Teddy James
Teddy James
AFA Journal staff writer

February 2012 – One of AFA’s primary goals is strengthening marriages and attempting to create an environment in culture that appreciates and protects the sanctity of marriage.

With that goal in mind, AFA is partnering with the American Association of Christian Counselors to host the Marriage America Conference. The conference will take place April 12-14 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

The need
The two national organizations in the pro-family movement have joined together because they realize that cultural leaders such as those in Hollywood and the mainstream media have been very influential in the cultural understanding of marriage. Sadly, that cultural understanding is neither biblical nor advantageous to America.

As a way of fighting fire with fire, the two groups decided to join with leaders who hold a biblical respect for marriage at one event to inform, equip and challenge pro-family leaders. The goal is for these leaders to leave and influence culture from the top down in the same manner secularists have been doing all these years.

Tim Clinton, president of AACC, said, “I think marriage has taken a bad rap over the last decade or two. People are not that excited about participating in events or supporting efforts that promote the importance of marriage and family today. We are trying to bring cultural leaders together to form a kind of watering hole where people can be encouraged and challenged. Then they can disseminate information from some of the latest and best research to become the voice we need to be and launch a new and stronger pro-marriage movement.”

Buddy Smith, vice president of AFA, said, “We have been looking at marriage resources for years, but have always felt something was missing. We wanted to create a conference that would help fill the gap. Out of that desire, the Marriage America Conference was born.”

The answer
The conference is designed for Christian leaders. Clinton said, “We are inviting marriage advocates of every sort. We have asked researchers, counselors, pastors, marriage coaches, mentors, premarital counselors, seasoned couples who want to mentor others and those who are voices of advocacy at the community, state and federal level to join us in Orlando for the conference.”

Speakers at the conference include Gary Smalley, Tony Perkins, Gary Chapman, Tim Clinton and many others. The conference will address issues that span from how to settle spousal arguments to counseling couples who have experienced emotional or sexual betrayal.

The prayer is that these sessions, both conference-wide and the smaller workshops, scheduled before and during the event, will be a catalyst for changing culture as a whole.

Clinton said, “Until the church awakens and takes her rightful place, becoming a loud voice in culture again, parachurch organizations must stand in the gap. It’s time for those who name Jesus Christ as their Lord, who are leaders in ministry, to come and stand together boldly, setting aside differences and being committed to common causes. The future of our homes, our towns, our cities, communities and even our country hangs in the balance.

For more information or to register for this culture-changing event, call 800-526-8673 or visit  undefined

Five reasons to attend
1. You will hear from some of the world’s leading experts in professional, pastoral and lay counseling.
2. You will discover practical tips and strategies to more effectively minister to others.
3. You have the opportunity to develop professional relationships with Christian counselors from across the nation and around the world.
4. You will be able to set your own agenda and tailor your conference experience to meet your need.
5. You can choose from over 24 pre-conference workshops and 16 workshop tracks that appeal most specifically to your areas of interest.