Family of Faith Network Conference Bridges Church Communities
From June 10 through 12, the Boone Center for the Family (BCFF) hosted the second annual Family of Faith Network Conference. Focusing on the theme Sacred Households: Building Authentic Faith in Families, 130 attendees were treated to three days of workshops, keynote presentations, and networking opportunities, all against the stunning backdrop of Pepperdine’s Malibu campus.
This conference, designed for church leaders such as ministers and lay leaders responsible for strengthening families through the local church, equipped attendees with new techniques, disciplines, and rituals designed to set families on the path to developing authentic faith. In addition, attendees were blessed to hear from top leaders in the fields of family and marriage ministry, and treated to a theatrical production of the life of Corrie ten Boom, portrayed by actress Susie Sandager.
Keynote speakers included Mark Holmen, leader of the Faith@Home movement, and Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love. Setting the theme and tone for the conference, both speakers shared the importance of authentic faith as a prerequisite for parents passing on faith through the generations. They emphasized that a family should have a common goal and be focused outwardly on the mission of building God’s Kingdom, and the unique calling and duty parents have to share faith with their children.
Other speakers included Ron Deal, president of As for Me and My House Ministries, parent ministry of Successful Stepfamilies, who spoke on addressing the needs of the growing stepfamily population; Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, founder of Love and Respect Ministries, who, along with his daughter, Joy Eggerichs, shared “The Four Wills of God for Marriage and Singles;” Joneal Kirby, director of the women’s mentoring ministry, Heart to Home, who emphasized the importance of following the edict in Titus 2 that older women mentor younger women; and Michael Sytsma, president of Building Intimate Marriages and a licensed therapist who shared insight into “Cultivating Sexually Healthy Churches.”
Workshop themes addressed the specific needs of families throughout the life cycle, and offered poignant applications of Biblical truth to today’s family issues. Each workshop was both a presentation of material from a leading expert and a discussion among the leaders and ministers in the audience. Conference attendees enjoyed the intimate setting of these classes, and the accessibility of the speakers. Two speakers received especially glowing comments: Norm Wright, for his presentation of his work on grief through the family life cycle; and Susan Giboney, who gave presentations on grandparenting and spiritual development in families.
Under the leadership of BCFF executive director Dr. Ken Canfield, and with the support of members of the BCFF Advisory Board, faculty and staff from Pepperdine University and GSEP, and many partners in ministry, the conference gathered the best speakers, ministers, lay leaders, and congregants seeking to infuse their churches and ministries with the finest programming and resources available.
Guests commented that they “appreciated the broad base of topics from which to choose,” that they enjoyed “catching up on new research and making great connections with the leaders in our field,” and valued “the opportunity to share ideas and network with peers.” Attendees described the event as a “must” for those in ministry, expressed that they were excited to share with their senior pastors and ministry teams what they had learned, and said that they would encourage others to make attending BCFF’s upcoming conferences a priority. BCFF will hold the third annual conference in 2011.