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2024 Marriage and Family Ministry Network

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Equipping Leaders to Help Marriages and Families Be Transformed by the Power and Presence of God’s Amazing Grace

The Marriage and Family Ministry Network's vision is to see families transformed and become instruments of restoration and reformation. The Network will train and encourage Christian leaders who want to grow in their own marriage and family relationships and help other marriages and families be healed and transformed. Participants in the Marriage and Family Ministry Network will receive specialised training at the Forum Annual Meeting as well as helpful resources and mentoring opportunities.

Through the Marriage and Family Ministry Network, leaders will be equipped to help families be transformed by the power and presence of God’s amazing grace into instruments of restoration and reformation. 

Network Leadership

Michael Tooker has spent most of his career in the highly competitive corporate world. He’s seen firsthand how the demands of work impact marriage and family. In 2022, Michael transitioned from his role as a corporate executive to pastoring at one of America’s largest churches. Michael frequently… Read more
Bill Cavness spent 20 years in the construction industry in Arizona prior to being called into vocational ministry in 2018. He also served as the Director of Operations for Dr. Tim Kimmel and Grace Based Families from 2008-2014, where he was immersed in biblical thought and teaching on marriage and… Read more

Network Speakers

Mike Betts is one of the leaders of Relational Mission, a family of churches itself part of the wider Newfrontiers group. Mike is the author of From the Inside Out, Relational Mission: A Way of Life, The Prayers… Read more

Bill Cavness spent 20 years in the construction industry in Arizona prior to being called into vocational ministry in 2018. He also served as the Director of Operations for Dr. Tim Kimmel and Grace Based Families from 2008-2014, where he was immersed in biblical thought and teaching on marriage… Read more

Michelle is the Minister of Staff Development and on the Executive Leadership Team at Scottsdale Bible Church in Arizona. She has a passion for discipleship and drawing out a greater thirst for more of God and His Word in others. Michelle also enjoys developing people within the Church in such a… Read more

Paul Coulter lives in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, with his Chinese Malaysian wife, Gar-Ling, and their two teenage children. He holds degrees in medical genetics, medicine and theology (PhD). Having previously served as a medical doctor, cross-cultural pastor and lecturer in practical theology… Read more

Dr. John Michael has been helping couples and families since 1993. John finished his Master’s Degree at Denver Seminary in Colorado and began working as a social worker and counsellor. Throughout the years of helping people, Dr. Michael completed his Doctorate in Psychology at Kennedy Western… Read more

Krista Miller (Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary) and her husband Philip, reside in Chicago, IL where they serve at The Moody Church. She has served as a pastor’s wife for nearly 20 years and is currently working toward a D. Min. with research in pastoral care for ministry spouses.… Read more

Claire Patty grew up in the Czech Republic as the daughter of missionaries, Dave and Connie Patty. From a young age, she was impacted by being raised in a cross-cultural setting and seeing the gospel transform lives. After graduating from a Czech national school, she completed her BA in Bible… Read more

Dave Patty has been involved in training youth leaders and leading national and international youth movements in Europe for over 30 years. He serves as the president of Josiah Venture. He is also a founding member of Concentric, which mobilizes and equips youth ministry trainers in over 60… Read more

Michael Tooker has spent most of his career in the highly competitive corporate world. He’s seen firsthand how the demands of work impact marriage and family. In 2022, Michael transitioned from his role as a corporate executive to pastoring at one of America’s largest churches. Michael… Read more

Network Programme

Sunday, 26 May

The demands of Christian leadership arise every day of the week and any time of day. This reality, alongside the importance of the work, creates a perfect environment for workaholism, burnout, and ultimately divorce for Christian leaders. In this session, our speaker will share transparently how his idolatry of work nearly destroyed his marriage and family. He’ll also share powerful principles and practices that enabled him to put God in his proper position to do a miraculous healing work in his marriage and family.

Facing suffering and grief is a sobering reality of marriage. How can we faithfully endure and grow amid pain and sorrow? This session will discuss the importance of grief, grace, intimacy, and community and how God can strengthen and teach us in the midst of suffering.

Monday, 27 May

How to lead in ministry and meet the needs of others is often a clearer and less exhausting path than being a good spouse and parent. Why can it be so much easier to be the person your ministry expects you to be than the one your spouse expects you to be? Gospel transformation is common to the lives of all believers. This session will aim to identify the barriers that sometimes keep us from living as our transformed selves at home to the same degree we do in our ministries.

Tales of ministry burnout are sad and sobering. The stories of leaders who struggle with burnout often become well-known. However, an often-hidden area of ministry stress is spouse burnout. What do we do when the spouse of a ministry leader is struggling? What are the best practices for caring for ministry spouses? Every ministry family is different, but there is hope for those walking through a challenging season. There are guardrails that can be put in place to support and encourage every member of our ministry teams, including the spouses of our leaders.

Tuesday, 28 May

Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to “Guard our hearts” and reveals that the heart of a person is the place from which the issues of life flow. In this session, we will explore how identifying emotions and embracing their impact can lead to intimacy with God and intimacy in our marriage relationships. We will also uncover how the ways in which we work with our own emotions impact the cycles of our relationships. This session will also address some keys to help leaders care for the marriages of others.

Scripture shows us God has always wanted a people for himself. The Church drawn from every nation, tongue and tribe is this people; this family of God on earth. Whilst we become part of God's family through spiritual rebirth, and then find ourselves in the family of God, we do have to ask ourselves, what about the area of marriage and family? What does the New Testament have to say about the place of biological family vs spiritual family? We naturally carry concern about our own marriages and families. If leaders are to devote time to raising spiritual sons and daughters, what does doing this with your own children look like? If we are to be 'family' to one another, what priority does your spouse take over ministry? Navigating these dynamics in marriage and family life are themes close to many hearts. In this session we will touch on these areas and seek to encourage each other from principles in Scripture and experience in life.

Wednesday, 29 May

Burnout, depression and chronic illness are exhausting for affected individuals, but they also create burdens for their families. Children may feel neglected and unloved, and spouses may feel lonely and unsupported. The results can be frustration and guilt in all parties and lasting damage to relationships. This session will explore the dynamics of families with a member experiencing exhaustion and examine practical steps to reduce its harm. We will also consider how to recover as a family whether the affected person recovers from the exhaustion or not.

One of the challenges of parenting is the steady change that is required to adapt to a child’s growth. Parenting a grade school student is very different than parenting a teenager, and the best strategies for one phase of a child’s life may be the very worst for the next. Developmental psychologists have discovered that children move through predictable stages of development that can be understood and responded to. What are these stages and how do they affect parenting? How can a believer purposefully parent through the stages in a way that shapes their child’s behavior, draws them to God and develops maturity? Dave will be joined by his daughter, Claire, a children’s education specialist, for this practical seminar.