Nearly 7,000 Christian counselors, pastors, students and Christian leaders from the U.S. and more than 30 countries are set to attend a world conference in Nashville, Tenn., beginning Wednesday hosted by the American Association of Christian Counselors.
The association says that it believes the "ministry to persons acknowledges the complexity of humans as physical, psychological, social, and spiritual beings. The ultimate goal of Christian counseling is to help others move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity."
Among other parts of the AACC's doctrinal statement, it states, "That the Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration and renewal for believers in Christ, that He makes the presence of Jesus Christ real in believers, and that He comforts, guides, convicts, and enables believers to live in ways that honor Him. "
The four-day conference, "Our Time is Now," is sold-out and scheduled to take place at the Opryland Hotel.
AACC president Dr. Tim Clinton said, "Our staff has been prayerfully and diligently working for over a year to create a Christ-centered, professionally-focused conference environment, but we know that without the Holy Spirit's work there will be no lasting impact. Our prayer is that attendees' experience will be nothing short of life-changing. These are challenging times for many of our members, for our country and for modern-day Christianity, and we are standing together asking God to pour out His favor and blessing on our time together."
The opening plenary session on Wednesday evening includes messages by Clinton, and apologetics scholar and best-selling author, Ravi Zacharias. Later, MercyMe will take the stage for the "Let's Get it Started" celebration event. Throughout the week, renowned Christian leaders David Jeremiah, James Dobson, John Ortberg, Eric Metaxas, George Barna, Max Lucado, Tullian Tchividjian, John Eldredge, Diane Langberg, Emerson Eggerichs, Gabe Lyons, Harold Koenig, Ricky Rigsby, Margaret Feinberg, Mark Driscoll, and Congressman Randy Forbes will address the audience in "powerful keynote sessions."
This year's World Conference is scheduled to offer more than 50 different pre-conference learning institutes, over 160 workshops, over 80 poster presentations, 10 networking mixers, 3 luncheons, and an exhibit hall of more than 250 major Christian organizations featuring the latest resources and products to equip clinicians and caregivers, according to AACC.
"Packed with times of learning, spiritual growth and development, opportunities for networking, and even a little fun, the energy and excitement will only escalate with praise and worship by Michael O'Brien, Charles Billingsley and the World Conference praise band, along with award-winning artists Mandisa and Matthew West, and comedian Tim Hawkins," organizers said.
With nearly 50,000 members, the association of counselors is the largest and most diverse faith-based counseling association in the world, according to AACC. For more information, visit www.worldconference.net or www.aacc.net.