“Imagine you joined me on an airplane, and we heard an announcement, ‘Welcome to our flight, and oh and by the way, there’s a 35 to 50 percent chance that this plane is going to crash.’ How many of you would get on?” Jim Burns asked over 400 people recently at the Balboa Bay Resort. “But in reality, that’s the story of the American marriage today. There were 2.1 million marriages last year, and 1 million divorces. But I have really good news for you; I think we can change the trajectory of marriage in one generation. And you can help us do that.”
Burns is the founder and president of HomeWord, a non-profit Christian organization designed to assist adults worldwide as they help young people make wise decisions and lead positive lives. He is also the executive director of HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. The Center is the largest provider of Christian parenting and youth seminars in the United States.
Burns’ many books and resources have been translated into more than two dozen languages, and he speaks to thousands of people around the world each year through radio and in-person.
Burns was one of several who inspired, motivated and participated in HomeWord’s yearly benefit. The evening, titled “An Intimate Evening of Story and Song,” featured musical artists Amy Grant and Tim Timmons.
“Many of you came to see Amy Grant and Tim Timmons,” explained Doug Fields, senior director of HomeWord. “But in the midst of the entertainment, we want you to know that HomeWord is ultimately about helping families succeed by developing strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids, and healthy leaders.”
“HomeWord is actively involved in doing this by creating life changing resources, investing in influential leaders and partnering with churches,” Fields continued. “We all know someone close to us who has suffered the pain of divorce. Marriage is a big deal because there is so much at stake. We believe we can help marriages win; we believe we can impact legacy. What will your legacy be? Not your possessions or your bank account, but whatever you do to invest in the next generation.”
Fields speaks to thousands of leaders, teenagers and parents each year and is the author or co-author of over 50 books.
Amy Grant made a name for herself as a teenage musical phenomenon, and continues to remain relevant more than three decades later. She has sold more than 30 million albums, won six Grammys, 26 Dove Awards and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Tim Timmons served as worship leader at Mariners Church for 15 years and performs at conferences and churches across the country. Over 10 years ago, Timmons was diagnosed with an incurable cancer and feels called to “challenge Christians to not only believe in Jesus, but to change the world by truly following Him.”
Both Amy and Tim shared about their lives, the importance of legacy and the goal of helping families succeed. They sang individually and also delighted the crowd by singing together.
“How do we save a marriage before it even starts?” asked Burns. “If a couple gets quality premarital counseling and education, there’s a 31 percent better chance that they will stay married. At HomeWord, thanks to many of you who invested in this, we’re launching ‘Getting Ready for Marriage’ resources to help marriages succeed.”
The resources include books, workbooks and an on-line communication app filled with helpful tools, video courses and information that becomes personalized for each couple.
“It takes all of us doing a little bit; together we can make a difference,” Burns said. “Invest in family. Create a legacy.”
For further information, go to www.homeword.com
Cindy can be reached at [email protected].