Ever since they got famous for their show 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggar family has been invited to speak at Christian events all over the world. Despite the fact that their old show got canceled due to their son Josh Duggar’s scandals, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are still wanted by various conferences and camps to speak about their experiences raising a large, religious family.
With their star power, Jim Bob and Michelle have been promoting events that are controversial and have gained negative press. Right now, the Duggar family are advertising Big Sandy Family Conference, which will take place from April 23 to April 28. This conference has been known for hosting many speakers that represent Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) and its Advanced Training Institute (ATI).
The organizers of the Family Conference say that their events are “weeklong, life-changing” and family-oriented in which “rich fellowship, inspiring messages, and hands-on workshops” bring people together.
“Whether making new friendships with other families or rekindling relationships from previous years, the conference is an annual highlight for many,” it says on the website.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have been invited back to speak at the conference.
“The Duggars humbly share their joys and trials, desiring to minister to other families who desire God’s best, even when their lives take unexpected turns,” their introduction reads on the website. “Jim Bob and Michelle’s message is still the same: trust in the Lord.”
Some Counting On fans feel hesitant about these events that include people who preach controversial child-rearing techniques.
“I don’t believe in abusing children so I would never go to hear the Pearls,” one fan commented underneath Duggars’ post. “You all saying about going how many are IBLP & ATI?”
Mike and Debi Pearl are known for their publication To Train Up a Child, which encourages beating children as a way of disciplining them. One passage tells parents to use “a quarter-inch thick length of plumbing pipe,” according to Slate, to hit the kids. Another part also tells parents to restrict their children’s diet.
“A little fasting is good training,” the book reads. “If you get a child who is particularly finicky and only eats a limited diet, then feed him mainly what he doesn’t like until he likes it.”
The Pearls also frequent a family camp that the Duggars are closely associated. Fort Rock Family Camp, which is run by Joy-Anna Duggar’s in-laws, have on the schedule this year to have Mike and Debi Pearl to come speak on their grounds, according to its website.
“Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries are nationally renowned “practical family-living” teachers and authors of books such as To Train Up a Child, Created to Be His Help-Meet, and Jumping Ship, the camp website reads.
“This dynamic couple has dedicated their lives to educating families on basic principles of cultivating Godly relationships within the family so that their relationships with God and others can be infinitely more fruitful.”
With the Season 7 of Counting On running airing on TLC, these events are likely to get a boost from the exposure on Duggar family Facebook.