Nelson, a teacher and communicator, constructed the sessions on the Song of Solomon from the Bible's Old Testament. "We created this series to show God's best for romantic relationships," Nelson explains. "We're seeing a trend that couples want to resolve conflict, couples want to stay together and singles want a committed relationship."
For the past 22 years, Nelson has been the pastor of Denton Bible Church - one of the largest and fastest growing churches in the Dallas area. He is a popular speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ, Navigators, and other ministries. He has been married to Teresa since 1974 and is the father of two boys, Ben and John.
Nelson launched The Song of Solomon teaching series in 1994, and has since revolutionized thousands of people's attitudes about dating, love, sex and intimacy. Some 55,000 people have heard this message and ministry officials expect the number to increase to 65,000 by the summer. The most common response, according to staff, has been, "I wish I'd heard this earlier in my life."
One couple that has been touched by The Song of Solomon material is Doug and Carrie Hudson. The first time they heard the message, their relationship was about a month old. God allowed them to hear His best for a romantic relationship through Nelson. "It gave us the greatest foundation," says Doug. "God allowed us then to start our marriage off on the right foot."
Actually, it was Doug who contacted Nelson in 1993 to teach a four-week series at METRO Bible Study in Dallas. Soon after, Nelson was asked to be the full-time speaker. METRO's weekly attendance grew from 600 people to 2000 people during this six-week period.
In May of 1995, Nelson repeated the series and attendance at METRO increased from 1200 people to over 4000 people. Based on this response, the audio and video series and study guide were created and Carrie Hudson began selling this material out of the Hudson home.
In February of 1997, FamilyLife Ministries aired The Song of Solomon material for six days. Dennis Rainey, executive director of FamilyLife, said, "Tommy hit a grand slam on our daily broadcast with the Song of Solomon. The response was unprecedented in our four years of broadcast.
"The conference can bless both married and single adults," Rainey added.
Nelson sees the conferences as an evangelism tool, in addition to edifying the body of Christ.
"For many people, the Song of Solomon is the mystery book of the Bible," explains Nelson. "Tucked among the books of the Bible in the section called the Wisdom Literature, the Song of Solomon has the distinction of being the only book of the Bible that seems to have been edited and censored by the Christian church. Most Christians don't read it, don't understand it, and have never heard a sermon about it."
According to Nelson, "Based on what God knows about us, He has provided an instruction manual in the Song of Solomon with eight very enlightening, explicit, and highly practical chapters on the topics of love, sex and intimacy.
"You will see the Song of Solomon lovers from their first meeting to their passion within marriage," says Nelson. "Along the way, we see that there is something divine in their union. ... A passionate fire builds between them, and that fire is maintained throughout their relationship."
For more information on small group resources or upcoming conferences, contact 800-729-0815.