While most families are up to their ears in ham-baking, spring dress shopping and basket filling, parents and youth workers are headed for an event to celebrate their skills in spreading the news of a resurrected Savior.
Easter weekend marks the conventions of two major training programs for Churches of Christ youth in third to 12th grades. The two are Leadership Training for Christ (LTC), which primarily operates in the West and Southwest, and Lads to Leaders and Leaderettes, which operates in the Southeastern United States.
The programs events range from art to Bible quiz to scripture memorization to drama to sermon delivery — 18 main categories for Lads and 26 for LTC. Some events are completed before the conventions; but most are done over the three day weekend.
And they are big! The Christian Chronicle tallied participants as follows:
|Southeastern LTC in Mobile, Ala.||900|
|Southwest LTC in Phoenix||1,000|
|Great Plains LTC in Rogers, Ark.||2,500|
|Western LTC in San Jose, Calif.||300|
|Lads to Leaders in Orlando, Fla.||2,064|
|Lads to Leaders in Atlanta||2,783|
|Lads to Leaders in Indianapolis||1,384|
|Midwest LTC in Indianapolis||1,000|
|Heart of America LTC in Kansas City, Mo.||1,200|
|Eastern Region LTC in Charlotte, N.C.||389|
|Lads to Leaders in Nashville, Tenn.||9,987|
|Lads to Leaders in Memphis, Tenn.||1,892|
|Central Texas LTC in Houston||1,500|
|Lads to Leaders in Dallas||918|
|North Texas LTC in Dallas||12,000|
|LTC Northwest Region in Richland, Wash.||400|
Friday night kicks off with the pre-Convention events. Abigail completed the requirements for Teaching Challenge; Outreach Challenge; Leadership Challenge; Daily Devotional Challenge; and Service Challenge, earning a Gold in each of these events. Tonight she competed as an individual and as a team member in Bible Bowl.
Events will continue over the next two days. The youth have spent months developing skills they can use to minister in the Lord's body and in the community. I can't imagine a better time to apply those skills than the weekend when the world stop to recognize the risen Savior!
How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.