Lads to Leaders is a Leadership Training Program for the Churches of Christ. Our family began participating last year, and we attend the National Convention each year in Louisville, Kentucky. There are competitive events in which to shine, delicious meals eaten with friends, fellowship with Christians from all around the country, beautiful, plush hotel beds in which to sleep, and a pool to enjoy during breaks from events (with a nice large Hot Tub).
Of course, there are also times of Worship. This is one of my favorite parts, when thousands of Christians blend their voices in song, prayer, and sharing the Word of God. The whole program focuses on the Word, and in getting it into our children’s hearts. There is no more important work than this in my opinion as a mother.
Lad to Leaders (LTL) also provides a way to be recognized, and to reward hard work. Our group enjoyed performing puppet shows all during the year, and at the convention, two of our groups competed in a puppet show event. The icing on the cake was in bringing home a Third Place Trophy. Many other competitive events took place, with each child choosing the event that interested him/her most. Our congregation was well represented in nearly every event. Trophies were won, hearts were encouraged, and new goals were set even as we watched the Awards Ceremony.
Jesus said, “Whoever would be first among you must be your servant.”
Lads to Leaders exists to develop people into servants for Christ, from the very smallest child to the grown adult. Our congregation had four boys and two girls giving speeches at L2L this year at the convention, so I had the privilege of listening to many speeches. My motto was “I ran to all rooms for all kids so that by all means, I might hear some of their speeches.”
I loved hearing all the speeches. They were so unique & different. I love the fact that the participants speak to many different families, church leaders, and their own family. I only wish we could motivate more church members to attend and enjoy this wonderful time.
I actually forgot to take photos when it was my son’s turn to speak. I was so wrapped up in knowing that 3rd, 4th, 5th,and 6th grade boys were already so skilled at presenting the Word, it warmed my heart! No matter the skill level, type, or presentation effort, all speeches were a tremendous blessing to me!
My very favorite part of the whole weekend is seeing and hearing the kids encourage one another. I loved hearing “Good Job” from competitors on the front row in the meeting rooms where the competition took place. Afterwards, I loved seeing my son playing in the pool with his competitors from speech and song leading. They had something in common, they had done a hard thing earlier, and they bonded in the process. I imagine the life long friendships that are being conceived at the Convention. These children, although they live thousands of miles from each other, will no doubt come together every year to preach about Jesus, to lead songs in worship to Him, and to bring Glory to His Father, God! I have begun calling all of the youth members “winners.” In God’s eyes, they truly are. The preparation, courage, and strength demonstrated energizes me to press on in my Faith, too!