So what exactly is PTP?
Don’t feel bad. A couple years ago, I asked the same question. Some friends in our homeschool group kept asking us if we were going to some thing called PTP. We had never even heard of such a thing. Turns out it’s a church conference in East Tennessee, a couple hours from our house. We thought it was maybe a couple congregations that had gotten together to have a retreat. We politely said no (without saying we had no idea what they were talking about), and then moved on with the conversation.
The next year, we kept getting asked the same question at our homeschool group. “Were we going to PTP?” The more we looked into this and talked to our friends, we started to think that maybe we were the only ones who had never heard of this. At this point, we figured we needed to look into and see what it’s about.
PTP stands for Polishing the Pulpit. It is a week-long conference in Sevierville, TN, just outside Pigeon Forge and the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. With a little encouragement from our friends, we decided we might try to go for the weekend one year. So, last year we gave it a try. We drove to East Tennessee with our three kids and some luggage to stay for a few nights and maybe sit in a few good classes.
Boy were we ever surprised! About two hours into Friday evening, my wife and I looked at each other and realized we had the same thought. This was going to be one of the first things put on our yearly calendar from now on.
That was last year. This coming weekend starts Polishing the Pulpit 2017. This year we will be there for all 7 days of the conference, and we have been excited now for months. If you have not heard of Polishing the Pulpit or don’t know what all the excitement is about, let me share with you a few reasons why our family is PUMPED about this coming week.
- This isn’t just a few congregations coming together to have some classes. There are people from all over the world (yes…you read that right) that will be in East Tennessee next week. As of Monday morning, with four days until it starts, their registration total is at 4,360. How many other places can you get that many Christians together in a single place to study God’s word, with multiple classes to choose from each hour from day break until late at night?
- We get to sit at the feet of some of the men and women that we look up to in the Lord’s kingdom. We will get to hear lessons from people like Glenn & Cindy Colley (http://thecolleyhouse.org/), Don Blackwell, John DeBerry, members of the Faughn family (http://alegacyoffaith.us/), Cliff Goodwin, Gary & Teresa Hampton, Alan Highers, Kyle Butt (http://apologeticspress.org/), Paul Sain (http://sainpublications.com/), Dan Winkler, and so many more.
- The kids get to spend an entire week in what equates to an all day, week-long VBS. They will make new friends that they will hopefully see year after year. We also have comfort in knowing that the friends they meet will come from good Christian families.
- After watching it on almost a weekly basis with our whole family, we will get the chance to see Late Night @ TLN live! You need to check these guys out on Facebook. I talked about The Light Network on a previous blog post (click here), and they will have a live studio set up at PTP to record many of their podcasts. I will let you in on a little secret. While at PTP, I will be joining Gary and Christy Jenkins on their podcast Bountiful (http://thelightnetwork.tv/shows/bountiful/) to talk about how to raise money conscious kids. This is my first ever podcast. Not gonna lie…a little nervous!
- The final, and probably the biggest, reason we are so excited to be going back to Polishing the Pulpit: it is spiritual rejuvenation like no other. Last year after returning from only a weekend at the conference, our family was on a spiritual high that lasted for months. We wanted to study more in depth. We wanted to pray more often. We wanted to work harder. We wanted to be around other Christians. We can’t wait to get an entire week of sound Biblical nourishment.
If you have never heard of Polishing the Pulpit (like us a few years ago), I encourage you to check out their website (https://polishingthepulpit.com/). Take a look at the schedule for the coming week and you’ll get an idea of what we are talking about. If possible, consider joining us in future years. You won’t regret that you did!
(You can follow it on various social media sites using #ptp2017)