Lads to Leaders

This past weekend was the Lads to Leaders Convention, which is held over Easter weekend every year. There are several locations, and our group goes to Nashville, Tennessee, where the convention is held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort (see yesterday’s picture).

Being there is always fun. It is great to be with lots of people from our own congregation. And we usually see friends from other congregations as well. It was nice to run into our friend Angie and her wonderful family. On more than one occasion, even!

Lads to Leaders is all about training our young people for different areas of Christian service. There are events for song leading, Bible reading, Bible bowl, puppets, scrapbook, speech, debate, and more. And the convention each year is really only part of it. While the kids compete to possibly earn trophies or medals, Lads to Leaders is really a year-round event. The competitions are just a side benefit.

Our congregation had a group of around 185 there at the convention, or so I’m told. I didn’t try to count everyone, because we were all going off in different directions at different times. But here is a picture of most all of our group. Why am I one of the only ones not waving?

Jaylin participated in Bible reading, although at his age there isn’t any kind of scoring. It is just a participation event.

Jaylin also participated in Song Leading, which for his age was another participation event only. Next year, however, he will be old enough to be in the competitive group.

Jaylin also was involved in Bible Bowl, and this year’s Bible Bowl topic was the Gospel of John. This first involved taking a written test back in February. Then the kids were divided up into teams of four people for the Bible Bowl competition at the convention.

For the written test, Jaylin was one of the high scorers for his age group, and he is proudly showing off the trophy he received for that.

And then in the competition, his team was one of the eight finalist teams in their division. Not bad, considering that everyone on his team was in 1st or 2nd grade, and they were competing in a 3rd and 4th grade division, since there isn’t a lower grade competition. Here he is showing off his finalist award.

We also all received medals for the Parade of Winners, which is for reading the Bible. You can receive a medal for reading the Old Testament, or a medal for reading the New Testament, or two medals if you read both. Adults can participate in that, too. So we all got medals - one each for Laura and Jaylin, and two for me. But I don’t have a picture of us walking across the stage, because I was walking across the stage, too. So you will just have to imagine what we looked like for that.

On Sunday morning, after the worship service, we always take some Easter pictures. Here we all are together.

Laura and Jaylin pose outside in one of the garden areas.

Jaylin smiles happily for his picture. Which is rare - usually he has a pretty cheesy smile, and we have to threaten him to put on a real smile. Which by that point isn’t really a real smile at all.

Laura stops for a picture in the garden, too.

The Lads to Leaders Convention is always a great occasion for our family, and for our church family as well. And we are already looking forward to preparing for the next convention next year!

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.