This week, Lisa and I are traveling to Sevierville, TN for the Polishing the Pulpit. This event is one the most amazing things I have ever experienced. The best way I can describe it is that it is like getting a 51 week charge in your spiritual battery and then in every single one of those 51 weeks you find yourself saying “I can’t wait for PTP next year!”
According to their website, “Polishing the Pulpit began with three friends getting together to brainstorm sermon ideas. We soon invited other friends and someone said, “This is great! We should tell others.”
We did and invited a speaker to discuss sermon preparation and give sample sermons. Interest increased; more speakers were invited. We moved to a hotel conference area. We dreamed big. “Let’s invite the best speakers in the brotherhood and see who we can get.” They came. Wives wanted in, so we added women’s classes. While these great speakers were assembled in one place, we decided to offer classes for elders. They loved it. People began coming from all over the country.
Youth workers and deacons became interested. We added tracks for them. PTP moved to a larger event center in the Smoky Mountains. Attendance approached 1,000. Christians from other nations began coming.
“Why don’t you have classes for regular members?” we were asked. So we added the Spiritual Renewal Weekend, as well as tracks for members, teens, and children.”
This week, over 4000 Christians are expected at PTP for one week of Biblical teaching, spiritual renewal and fellowship with brothers and sisters. I heard one elder describe PTP this way, “This must be what heaven will look like.” This year there will be nearly 100 speakers. There will be over 200 different classes. From 8:00 am until 4:00 pm every day there will be 12 classes per hour. Every evening are more speakers, singing and fun activities. On Sunday, 3 area congregations will host PTP attendees and there will be over 3000 worshipping in one assembly in the conference center where PTP is held – just imagine what the singing sounds like!
If I had could have 2 wishes every year it would be that Lisa and I be blessed to attend PTP. Thanks to the elders at Jersey Village, this will be the 3rd straight year that we have been able to fulfill that wish. The 2nd wish is that every single member of the family at JV could attend as well. But, the reality is that Sevierville, TN is a 15 hour drive and that makes it difficult to go. But, if you ever get the chance to go, you will be forever blessed because PTP is definitely one of the great works in the Lord’s church today. Last Sunday we talked about what’s right with the church today…well, PTP is near the top of the list!
Of course, we don’t need to travel halfway across the country to enjoy Biblical teaching, spiritual renewal and great fellowship with brethren. We can have that right here at Jersey Village! Every Sunday and Wednesday, we have the opportunity to learn from God’s Word, to renew our spiritual battery and to embrace brothers and sisters. There is real, actual purpose in these things that enrich not only our lives now, but our eternity as well. Compared to what the world has to offer, why would anyone want to make anything a greater priority than King Jesus the Christ and the church that He built?
We will miss the brethren and look forward to being back with you August 28. Until then, I share the sentiments that Paul expressed at the close of his first letter to the Corinthians, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”