In Heart of America, LTC helps train church leaders from small congregations
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Four families from the Northern Hills…
DALLAS — Everything’s bigger in Texas, and the North Texas Leadership Training for Christ convention is no exception.
This year 4,213 students and their families — representing Churches of Christ in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, to name just a few — jammed the hallways and the elevators of three convention sites in the Dallas metro, including the massive Hilton Anatole. (Plus, Lads to Leaders hosted its own convention in Dallas at the Gaylord Texan.)
At the Anatole, children lined the tables of a banquet room — big enough to house a couple of commercial aircraft — for the LTC Bible Bowl.
In another banquet hall, church members staked out tables and covered them with coats, boxes of M&Ms, drama scripts and costumes. The tables served as bases of operation for many of the small, local congregations that participate in LTC.
Dressed in a coat and tie, Freddy Rendon paged through his well-worn Bible — last-minute prep for his Scripture-reading event. The high school junior also participated in song leading, speech and art.
His involvement in LTC, which dates back to about sixth grade, has made him more willing and confident to take on leadership roles in the youth group of his congregation, the Freetown Road Church of Christ, a 200-member congregation that meets about about 30 minutes from the Anatole in Grand Prairie.
“I think LTC is one of the ways they can see you work, see you making progress,” Rendon said of the support he gets from his fellow Christians. He plans to take that foundation to college — hopefully Texas A&M, he said.
Many of the groups clustered around the banquet hall tables represented multiple congregations. Individual members of small, rural churches joined teams from bigger, suburban congregations.
At one table, about 10 youths from the Westside Church of Christ in Texarkana, Texas, and friends from a nearby church geared up for a weekend of Bible bowling and drama skitting. The 160-member church launched its LTC effort about 10 years ago, said youth minister Trevon Buchanan, and in four short years it grew from four participants to 18.
“I think we, as a church, don’t get together enough,” Buchanan said. “I love for my kids to see other kids their age living out, by example, what we as the church need to do.”
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