PTP, It’s Not Just For Preachers

25 Jul

Polishing the Pulpit is coming!


In just one short month a few thousand Christians from all over the country and a few from around the globe will gather in Sevierville, Tennessee for the annual Polishing the Pulpit Seminars. PTP, as it is affectionately referred to, started out with 3 friends and fellow preachers who met annually to share and swap sermons. It quickly grew and before long it turned into a lectureship series providing continuing education for preachers of the church.

As is the case with most opportunities for faithful encouragement, PTP outgrew the local congregation as more and more preachers began to want to participate. Anytime you have a gathering of preachers, you have a gathering of wives and children as well. So the organizers had to find ways for the women to be encouraged and the children to learn and fellowship. Then elders, deacons and workers of the church wanted to participate so they continued to grow, develop and expand to include a variety of classes, lectures, and a myriad of other learning tracks. Polishing the Pulpit now offers something for every member of the Lord’s church, whether aged or young, parent or child, preacher or not. Because at it’s core, every member of the Lord’s church is to “go into all the world…” Mark 16:15.

Since this month the R16:16 theme is all about Women Serving Christ I want to share with you how PTP offers encouragement, guidance and inspiration to women in their God-given roles. Since Women are to be in subjection to men, she may sit at the feet of a male instructor and learn, but she may not lead him. Therefore, women of Polishing the Pulpit can attend any lecture or seminar that is offered to PTP attendees. Men on the other hand cannot. Men can’t attend classes that are taught by or led by the women. 

The organizers of Polishing the Pulpit have organized a myriad of classes specific to a woman’s life and role within the church. Here are some of them.

  • Bible Study Lectures, taught by various women including, Sheila Butt, Cindy Colley, Donna Faughn, Jane Washington and more.
  • Bible Class Teachers Track, workshop, resource make & take, teaching special needs in the Bible Class room.
  • Women Counseling Women Track
  • Preachers and Elders Wives Track
  • Homeschoolers Track
  • Widows Track
  • And that is just the women led classes, don’t forget women can go to ANY of the men’s classes.

PTP for Women

  • Oh, and there are supervised classes and activities for all children age 2 (potty trained) and up.PTP Collage

As you can see Polishing the Pulpit offers a wide variety of encouragement women from all walks of life, from singles, wives, moms and widows. Being surrounded by so many God fearing women of like-minded precious faith in and of itself brings encouragement to your soul. Then on top of that you get to be encouraged and inspired in the word to walk and live daily for Christ in the middle of an entire convention center filled with faithful believers all seeking to do His will. Then there is the singing which I imagine is like a glimpse of the praise we will offer together one day in heaven. Oh there is just nothing on this earth quite like what PTP is.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here some women who attend PTP have shared what it means to each of them..

“It’s the most encouraging thing I get to do all year long. Specifically, what I bring home is a greater appreciation for the fellowship that God has given us in the body and for corporate worship. It really makes me think about how difficult living the life would be without the assemblies of His people.”

~~ Cindy Colley, blogs at Bless Your Heart

“We look forward to PTP all year long & are sincerely disappointed at the end of the week that it is over (& we have to wait for a whole year to return!). I love the sound scriptural lessons on SO many different topics, the singing (outdoor youth singing is awesome!), fellowshipping with brethren from so many places (ALL of our friends from so many different places are all together), & the opportunity to be lifted up & encouraged by those of like precious faith. PTP is a huge blessing in our lives. My husband says, ‘if you don’t like PTP, you won’t like heaven.‘”

~~ Denise Skelton (Read more about Denise and her family’s experience at PTP here: Polishing the Pulpit 2012,


“I look forward to bring around so many excited Christians who are walking the walk. When I see the practical, down to earth topics I just think you can’t find this anywhere else! So many great examples of people just doing what the Lord has commanded us. I wish we could lock the doors and just live there! But…then that’s not quite what He had mind when He said Go…” ~~ Jeanny Gilpin

“We look forward to PTP each year with great anticipation. Not only is it a spiritual feast of God’s word, but it also provides wonderful fellowship with men and women of like-minded faith. We are able to reconnect with friends and family from far and near. We have met new people who have become dear to us. We watch children and teens gleefully chatting together – those who have formed strong friendships even though they live miles apart. We leave with a sense of encouragement that there is hope for the future, purpose for the present and much work to be done. PTP equips us for all of these things.”

~~ Karen Craun Perkins

I‘ve heard it said before, “But why the fee?” That is simple. Events such as this that are designed to encourage, uplift, motivate and equip come with financial costs. Once it grew beyond the size of the local congregation, the costs involved grew as well. Look at it this way, the cost to attend what could be the most spiritually encouraging and equipping event of your year is less than most family vacations, but the rewards far outweigh the cost.

“Polishing the Pulpit is our big family vacation for the year and I cannot think of a better way or better people to spend it with. Not only are our bodies refreshed, but the best part is that our minds and spirits are refreshed and we are recharged for another year.
We love making new friends who are like-minded in the faith. We love the wide variety of classes on a variety of topics such as: homeschooling, saving money, how to be a supportive wife to your husband, how to dig deeper into the Bible, and how to pray.
The Bible classes for kids are equally wonderful and very rich in Bible knowledge. Even the classes for 4 year olds contain deep subjects such as evidences. I can definitely see my older son’s Bible knowledge grow as well. He said, “’ love all the Bible skills I learn. I also want to be a preacher when I grow up and I really enjoyed taking the Future Preacher Training Class.'”

~~ Sharla Orren, R16:16 Administrator

If cost is a huge concern for you, there are options. PTP offers a scholarship program and anyone can register online for that program. One of the local congregations offers free lunch on Sunday and a different local congregation offers free lunch Monday through Wednesday. Children and teens attending with a parent are free. First time attendees receive a discounted fee. Widows, college students, full-time preaching students and foreign attendees are given a substantially discounted registration price. 

So what are you waiting for? Why not register for PTP and come down to Tennessee for what might be the most spiritually equipping time of your life. 

~~ Written by Team Member Renée


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3 responses to “PTP, It’s Not Just For Preachers

  1. Rilla Z

    July 25, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Yay! Great post! We went for the first time last year and loved it! We are making plans to attend this year, making it our family vacation. Don’t forget the PTP app! It’s great for planning one’s itinerary! P.S. I’m seeing Jane Washingtong instead of Washington. Might be a fluke on my side…

  2. rsixteensixteen

    July 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks Rilla, I’ll fix that. 🙂


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