Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes is a youth leadership training program that began at the Corder Road Church of Christ in the 1960’s. The program began with a request of an eldership to start a youth training class to equip children with the leadership skills needed to ensure that the Church’s future would be secure. The program was started by Jack Zorn with 7 young men and an idea of what could be.
The Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes program has now grown to over 19,000 registered attendees each year! The program culminates at one of the six national conventions held simultaneously each year on Easter weekend. The congregation at North Tuscaloosa attends the convention held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. This convention site is the original and the largest of the six convention sites with almost 10,000 registrants. The program consists of 37 events, 11 of which are competitive and 26 are non-competitive. Why make the events competition based, you may ask. Lads, as well as our elders here at North Tuscaloosa, believe that competition is a healthy thing. We use competition to bring out the best in our children frequently. There are also biblical references to healthy competition. I Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” Acts 1:23-26 gives us the account of the 12th apostle being chosen. There were two men being considered but only one was appointed. Sometimes in life you may do your very best and still may not be “appointed.” The Christian principles learned in the Lads program teach children how to deal with being on top and coming up a little short of the worldly prize.
Even though competition is a part of Lads, the competition aspect is played down as much as possible to place the focus on the real purpose of the program — to be a leader in spreading the gospel using your talents for God! There are many different kinds of events in which you can be involved including: Art Says It, Bible Bowl, Oral Bible Reading, Memorization of Scripture, Puppet Theatre, Speech, Song Leading, and Debate. This is just a sample of the events. Our Eldership here at North Tuscaloosa places a strong emphasis on the events that truly gets you into the Bible. We must do all we can to keep our kids in the Church and out of the world. With all of the threats to our children and to the Church, Lads provides a program that keeps the focus exactly where it needs to be — on God!