Answers to Common Questions

We have collected a list of common questions we receive each year. If you have a question that you can’t find the answer below, contact us here and we will get back to you ASAP.

Event

What is the usual dress for the sessions?

Business casual. Most men wear ties or pullover shirts. Ladies wear dresses or pantsuits. Suits and dresses are usual for worship services. The elders request conservative modesty rules be observed: no shorts, no skirts above the knee, no tight clothing, no tops that show cleavage. These rules apply to both male and female. Teens arriving at any teen event not dressed appropriately will be asked to change. The dress code does not apply to children 5-years-old and under. School-age and up are asked to honor it.

Please respect the dress code. It is important to those in leadership and those who attend PTP.

Why a registration fee?

PTP is a summer camp for adults. Parents/churches send children/teens to a week of Christian camp and each pays a registration fee for his/her part of the expenses for that week. This is what we are doing with PTP.

Many churches cooperate in good works of various kinds, each bearing a part of the cost. Area-wide Vacation Bible Schools, planting churches abroad, and preaching schools often require multiple congregations cooperation and financial support.

The Jacksonville congregation oversees the work, and other churches help to bear the expense by covering the cost of sending their preachers, elders, and other members. Certainly, if it is right to send a young man to a school for two years to begin his education, then it is right to send him a year later to PTP for a week to continue his education. It is appropriate for individuals/families enjoying the benefit of all that goes into PTP to help “bear the burden” of the event. Splitting the cost and cooperating enables the brotherhood to have an event that otherwise would not be possible. The tuition fee pays to rent the facility, print the brochure, pay speakers, and allows for children and teens to attend for free.

With that said, we do not want anyone who needs recharging to miss out because we are charging for it. So we offer financial assistance to those who could not otherwise come. Many who attend PTP (and churches that believe in PTP) pay for scholarships for others to be able to come.

Do you have to be a preacher or elder to attend?

Anyone is welcome to attend PTP. There are classes for church members, elders, deacons, youth workers, women, teens, and kids, and of course, preachers!

Are PTP lessons copyrighted?

Simple Copyright Notice

Do . . .

  • Share with friends and congregation
  • Download and listen on your mobile device
  • Download and make CDs to give away

Do Not . . .

  • Download and repost to your website or social media
  • Download and make copies of media to sell

Slightly-More-Complex Copyright Notice

Ownership of copyright

The copyright in this website and the material on this website (including without limitation the text, computer code, artwork, photographs, images, music, audio material, video material and audio-visual material on this website) is owned by the Jacksonville Church of Christ (JCOC). Copyright license JCOC grants to you a worldwide non-exclusive royalty-free revocable license to: view this website and the material on this website on a computer or mobile device via a web browser; copy and store this website and the material on this website link to material on this website. All other rights are reserved. For the avoidance of doubt, you must not adapt, edit, change, transform, publish, republish, or sell any of the material on this site.

Data mining

The automated and/or systematic collection of data from this website is prohibited. Permissions You may request permission to use the copyright materials on this website by writing to info@polishingthepulpit.com

May ladies attend sessions taught by men?

Yes. While there are women’s classes throughout the day, women may attend any session they wish, regardless of track (elders, preachers, deacons, etc.).

May men attend sessions taught by women?

No. (1 Timothy 2:12–13).

May I make an announcement to the group?

No, but there are tables in the hall where you may put flyers or other free material.

I want to advertise a small, free event. How can do I do that?

There are tables in the hall where you may put flyers or other free material.

Do not place this sort of material in the official PTP registration areas; it will be discarded.

Is applause appropriate after speeches?

No (but “amens” are encouraged!)

Must I stay in one track?

No, most “cross the tracks” and attend the classes that interest them the most.

Is registration required if I am only coming for one day?

Yes—a day pass is available ($100).

It is free to attend Sunday/Wednesday worship services. Anyone may attend the last two days of PTP—Wednesday and Thursday—for free. Registration information is required even if you attend a free session/day or come on scholarship.

May I record the sessions?

Yes, from your seat. You may not put anything on the stage. Also, no cords may be in the aisle.

Remember, you’ll receive a USB drive after the event with all of the lessons, so don’t worry too much!

I'm an exhibitor. Who can I contact to request space at PTP?

Space is limited. You may fill out this form online or email Drew Spivey (drew@polishingthepulpit.com).

There is a screaming child in my class, and I can’t hear what’s going on. Don’t they know I want to hear?

Parenting is a struggle. We’ve all been there. PTP offers free childcare/classes for 2-year-olds and up during most class time. We remind parents to take a crying child out immediately. There’s now a play area for younger children and a nursing station set up.

At the same time, remind yourself that you are a selfless Christian and that you know they want to hear the lesson, too, and that it can be tiring and frustrating to be left out of sessions you really wanted to attend. Be thankful they are rearing their children in the Lord. They are the future church.

The good news is that there are flash drives available, so everyone gets to hear the lesson later.

Convention Center

Is parking free?

Yes. And there are a few tricks to cut down on frustration if you already had the class on patience last year.

First, the side parking lot (beside EHB) has a back exit that gets you right out onto the road. The closer you park to that, the better off you will be. Also, eat on site or carpool with people when you can—especially for lunch. If everybody did that, there would be half as many cars leaving.

The best-kept secret is that you can park in the garage by the Wilderness hotel for free, which has a back exit to the road below. There is never any waiting there. And, there is an elevator into the hotel lobby. If it rains, you are in the dry.

Will I have wireless Internet access?

Internet access is available at the Wilderness Hotel and the Convention Center, but with so many people, the network often gets overwhelmed. It is slow. We recommend using your phone’s mobile data for best results.

To join the WiFi at the convention center, join the SCC_Wireless network. Username: ptp. Password: guest.

Where are the locations of exhibits, sessions, etc?

PTP sessions are held in three places: the Events Center Conference area, Hotel Meeting rooms, and local congregations.

The Event Center and Hotel are within walking distance of each other. The locations for each track are listed in the schedule.

(Note that the Events Center has both Ballrooms and Meeting Rooms.)

It’s too cold in the classrooms!

It is hard to maintain a constant temperature in a big facility. The result is that it either gets too cold or too hot. Too cold is preferable, given our dress code. If you are cold-natured, you might want to bring a sweater or jacket.

The classrooms are too small. I couldn’t get in one session I really wanted.

We thought about knocking out the walls to make them bigger, but the Event Center frowned on it. What can we say? It is what it is.

We try to put the most popular subjects and speakers in larger venues, but just about everybody on the program is an outstanding presenter, so we run out of large rooms.

If there is someone you really want to hear in a smaller classroom, we suggest you get there ten minutes early. Do not expect to come into the class one minute prior to starting and find a seat.

Remember, anything that you miss, Lord willing, will be on the USB drive so you can hear it later. Plus, there are other awesome sessions going on in larger rooms at the same time. Roll with it and hear somebody new who may become a new favorite.

Is there a family bathroom?

Yes, it is located near the entrance to Exhibit Hall B. Stop by the registration area if you need help finding it.

Children

Is there anything for children and teens?

PTP is a family event. We have a full slate of classes and activities for children, ages 2–18. Bring your family. You’ll be glad you did!

What is dress code for children?

The elders request conservative modesty rules be observed: no shorts, no skirts above the knee, no tight clothing, no tops that show cleavage. These rules apply to both male and female, and teens arriving at any teen event not dressed appropriately will be asked to change.

This applies to school-age children and above. Dress for children 5-years-old and under is left to parent’s discretion.

How much does it cost to bring children?

Children ages 6-18 attend for free with a paid parent or legal guardian, such as grandparents.

For children/teens to come with a youth group, it is $100 per youth.

Will child care be provided?

Yes, for ages 2 and up (must be potty-trained). There is no charge.

We also have a dedicated play area for children ages 1-3. It has toys, a padded floor, disinfectant wipes, and baby gates.

My child is under 2 and/or not potty trained, may I him/her into my sessions?

Yes, but we ask parents to take a child out immediately if he/she cries or makes noise. You will be able to listen to the lesson after PTP with the thumb drive you will receive on the final day.

Can my child move up a class because his/her birthday is coming up soon?

We have struggled with solutions for managing over 800 children seven days for eight hours a day. Please understand that there are some pretty big logistical problems when working with this number and age-ranges. We hear all kinds of reasons why a child should jump two or four grades and move up (or down) classes. We cannot make exceptions to keep siblings together or because a child is smart and “belongs” in a higher class. Please respect the rules and understand that they are for the benefit and safety of the children.

In transition years between PTP childcare (ages 2-5), PTP VBS (ages 6-10), and PTP Camp (ages 11-12), we give parents the option to send a child to either class. For instance, if your child is turning 11 on October 1, he may go to the 10-year-old class or the 11-year-old class.

However, children must go to the class you signed them up for when registering them.

What about special-needs children?

Since parents are generally in a great need of the benefits of PTP, we want to do what we can to help them renew, refresh, and recharge. We have a room dedicated as a changing area near Exhibit Hall B. We have a daily special needs class in Exhibit Hall B.

Can my 12-year-old go to teen classes and events?

Only children that will be a teenager in the calendar year that PTP is held may attend teen events. Teens prefer to only have teens at Teen Late Night. It is unsafe for smaller children to be involved in the athletic games with teenagers who are often much stronger and may weigh significantly more. (Remind children that they will be teens soon enough and then they will be glad to have teen-only events then!)

Most off-site teen events allow younger children to go if accompanied by a parent. In some cases, space is limited so only teens are allowed to go. This will be noted in the brochure and app.

Lodging/Travel

Is there a hotel attached to the convention center?

Yes, the Wilderness at the Smokies Hotel is attached to the convention center and River Lodge is within walking distance (and has a shuttle to the convention center). We have negotiated reduced rates with them. They can be reached at 877.325.9453.

Am I required to stay at the Wilderness at the Smokies?

No. You can stay wherever you choose. We have negotiated special rates with many local hotels. You can find a list of these discounted rooms here.

What about the waterpark at the Wilderness Hotel?

All the directors and overseeing elders oppose mixed swimming because of the Bible’s teaching on modesty (1 Timothy 2:9), our responsibility to avoid being a stumbling block to others (Romans 14:13), and our need to avoid putting ourselves into the path of temptation (Matthew 5:28; 6:13).

The attached hotel waterpark at the Stone Hill Lodge is closed during PTP at our request. The water park at the River Lodge remains open because we do not yet fill that hotel completely.

May we arrive early or stay over?

The hotel discount at the Wilderness at the Smokies (and likely other properties—ask) is good for two days before and after PTP, so feel free to relax before or after PTP.

Where is the nearest airport?

The nearest commercial airport is McGhee-Tyson, Knoxville, TN (approximately 30 miles from Sevierville). It services Allegiant, American, Comair, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United, and U.S. Airways with 120 daily flights.

There is no direct shuttle from the airport to Sevierville, but there are car rental and taxi services at the airport 865-970-2773.

If flying, also check rates flying into Atlanta (4 hours away), Nashville (3.5 hours), and Chattanooga (2 hours). Some will find it most economical to fly into Atlanta and rent a car.