Frequently Asked Questions

Children

Is there anything for children and teens?

We have a full slate of classes and activities for children, ages 2–18.

Permalink

Will child care be provided?

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

Permalink

How much does it cost to bring children?

Children ages 6-18 attend for free with a paid parent or guardian. For children to come with a youth group, it’s $100 per child.

Permalink

May I take my child under 2 into sessions?

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.

Permalink

What is the usual dress for the sessions?

Dress/casual. Most men wear ties or pullover shirts. Ladies wear dresses or pant suits. Suits and dresses are usual for worship services. The elders request conservative modesty rules be observed: no skirts above the knee, no shorts or 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. Children 5-years-old and up must adhere to the dress code.

Permalink

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​ has done what we can to ​help this situation. We have ​free ​classes at most times for 2-year-olds and up (who are not in diapers). We have signs asking mothers to take a crying child out immediately. ​

Remind yourself that you are a selfless Christian and that you know they want to hear, too, and it can be tiring and frustrating to be left out of sessions you really wanted to attend. The good news is that there are flash drives available​ so everyone gets to hear the lesson later. And the best news is ​​that there’s a play area for the younger children.

Be thankful they are rearing their children in the Lord. They are the future church.

Permalink

Is there a changing area for special-needs children?

We were asked this in 2016 and we were scratching our heads asking why it had never been asked before. We have come up with a few solutions.

First, we will have a room dedicated as a changing area near EHB. Second, we’ll create a room in EHB for special needs children. We will not be able to staff it, but we plan to have a space available for parents of special needs children to use. Such parents are probably in a great need of the benefits of PTP, and we want to improve our service to them. Since this is our first year providing these spaces, we’d like your input on how we can improve.

We’ve also had the suggestion of allowing babysitting trading in the EHB room. We will continue to work on it and make some announcements closer to PTP on the website.

Permalink

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

We have struggled with this for years. Please understand that there are some pretty big logistical problems when you are working with 700 children. What we have decided to do is give parents the option to send their child to either class. For instance, if your child is turning 10 on October 1, he may go to the 9-year-old class or the 10-year-old class.  

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

We hear all kinds of reasons that a child should 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 these rules and understand that they are for the benefit and safety of the children.

Permalink

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

Only children that will be a teenager in the calendar year 2017 may attend teen events.

Permalink

Classes

May ladies attend men’s sessions?

Yes. While there are women’s classes throughout the day, women may attend men’s sessions.

Permalink

Must I stay in one track?

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

Permalink

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

Yes, a day pass is available ($100). Registration information is required even if you are coming on scholarship or if you plan only to attend a few sessions. It is free to attend Sunday worship services.

Permalink

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!

Permalink

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 (we can always bring a sweater or jacket).

Permalink

Why don’t you sell CDs anymore?

We do. The USB drives allow us to replace much of our on-site equipment, but you can place an order for individual ​CDs​ and ​whole ​sets. Order forms are available online and at the PTP registration table.

Permalink

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. Don’t expect to come into the class one minute prior 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 .

Permalink

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​ has done what we can to ​help this situation. We have ​free ​classes at most times for 2-year-olds and up (who are not in diapers). We have signs asking mothers to take a crying child out immediately. ​

Remind yourself that you are a selfless Christian and that you know they want to hear, too, and it can be tiring and frustrating to be left out of sessions you really wanted to attend. The good news is that there are flash drives available​ so everyone gets to hear the lesson later. And the best news is ​​that there’s a play area for the younger children.

Be thankful they are rearing their children in the Lord. They are the future church.

Permalink

Convention

What is the usual dress for the sessions?

Dress/casual. Most men wear ties or pullover shirts. Ladies wear dresses or pant suits. Suits and dresses are usual for worship services. The elders request conservative modesty rules be observed: no skirts above the knee, no shorts or 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. Children 5-years-old and up must adhere to the dress code.

Permalink

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

Anyone is welcome to attend! There are classes for all church members, deacons, youth workers, women, teens, and kids.

Permalink

Is applause appropriate after speeches?

No (but “amens” are encouraged!)

Permalink

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.

Permalink

Will I have wireless Internet access?

Internet access is available at the Wilderness Hotel and the Convention Center, but with so many people using it, the network gets overwhelmed.

WiFi username: ptp password: guest.

Permalink

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

Space is very limited. You may fill out this form online or request one from Ricky Berger (ricky@polishingthepulpit.com).

Permalink

Why is there a registration fee?

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

This is what churches are doing with PTP. We oversee the work, and other churches help us 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. Splitting the cost and cooperating enables the brotherhood to have an event that otherwise would not be possible. The registration 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 still take precautions not to exclude anyone from benefiting from the workshop. As the brochure explains, “We do not want anyone who needs recharging to miss out because we are charging for it.” We offer financial assistance and help give thousands of dollars away each year to support those with genuine need.

Permalink

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!

Permalink

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 (we can always bring a sweater or jacket).

Permalink

Lodging

Is there a hotel attached to the convention center?

Yes, the Wilderness at the Smokies is attached to the convention center. We have negotiated reduced rates with them, and they can be reached at 877.325.9453.

Permalink

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.

Permalink

What about the waterpark at the Wilderness Hotel?

The hotel waterpark will be closed during PTP.

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).

Permalink

Is parking free?

Yes it is free, and there are a few tricks that can 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’ll be. Also, 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 hotel for free, which also has a back exit to the road below. Never any waiting there.

Permalink

May we arrive early or stay over?

The hotel discount at the Wilderness at the Smokies is good for two days before and after PTP, so feel free to relax before or after PTP.

Permalink

Transportation

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.

Permalink

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.)

Permalink

Is parking free?

Yes it is free, and there are a few tricks that can 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’ll be. Also, 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 hotel for free, which also has a back exit to the road below. Never any waiting there.

Permalink