As I write this article, I am at Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center in Black Mountain, TN., attending Sunday School Week. My first trip to Ridgecrest was as a College Student 30 years ago for collegiate week. Since 1980, Ridgecrest has been a regular and almost yearly destination.
As I drove on the campus and looked out on the mountains, my mind begin to reflect on the tremendous memories and God-given lessons that I have experienced in this place. For me, Ridgecrest is more than a conference center…it is a holy place. It is a place that God has use for many cathartic experiences.
It was here that God solidified my call to the ministry. As a young minister of education, I soaked up conferences led by Harry Piland, Andy Anderson, and Tom Lee and began to gain the knowledge and understanding of how to build and grow a successful Sunday School. I remembering watching Bobby Welch, hang from the raptors trying to reach the lost sheep that had fallen on the crevice. My wife and I have brought the kids….pushing them around as babies in strollers, climbing the hill to the Day Camp, finally, wondering if they were going to come in before midnight as teenagers. My college age daughter is hiking the mountain as I write.
I am thankful for the memories. Through the years, Ridgecrest has been a holy place that God uses to say: I called you and if you allow me, I can use you.
Today, I no longer come just to hear the next great sermon or to discover the next cutting edge method. These are just bonuses. I eagerly look forward to reflecting on my journey and the memories and to say again to God, Here I am…send me.
Sunday School leader, do you have a Holy place? A place to meet God, a place that keeps you grounded and reminds you that God loves you and has a great plan for your life.