Lads to Leaders
& Leaderettes

The mission of the Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes program is to honor God by offering opportunities in the form of coaching, judging, mentoring, and training to our kids and adults at Madison as well as non-members to develop skills in the knowledge of the Bible and the leadership of the future Church, community, and world.

Quick Links

Click below to view the rulebook for this year’s convention.

Click here to register for this year’s convention.

Click here to pay for this year’s Lads registration and hotel.

Click here to pay for your chuckwagon meal tickets.


Click here to pay for the 2023 Lads Workshop.

Convention Info

Lads to Leaders is a youth leadership training program through which our youth are given opportunities to develop skills with which they can be more effective in spreading the Word while taking active leadership roles in the Church, the community, and the world. 

Pre-school through adults may participate in different ways and different events.

Yes.  There are events and judging opportunities at the convention that allows adult participation as well as the opportunity to be involved by coaching or coordinating an event at the local level. 


No.  We welcome kids outside of the Madison membership to gain these life skills as well.

Yes.  We have local participation options as well. 


Yes.  Several events are non-competition based.  You can also choose to participate in competitive events but decline any awards associated with the outcomes. 

The level of time commitment will depend on the level of participation.  Certain events may be done at home while others require you to come to the building for research, practice, and training. 


Yes and no.  There is no charge for local participation.  If you choose to attend the convention, the cost could range between a few hundred dollars up to a couple of thousand.  It depends on how you plan and your personal budget. 


  • Volunteer to coach or coordinate an event locally 
  • Buy Chuckwagon tickets 
  • Limit the number of nights you stay at the convention 
  • For kids < 3rd Grade, choose events that don’t generate a registration fee 
Pre-school kids do not generate a registration fee regardless of the events for which they are registered. 


Yes.  We have local-only participation options that would not include attending the convention 


Everyone that will attend.  This includes Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles that are going to support. 


The registration fees are what run the vast majority of the program.  They also use the registration database to know how to allocate the rooms for the events with regard to seating. 


If you want your kids to be involved but are struggling with the financial part, please contact us.  We have funds set aside for these situations and can help. 


Yes.  Our Chuckwagon Crew sells tickets at exact costs to help offset the food costs at the convention.  The ticket varies each year a bit but generally includes 5 meals and several snack options.  The cost per person is usually around $25. 
Yes.  We have 2 hospitality suites that serve as a general meet-and-greet area for Madison folks.  It is a come-and-go area that is usually located near our block of rooms.  We also use this area for meals.  It is the hub of activity for the weekend. 


Every family that is a member of Madison gets the first night of hotel covered on the budget. Budgeted funds are also allocated to adults that coach/coordinate based on the level of involvement and the availability of the funds for that particular year.  These funds are distributed at the discretion of the director of the program at that time. 

A Brief History of Lads

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 from 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 Madison 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 non-competitive. Why make the events competition-based, you may ask? Lads, as well as our elders here at Madison, 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 the 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 Madison places a strong emphasis on the events that truly get you into the Bible. To abide by that request we have set up a list of “Core Events” (those that get you into the Bible or are an event that develops worship leadership skills) and a list of “Elective Events.” To assure that the emphasis is placed where it should be, all kids are required to participate in a Core Event before they are eligible to participate in an Elective Event.

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!