The gift of practice


Growing up I took piano lessons for six years. Six years! And after six years of weekly piano lessons I cannot play piano. (Sorry Mrs. Crump!)
    How I wish now I’d practiced each week between lessons! I would love to be able to play piano. I had good teachers and learned scales and chords, but without regular practice they were unable to make me into a pianist.
   Mastery of any skill requires practice. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell researches professionals in a number of fields, from athletics to computer programming, from music to business. His search for contributing factors to development of mastery leads him to understand that practice time is the single most predictive factor of a person's mastery in a particular field. 
     In fact, he concludes that, with or without natural talent, a person requires 10,000 hours of practice to become exceptional.
     North Georgia Conference summer camps offer children and youth opportunities to practice Christian discipleship and leadership. In small living groups of their peers guided by trained counselors, both Glisson and Day Camp campers experience and offer acceptance, cooperation, team-building, support, and faith. 
     While having the time of their lives, they build a Christian community for each other. As they practice being the church for each other, their counselors encourage, guide and debrief the group. Camp creates an environment for intentionally learning discipleship by being disciples.
     And just as Glisson’s summer camps are guided by the belief that faith can only be grown as it is practiced, the new conference Experiential Leadership Program (ELP) believes that leadership cannot be nurtured without the opportunity to lead. Each ELP participant will serve one or more weeks as a Day Camp Counselor after a week of leadership theory and skills training. These high school juniors and seniors will make Day Camp Ministry happen at local churches around the conference. As they do, they are practicing and reflecting on leadership under the guidance of trained staff.
    Registration for 2012 Summer Camps opened for North Georgia United Methodists on December 1. Allow Glisson to support your congregation’s work to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” 
    Go to for resources to share practice time with your church and register today!

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