To answer those questions, let's start with who we are. First, we are children of the King. By God's grace, every member of our family has accepted God's free gift of salvation and that defines us more than anything else. We are a homeschooling family of 4 children, ages 13, 11, 10 and 7. David is the president of Worldwide Tentmakers, a mission board in Greenville, S.C. and that fact has quite a bit to do with why we started the Teach Them Diligently Conventions.
Worldwide Tentmakers has the purpose of helping individuals using their trade and skills with the intention of spreading the Gospel, as Paul did in Acts 18 (learn more at www.worldwidetentmakers.com). Last year, we felt that the Lord was leading us to market to the homeschooling community as a mission board. We believed the homeschooling community would be fertile ground to promote the strategy of Tentmaking missions because this community has a distinctly entrepreneurial spirit and a strong affinity for missions. We had been putting together a curriculum based around the Tentmaking strategy for homeschoolers and colleges, and we were planning on marketing it through conventions and speaking at churches; however, as the Lord would have it, an opportunity arose to start a Convention. We felt a draw to do this, and believing that it was the Lord's will, we started the process of contacting speakers and vendors.
Why are we doing this? When? Where?
Because of our background, our desire was to make the Teach Them Diligently Convention distinctly Christian in format. Our oldest was 12, and though he initially attended a good Christian school, the Lord began to impress on us that we needed to start homeschooling. As we prayed about this option, it became clear that this was what the Lord wanted. But the decision to homeschool was not made because of superior education in our case but for the purpose of discipleship.
Our kids have excelled academically since we have homeschooled, and we believe in it whole-heartedly. Education is important to us, but foundationally, homeschooling is not an educational pursuit for us but one of discipleship. It is very much part of the Great Commission; our home is our Jerusalem. Teach Them Diligently is distinctive from many other homeschool conventions because the foundation will be discipleship, parenting, and missions. Academics and how-to workshops on homeschooling will be important, as will legal discussions regarding homeschooling. But, discipleship will be the foundation, and we believe that it is the foundation for what so many Christian parents do every day as they educate their children. Another distinction is that all profits from the Teach Them Diligently Convention will go directly into mission endeavors.
As for our expansion, the answer is simple. In 2012, we had 7,000 people attend Teach Them Diligently in Spartanburg, SC. Families traveled from 38 states and 4 countries. This was truly a countrywide if not worldwide event. However, we started our discussion about 2013 with whether we should do this again at all. Was this something the Lord wanted us to do for another year and take time and energy from the mission board. We are also opening a school in Poland meant to extend the Gospel into Europe. We are hoping to reach entire families with the Gospel, and amazingly, the government in Poland just made it legal to homeschool in Poland if families are connected to a non-public school. I still remember the meeting where we had the discussion about expansion with our team. I remember asking the question about whether we should have another Teach Them Diligently Convention and each team member as the question moved across the room answered emphatically yes. The enthusiasm in our team was brought out by the multitude of positive testimonials we received from families about the impact of the event on their families. We felt compelled to move forward!!
We certainly hope you will come to the Teach Them Diligently Convention. We believe the Lord has something special for you at Teach Them Diligently. He has blessed with great speakers, vendors, and workshops. We would love to be able to meet you there and to hear the story of your family as well.
Now you know...
David and Leslie Nunnery