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By Aaron E. Ziebarth

I have visited almost twenty of Joy El's Released Time programs this year. I am grateful for the volunteers who are committed to fulfilling the great commission through this ministry. Even more so, I join the volunteers in being inspired by seeing children excited to come and grow in their relationship with the Lord. 

Following are some of the excellent practices that I have seen in the different Released Time programs. 

1) Volunteers are committed to memorizing God's Word. This impacts their hearts, and sets a great example for children. 

2) There is a feeling of community as volunteers care for and pray for the needs of each other and for the children in the program. God's love is evident between the volunteer team and for the children. 

3) Persistence.  The RT team knows that things can get in the way of children coming and learning about the Lord. Rather than being content with all students remaining at school for PSSAs, one coordinator shared, "I asked the principal, can all the students who are not taking the test still come to RT?"  Many RTs persist in numerous attempts to invite children to come and attend RT.