January 17, 2014

Author Mathison to be keynote speaker

John Ed Mathison will be the keynote speaker for a leadership summit for the laity and pastors of Dalton area churches on Saturday, Jan. 25, at Dalton First United Methodist Church from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The program is part of the church’s Global Impact Celebration week, which begins Monday. The theme is “Be the Difference You Want to See.”

The seminar is titled “Leading the Church to the Next Level” and is open to everyone in Dalton. Any church may register, and the $55 cost per church allows an unlimited number of members of that church to attend. Held at Dalton First United Methodist Church at 500 S. Thornton Ave., seminar registration is with Elizabeth King at (706) 278-8494 or dfumcliz@optilink.us. Learn about volunteer opportunities to make a difference locally by going to servewhitfield.com. Registration is required.

Topics discussed will include “You Don’t Need an Evangelism Committee,” “Missions that are Meaningful” and “Every Member in Ministry.”

This is the 14th annual Global Impact Celebration sponsored by the church’s global impact committee. The committee’s work is three-fold: supply support financially and physically through short-term mission trips to missionaries serving in foreign countries and in the U.S., support of local missions and the increased effort to go outside the walls of the church, and be the hands and feet of Christ serving others. The committee’s mission statement is “to inspire, equip and mobilize people and deploy resources around the world to help people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.”

The guest speaker for this year’s celebration is the author of seven books, devotional guides and articles for Decision Magazine, The Circuitry Rider and other religious periodicals.

Probably the best known book by Mathison is “Every Member in Ministry” which explains how a church can incorporate more people in service. While the average church has 20 percent of the people doing 80 percent of the work, Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church, under Mathison’s pastorate, had in the 90 percent range of its members involved in specific ministries.

The book also addresses the issue of how to deal with inactive members. Attendees at Mathison’s Saturday seminar will gain multiple new ideas learned from his more than 45 years of striving to get church members outside the walls of the church in service to others.

North American co-chair of the Billion Soul Initiative, Mathison will be coming to Dalton directly from Orlando, Fla., where he will have been teaching at the fourth international meeting of this group. Their goal or vision is to win one billion souls to Christ and start five million churches worldwide. To date more than 376 million decisions have been made for Christ and just over two million new churches begun.

When Mathison retired from 36 years as senior pastor of Frazer in Montgomery, Ala., he was urged by church leaders to continue preaching, teaching and sharing those best and most helpful practices learned over his 45 years as a minister. Through his Leadership Ministries organization, Mathison has continued to preach, teach and lead seminars to train pastors and laity. In the first four years, he has trained 8,000 pastors, taught more than 170 seminars, ministered in eight denominations and preached more than 100 times each year.

From Monday to Friday there will be daily opportunities to “Be the Difference” in Dalton and Whitfield County. Anyone can go to servewhitfield.com and find a place to help others. Everyone is invited to join with others in the Dalton area and take advantage of this organized, one-time way to serve, and to come hear Mathison at Dalton First Methodist Church. If your schedule does not permit you to attend the entire day’s events, you are welcome to come and leave when necessary.

Mathison will also be preaching at both the 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. services in the sanctuary on Sunday, Jan. 26. Call (706) 278-8494 for more information or to register for Saturday’s seminar or dinner.

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