Rev. Keith Carroll, associate pastor at Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church in Thomasville, North Carolina, has been a minster for 38 years. In almost three decades, he has only missed one year of The Gathering, because he sees it as a time of encouragement, insight and camaraderie with other ministers.
Carroll believes The Gathering is a vital part of ministry not only for himself, but also for all members of church staff. He recognizes it can be an investment to take the whole church staff but feels it is well worth it.
“It is one thing for one or two members of the staff to hear a message and share it when they come home,” said Carroll. “But you can never quite convey the enthusiasm or spirit in which you received the message. I believe it is so important for the whole staff to hear and understand it together.”
Attending The Gathering in the past has made it easier for Carroll and the staff of Mt. Zion to engage their surrounding community. One theme Carroll remembers specifically was the challenge presented to not only “do” church but to “be” the church. After the challenge, he and his staff came home with a new determination to connect with the community. The Gathering lit a spark for Mt. Zion to partner with schools and homeless communities in the surrounding areas.
If you are on the fence about attending The Gathering in 2019, Carroll would tell you: “You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! As a solo pastor, The Gathering is a great time needed to remind you that you are not alone. You need the camaraderie and the time to link arms with other folks in ministry alongside of you. If you are on a ministry team, your team needs it and your staff needs it. It creates team unity and invigorates you as a team. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your team!”
The Gathering will be held in Orlando, Florida, January 9-12, 2019. For more information and to register, visit Wesleyan.org/gathering.