I just returned from my 9th Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. Hands down, this is always my favorite weekend of the year. It is an opportunity to hear new voices, reflect on my calling, and cast vision for the future. This year was no different except…
Now I’m no longer the youth minister but now I’m the team leader. I’m the senior person on staff. I’m responsible for other leaders and volunteers now. The game changed since last October. It’s a freeing, scary, awesome, terrifying place to be. I am loving it.
What I love about Catalyst is that I don’t return with a series of new plans or programs that I’m ready to implement this Wednesday. Catalyst isn’t the kind of conference where you change everything about your ministry and programs 10 minutes after stepping off the plane back home.
Catalyst is a slow burn. The thoughts, concepts, challenges, and exhortations go to work in your own heart and mind first. Then, over time the things I have heard in October will begin to guide and change my approach or thinking. The change has to start within me as the leader.
Here are a few of the thoughts or concepts that are currently marinating in my soul from this weekend. I don’t know what they all mean for my context right now but I’m trusting that God will use them to make a big change in me so I can lead where I am more effectively.
- Don’t be fair, be engaged. – Andy Stanley
- Go deep rather than wide. Go long-term rather than short-term. Go time, not just money. – Andy Stanley
- Life is people. – Jim Collins
- 3 Behaviors that allow leaders to thrive: 1) Fanatical Discipline, 2) Empirical Creativity, 3) Productive Paranoia – Jim Collins
- The Signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change, innovate, or grow; it’s chronic inconsistency. – Jim Collins
- Fire Bullets, then Cannonballs. – Jim Collins
- What is my “20 Mile March“?
- Learn to marry creativity with discipline so that disciple amplifies creativity. – Jim Collins
- We live in a world that is holding on for dear life to straws. – Joel Houston
- An incredible team in a culture of excellence matters. – Dave Ramsey
- Bring it everyday. – Dave Ramsey
- Readdress your calling everyday. – Dave Ramsey
- “If I could get a transcript of your prayers over the last month, what would be the one thing you kept praying for?” – Francis Chan
- We make the things we are afraid of functional gods that we worship. – Mark Driscoll
- Fear makes us false prophets. We predict a future that will never happen and cause ourselves fear, stress, and anxiety over these things that will never happen.- Mark Driscoll
- Fear is vision without hope. – Mark Driscoll
- FEAR NOT! Fear not, your Daddy is with you. – Mark Driscoll
- Hatred of injustice is not the same thing as a love for everyday people. – Cornel West
- Love is about going on the offensive. – Cornel West
- We are who we are because somebody loved us. – Cornel West
- Messiahs are crucified; prophets are assassinated. – Cornel West
- Be intentional about pouring into those leaders that are coming behind you. It’s not about filling their cup. It is about emptying yours. – Andy Stanley
- MEDs- Model, Explain, Demonstrate – Andy Stanley
- Success is ultimately measured by whether or not you leave your responsibilities in capable hands. – Andy Stanley
- Let’s hand the church better off than it was handed to us… to those who can do it better than us. – Andy Stanley
These are just a few examples of the leadership challenges and questions that are currently running laps around my head and heart. I walked away from Catalyst 2011 just like every other year thinking:
I am so blessed and honored to have experienced what I just experienced. Thank you Father for the Catalyst Team and for all that they do.
It is my prayer that God will give me the wisdom I need to do something with what I heard and experienced.
See you in Dallas, Catalyst Team!