Catalyst Day 1 – Labs #CATALYST

Last year, I attended Catalyst and found myself gleaning some good things, but found it wanting. You can read that here, here, and here. My responses in many ways were due to the sessions I chose to be at, and nothing really to do with the conference itself, but also, during that time, I don’t think I received the messages fairly. The content was good, I just entered into the conference with the wrong mindset.

So why did I choose to come back? Well, since coming to FBC Bellville, I was determined to expose our team to some of the ideas Catalyst presents on leadership, worship, cultural engagement and mission. I knew Catalyst would be helpful for our team to be exposed to a variety of ideas and perspectives… always a good thing.

Another reason is that I began following Brad Lomenick’s blog. Brad is the chief leader of the conference and his insights to leadership have fueled me in my time as a Senior Pastor. I know that may seem strange that a blog would have that kind of impact, but it did. Thus, I’m giving them another shot. And I’ll do another review at the end of day one and two. Unfortunately, our team has to jet after the first session on Friday due to some community events in Bellville we need to attend.

Here were some of the highlights of the LAB’s (which is like pre-conference bonus material):

+Bob Goff: He gave, as always, a sporadic, story infused talk about loving our enemies. He talked about loving our enemies and how difficult that is – btw, his enemies are witch doctors who are into child sacrifice. He described how difficult it is to love them, but he’s doing it as best as he can.

Here was my favorite quote:

How can I point people to Jesus? The smallest act of love answers the questions that Jesus is real. We get scared that we’re going to get it wrong but we never actually do anything. So, do something for your enemies.

+Jon Acuff spoke about how not to wreck your life as a young leader. I felt this session was highly practical for me, and am thankful that I went to it. This was helpful in regards to preventive maintenance for my heart. He shared four major flaws to be aware of:

Pride and Ego

Here was my favorite quote:

Celebrity is the worst drug in Christianity.

+Jo Saxon: I’ve heard Jo speak before and have always found the way she communicates fascinating. Maybe it’s because she’s from South Africa, but I really appreciate her perspective on missional living/community. She gave some marks of a missional life, they were:

Passionate spirituality
Radical community
Missional frontier (expansion)

Here was my favorite quote:

You can’t teach missional living if you aren’t living on mission.

+Matt Carter: This was by far my favorite session, as I was able to hear, and be reminded of some foundations and I was able to be affirmed in much of our direction as well. He shared three guiding principles to leading a church from Revelation 2:1-7:

Lead people to love their Savior more than they love their mission.
Lead people to understand the urgency of the mission.
Lead people to be agents of change in their context.

He asked some very good questions like: If our church packed its doors, would the city grieve. Would the city notice? If your youth group stopped, would the city grieve? Would the high school notice? You could have heard a pin drop. Questions I’ve heard before, but they rattled me more today for some reason.

Here was my favorite quotes:

When was the last time the gospel has moved you to tears?
Often as a Pastor, you need to remember that you’re a Christian too.
God wants to do more through you than just passing out bulletins.

By far, this has been the LAB that had the most impact on me. Loved it.

+Lysa TerKeurst: During this session, I laughed, cried, laughed some more, smiled, and cried again. Her story is riveting and all the guys felt the same way. We felt every emotion was brought about. Amazing. Very compelling story.

Here was my favorite quote:

If you serve The Lord right, there will be a wall of impossibility. Show up each day, and follow hard after God, and God will meet you at your impossibility.