Catalyst is a conference experience where each large group session has a speaker that presents challenges of leadership, social justice, and intentional discipleship in the “big church.” Worship is intense, laughter is loud, and the atmosphere of creativity is on overload. I love it!

Here is what I learned . . .

1. Don’t be concerned with being fair, be engaged over the long-run. When we try to be fair and do all for everyone, you get jaded and miss out on the success stories we all need to persevere. “Do for one what you WISH you could do for everyone.” (Andy Stanley)

2. Why do some thrive in chaos and others do not? (Jim Collins)
a. The only mistakes you really learn from are the ones you survive.
b. Bad decisions with good intentions are still bad decisions.
c. The signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.
d. Greatness is the result of conscious choice and discipline.

3. An incredible team and a culture of excellence matter (Dave Ramsey)
a. Do not let life move faster than your resources,
b. Never advance beyond your supply lines,
c. Reach toward a high relational IQ because people matter,
d. Tell the truth,
e. Show up on time,
f. Don’t hire “crazy,” and don’t be “crazy,”
g. Do EvErYtHiNg as unto the LORD

4. Do I really know what I have in Jesus? Since when is Jesus not enough? Since when do I have to supplement the Savior? (Judah Smith)

5. Give of my firstfruits and my vats will be filled (a reminder from the holy scriptures by Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes)

6. Fear is vision without hope. (Mark Driscoll)
a. Fear is not always rational, but it is always powerful,
b. Fear is getting what you do NOT want,
c. Fear preaches a false gospel, lifts up a false savior, and offers a false heaven,
d. Fear turns us all in to false prophets

7. We are who we are because someone loved us. (Dr. Cornell West)

8. Folks are leaving the church because (David Kinnaman, President of the Barna Group):
a. They see the church as taking no risks (overprotective)…oh the stories of the apostles and the martyrs
b. They see the church as being anti-science (disconnected)

9. Something’s wrong when I’m in the presence of God and I am doing all the talking. (Priscilla Shirer)
a. There is not near enough space here to share how her presentation challenged and lit a fire under me – I’d have to do lunch with you to even touch the surface.

10. Dont’ work alone (Andy Stanley)
a. I am not responsible to fill someone else’s cup, but rather to empty my own to whomever is around.
b. I am responsible for passing along what I know to somebody else (the act of apprenticing).

I also learn alot about the group I am honored to attend with. These are folks ranging in ages this year from a Junior in high school (who was once in my preschool class, I might add) to a couple of us in our, let’s just say, our 50s. Insightful conversation, loving acceptance, and gracious hospitality.  My cup is filled and ready to be emptied.