Becoming broken………

A lot of people who read this blog read a few others that are linked here. And as you know, quite a few of us were in Atlanta for the Catalyst Conference and it was great. We all had a blast. For some it was their first  time for others their fourth or more. I have to be honest,  I went in to this years conference with very low expectations. It seemed to me, at the time, that the scheduled speakers were less than “par”. Of course Andy Stanley is amazing, that’s a given. This guy seems to communicate leadership on a level that I have never witnessed before. He’s amazing. But, the rest of the field with the exception of Craig Groeschel and Seth Godin, lets just say I was less than enthusiastic about. How wrong I was. Well day one anyway.

Day one Andy jumps right into leadership and lays it out for all to see. Amazing. William Paul Young takes the stage next to discuss The Shack. All I can say is that the authenticity of this guy is as clear as a sun rise on the ocean. No one in there could dispute that this guy truly knows who God is. And loves him, and wants to live life as close to him as possible. He blew me away. I love authentic people. Authenticity as a character trait means more to me than anything. Be who you are and nothing else. And I believe he was. Jim Collins, didn’t stick around for him. A little to business for me. My boss loves him. We have used his books in some meetings. I like what he has to say, but It’s just hard for me to get in one mind frame and then switch to another. And then there was Steven Furtick. This guy blew me away as well. He has a confidence that could be mistaken as cocky, but his passion was not to messed with. It seems God is using him to do great things in his community and I was thankful he was there to share. He publicly in front of twelve thousand other leaders thanked the core group that fell in line with his dream and supported him from day one. It was beautiful and he said something that has not left my mind, and never will. He mentioned that when he was younger there was a youth pastor that had invested in him, encouraged him to chase his dreams. He said that guy would probably never have the chance to speak at catalyst, but he assured us he was speaking through him every time Steven took the stage. Mind boggling what God does. And how servant hood is rewarded in ways we will ever know. You never know what part you play in someone elses life until the final card is dealt. Brenda McNeil decided it was time to bring a little bit of Pentecost to the catalyst stage and man am I glad she did. Seth Godin delivered his message in the most beautiful way. I know he is all business as well, but I happen to read his blog daily and find him truly amazing. He did not disappoint. Now comes to the point where God stood me up, put his hand on my shoulder, and then slapped the living crap out of me. Thank you Graig Groeschel for the message you brought to the table. Brokenness. Brokenness, and more Brokenness. Day one blew me away. Hands down the best day I have ever experienced at catalyst.

Day two, a little different story. Thank God for Day one. Tim Sanders started the day. Good speaker. I enjoyed him. Then came Dave Ramsey. I have had a lot of conversations about this clown guy for some time now. And a lot of my peeps LOVE him. And they love him for the right reasons. He’s great at money management, he has found a nice way to market it to christians, and then charges them quite a bit of money to share his secret. Here in lies the problem with me. Well two things. Why are you charging so much for your program? Why are you charging your brothers and sisters in Christ to share your message? If God has blessed you with a knowledge that you believe will help them become better followers, then share it for free. Just my opinion. Two, are we so blinded by the american way that we put so much time and effort into  money and riches in a materialistic realm that we forget the things Jesus said about money. If you really look at the scripture Jesus even commented that it was a little “off” to carry around currency with Cesar on it. Idolatry I believe it was. Ever wondered why when Jesus was asked about taxes he said to give him a coin? Why did he not have one? Just a thought. Study your scriptures a little deeper and you never know how the light will refract off of the prism. In short, I don’t care for Mr. Ramsey. But others do and I support their right to their opinions. Carry on brothers and sisters! Carry on! Next was Franklin Graham. He received the life time achievement award for his dad. And we will move on. Andy Crouch. Great info. He has invested a lot of time in the study of culture and how Christianity fits in. Great stuff. Matt Chandler was next. Blew me away. This guy is something to check out. I wonder if he has a podcast. I’ll have to go see in a minute. Andy Stanley ended the thing up with another great leadership talk. I hope we listen to what he had to say and put it in practice.

Overall Catalyst was amazing for me. The music was great, they mixed it quite a bit more. Which was nice, a man can only take so much Fee you know. I had a blast hanging out with Brother Ron and Big Daddy Steve for a few days. Our discussion alone and Steve’s words of wisdom were worth the trip alone. By the way Steve, Paul truly may be dead.

Shalom…..

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3 Comments

  1. P.D. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Catalyst! I’m excited about the things I heard while there, and look forward to maybe attending again in the future.

  2. I had the chance to be at Catalyst again this year (my 4th time) and was challenged and encouraged as always. It’s always so encouraging being around other leaders and seeing what God is doing in His church around the world.

    What session impacted you personally the most?

  3. Brad,
    It had to be Groeschel. Blew me away.

    Shawn,
    No problem.


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