I really don’t know how you could squeeze any more information into 1 day. It has been said several times, but Catalyst is like drinking from a fire hydrant! It is not just great it is difficult, challenging and even painful.
Today certainly did not disappoint! Another huge lineup.
Session 8 – John Maxwell
This man is a legand in the corprate and church leadership worlds. He has been helping leaders for 30 years and this Catalyst conference actually was the start of his retirement from public ministry. John Maxwell is really the father of the Catalyst conference and has given his life to church leaders. The organizers of Catalyst all took an opportunity to give tributes to his life and ministry. It was very touching to hear men like Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, Tim Sanders, Erwin McManus, and Dave Ramsey with tears praise God for this mans life. Andy shared how when he was at the lowest point in his life John was the guy who helped pick him up and remind him that God has a plan and purpose for his life.
John spoke about the highest purpose every leader should live for. We must intentionally add value to every person we lead! As we look to add value to people we must understand that that will happen best when we serve out of our strengths! We must know and leverage our strengths to add value to people. Your strengths are you best asset. Don not live to be well rounded and fill in the gaps in your gift set. Focus on your strengths and manage around your weaknesses. You strengths are where God wants to use you.
4 things you must do to add value to the people you lead.
1. You must value people. You must love people and desire to value them.
2. You must make yourself more valuable. It almost seams counter the idea, but by adding value to yourself you make it possible to have something meaningful to say. You must as a leader ALWAYS keep learning, keep stretching yourself, keep growing. You can not lead people to a place you have never been. You as the leader must spend the time and the energy to read, learn, and never stop challenging yourself. If you are not a learner you are not a leader! If you have the position of leader and are not doing the hard work of learning and growing you are only fooling yourself. You can not lead without making yourself more valuable.
3. You must know and value what the people you lead know and value. You must be involved in the lives of the people you lead to the point that you know what makes them tick. You know there families, hobbies, likes and dislikes. You must show interest in their lives.
4. You must know and be apart of the things God values. You must be close to the heartbeat of God. You must know what breaks his heart and those things must break yours. You must be in tune to his desires and direction.
As a leader you are either adding or subtracting value from the people you lead. There is no in between. The greatest sin as a leader is to think of yourself first.
John closed his time with us and really his close of his time at Catalyst by praying for us. As I sat there I was moved to tears with the love and passion this man has for God and really for me and every other young leader their. John with all his accomplishments is extremly humbly.
Session 9 – Craig Groeschel
Craig is here to stay. I have been listening to Craig for almost 2 years, but this was in some ways his coming out party. He is here to sta. I heard several guys saying they didn’t know who he was, but that his talk was awesome and extremely challenging.
Craig opened with a prayer that God “disturb you”. He confessed that he is a practical atheist. He says with his mouth that Jesus is Lord, but his life and ministry do not reflect that truth. We often say Jesus is Lord, but than we work as if our effort is the determining factor in the success of the church. OUCH!
Craig pointed out that 3 things we are saying when we live as a practical atheist.
1. Our effort is better than Gods power
2. Our private life doesn’t effect our public ministry.
3. We must please people instead of pleasing God.
Lord disturb me!
Session 10 – Dave Ramsey
Dave as many may know is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. He is passionate about helping people understand how money works. For me this was the first time I realized and was very convicted that the way I spend and use my money is a spiritual issue not just a financial one. We own nothing! We are stewards who manage God’s resources. My wife and I do not have thousands in debt, do not misuse money, but we are not wise stewards. We do not worship God in the use of His money. That will change!
Dave this definition of prosperity – having the money to do God’s will in your life. People want to give. They want to be generous. They are oppressed by debt and can not do God’s will in their life because of that debt.
You become a giver when you have a plan.
Session 11 – Erwin McManus
Erwin is always amazing. He is always looking at things from a different angle. He focused on the Christians responsibility to reclaim beauty where ever you see it. By this point in the day I was so drunk on the fire hydrant that I didn’t take notes and committed to listening to the message again as I purchased the complete Catalyst pack.
Session 12 – Andy Stanley
I have just taken in more practical leadership information than ever before. The challenge is now to take that home and turn it into change in my ministry and church, but how? Andy related to the feeling of having the passion, desire, and ideas, but having all those die as soon as you get home. Why does this happen? Andy share that the problem comes when we try and make change happen with new ideas, passion, and renewed desire in the same old system.
Andy shared that sermons don’t change behavior, bummer for all the professional pastors out there. Systems change behavior. The problem with most churches including mine is not that we don’t have talented staff and volunteers. The problem is not that we don’t have the recourses. The problem is not that we don’t have the desire. The problem is the systems.
See the Bible says nothing about the systems. The Bible does not give us a blueprint on the systems that should run a church. The Bible is the truth we hope to effectively communicate to see lives changed. The problem is that most people get more upset about changing systems than they do about not fulfilling the great commission. There is a problem with that!
We must first start with the systems that are in place. If they are broken they will be discarded and replaced with new ones. If there was no intentional system we will create one to get the desired behavior. Because systems dictate behavior.
As I reflect back on the last few days I am scarred. I have had so much reveled to me that there is a huge responsibility to turn God’s revelation in to action. I must not allow these truths to die in my notebooks and head. God has entrusted me with a skill to lead people and given me a great opportunity to be trained by some of the worlds best leaders. I must do something. My life, ministry, and church will be forever changed by these last few days at Catalyst.
Get ready here I come!