Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem


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Catalyst Conference Notes & Quotes

catalyst-nametag-and-bookI believe this was my 12th year to attend Catalyst Conference here in Atlanta. It’s a great time of learning about Christian leadership, as well as seeing old friends. And, yet again, there were some great moments this year.

Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor of North Point Ministries

  • Jesus didn’t predict a place. He predicted a people. We are very different, but have Jesus in common. they were the same.
  • John 17:20 – that they may be one (which is uncommon fellowship = theme)
  • Disunity disrupts the mission.
  • John 12:34-35, final instructions
  • Unselfish love fuels uncommon fellowship.
  • Mutual submission is the most powerful dynamic in the world.
  • If we miss the love thing, it doesn’t matter what else we might get right.
  • Uncommon = uncomfortable
  • Acts 15 takes place 20 years after the resurrection, and they are still having trouble including Gentiles.
    • One of the most important chapters in the Bible for us to understand.
    • Oneness has to win the day.
    • Immorality tears down unity. Eating is a consideration
    • 600 laws were narrowed down to two so they could participate
    • Jesus sacrificed his life so you could have uncommon fellowship with God. – Romans 5-6

Mike Foster, Founder of People of the Second Chance

  • Just because you made a mistake doesn’t mean you are a mistake.
  • Being able to identify with someone is a powerful thing. “Me too” brings healing to brokenness.
  • We are not defined by our brokenness. We are defined by God’s unfailing love.
  • Romans 9:25

Jen and Brandon Hatmaker, Authors and Humanitarians

  • We have to be willing to go into the hard spaces.
  • We are either in this world for it, or so set apart that we have no voice.
  • I would like to spend less time defending my voice, and more time being like Jesus.
  • The work of justice is not easy. You will be criticized and it will cost you. But it’s worth it.
  • Many of us pray for the Kingdom over and over, but we aren’t willing to make Kingdom moves. – B
  • We need to move from defending God to declaring Hm. – B
  • We need to focus on being good neighbors, and love well. – J

Craig Groeschel, Founding Pastor of of Life Church

  • We have a common enemy, and it is not the church down the street.
  • John 17:20-23
  • We desperately need each other.
  • Unity is not uniformity.
  • We should err on the side of being “for” not “against.” Build your ministry on this.
  • We should give everything we are to strengthen others.
  • We all have something we can give.
  • Lead the way with irrational generosity.
  • We need to love like Jesus loved.
  • I believe the world is sick and tired of hearing about the love of Jesus. I believe they want to see it in action.

Father Edwin Leahy, Headmaster of St. Benedict’s Preparatory School

  • Give up what you want for what WE need.

Brian Houston, Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church

  • It should be an adventure living with, and serving, Jesus.
  • Spontaneity is our friend in the Church.
  • Innovation doesn’t come from sitting and pointing a finger.
  • Criticizing breaks down. Let’s build.
  • Predictability can also be a friend. Example, the word of God is timeless.

Brenda Salter McNeil, Director of Reconciliation Studies at Seattle Pacific University

  • Acts 10: 28-35
  • The Civil Rights movement was born in the Church. #BlackLivesMatter was born in the streets. Why won’t you let it into the Church?
  • We have got to reclaim the credibility of the Church for the next generation.
  • Black Lives Matter is a catalytic event that can be an opportunity for the Church.
  • Catalytic moments are a wake up call.
  • Catalytic events make us ask questions.
  • Look for your invitation into uncommon fellowship.
  • God takes our feeble attempts and uses them anyway.
  • What God wants from us, He wants for them.
  • Scarcity thinking builds walls.
  • God wants all people to flourish.
  • May the generation looking for leadership find it in the Church.

Scott Sauls, Senior Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church*

  • The closer you get to the “other” the closer you’ll get to Jesus. This is a New Testament theme.
  • The hope of the universe rests on an Arabic man who was an outcast and never spoken English.
  • I am the minority Jesus included. (He’s white.)

Propaganda, Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Artist*

  • It’s hard for the dominant cultures to see themselves collectively, and the hurt of individuals you are different from them.
  • You can’t subjugate other image-bearers. to do so, you must assume they are less than human.
  • Implicit biases assumes you already know me without really knowing me.

Soong-Chan Rah, Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, North Park Theological Seminary*

  • Colorblindness assumes equality is already at play.
  • Colorblindness removes our individuality. It reduces everyone to the majority.

Mark DeYmaz, Lead Pastor of Mosaic Church*

  • The statistics show us that whites are becoming the minority.
  • If there is no division in heave, why are we allowing it here on Earth?
  • Surely it breaks the heart of God that the Church is segregated by race and class.
  • Jesus had power, privilege and position…and He set it down.

Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief*

  • The conversation of race is really about power.
  • There is a lot of pain in the people of color cultures that churches aren’t necessarily addressing.
  • They aren’t just issues; they are individuals.
  • American comfort and prosperity in large has been built on the back of the marginalized and people of color who had no rights.
  • By welcoming the “other,” we are demonstrating the gospel.
  • Any time we pursue our own comfort and prosperity over the needs of others, we are doing a disservice to the gospel.
  • Charity removes relationship with those who make us feel uncomfortable.
  • When we talk about refugees, this isn’t a test of our politics. It’s about what we believe the gospel says.

Rachel Cruze, Daughter of Dave Ramsey

  • Quit the comparisons.
  • Being grateful squashes comparison.
  • The road of comparison leads to debt.
  • Debit limits generosity.
  • Where there is no margin, there is no ministry.

Simon Sinek, Best-Selling Author

  • Leadership is not about being in charge. It’s about taking care of those in your charge.
  • Time and energy are the most vulnerable things you can give to others.
  • Great leaders have empathy and perspective.
  • Patience is required for the journey.
  • We have an entire section in the book store on self help, but not a “help others” section.
  • Organization health always results in sustained impact.
  • In a healthy org, everyone is convinced that everyone is essential.
  • You begin becoming a great leader RIGHT NOW.
  • Why are we doing? Why are we doing it? Where do I fit in?
  • Everyone knows what THEY are doing but do they know what WE are doing?
    • When everyone knows what we are doing together, most decisions are pre-made.
    • Going through this process is sometimes more valuable than the product.
  • “Why” is the inspiration.
  • Memorable is portable.
  • How does what I do contribute to what we do?
    • This is about the responsibility you carry, not the work you perform.
    • Everyone at your org needs to know your answer.
    • Develop one sentence responsibility descriptions for your direct reports.

 

*These folks were all part of a panel. It was my favorite session in the main conference, and you can watch it right here.

And if you just want some fun moments and entertainment, you can watch Jon Crist’s videos…


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The Justice Conference 2015: My Favorite Quotes

Justice Conference StageLast week I attended The Justice Conference in Chicago with a couple of friends. This was my second year, and yet again, it provoked so many thoughts about social justice and pricked my heart for reconciliation in the hard places.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes. I hope you enjoy them too. May they lodge themselves in your mind, and propel you toward creating a better future for us all.

 

Cornel West

Scholar, Activist, Servant and Lover of Music

  • May the God of justice bless you with discomfort.
  • Have the audacity to make Jesus your choice.
  • Look back before you move forward.
  • Love your way through the darkness.
  • If the Kingdom of God is in you, you should leave a little bit of heaven wherever you go.
  • Following Jesus means you’re welcoming a proximity to pain.
  • Quoting Samuel Beckett, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Eugene Cho

Pastor, Writer, Visionary

  • Justice must be part of our worship of God.
  • Everyone loves justice until there is a cost.
  • John 4: Jesus HAD to go through Sumeria. He was compelled. He went to the hard places to make people’s lives better.
  • Even good things can become idolatrous.
  • Everything we do should be a response to God’s love.
  • Justice must always be humble.
  • Be careful that you don’t become self-righteous. Otherwise YOU may be the mountain God wants to move.
  • Our hope is not in our Savior Complex.

Louis Dooley

Illinois Regional Director, Set Free Ministries

  • Get out of the Christian bubble.
  • Get your hands dirty.

Bob Goff

Best-Selling Author and Speaker

  • Love everybody, always.
  • God makes people. And people make issues. But people aren’t issues.
  • Let people get justice because they know you.
  • You’ll be known for your ideas, but remembered for your love.

Ken Wytsma

Teacher, Entrepreneur, Author

  • Faith lives in a climate of doubt.
  • It’s not the quality of faith that matters, but the presence.

Jenny Yang

Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief

  • We are all called to be advocates.
  • There is a limit on charity, but there is no limit to transformational relationships.

Ann Voskamp

Author, Blogger, Farmer’s Wife

  • We need to become the Esther generation, advocating for those outside the gates.
  • Accept the invitation to cross boundaries.
  • When your heart breaks for justice, pray to stay broken.

Jonathan Merritt

Columnist and Author

  • We should nurture bravery, humility, empathy and diversity.
  • Learn how to disagree well. It usually involves more listening.

Rev. Traci Blackmon

Pastor, Member of the Fergusson Commission

  • Many of us are blind to our privilege.
  • Privilege is an “othering” of people.
  • Look for God’s image in everyone.
  • Nobody gives up privilege willingly. Are you ready to pay the cost?

Louie Giglio

Pastor of Passion City Church, Founder of the Passion Movement

  • Be quietly worshipful and noisily grateful.
  • Your core identity must be Jesus. Anything else, and heaven will be a disappointment.
  • You’re a Jesus worshipper first, not a job or activist or anything else.
  • Justice isn’t a career path. It’s a theological imperative. It’s rooted in everyone, woven in divinity and reconciliation.
  • If you aren’t at peace, your going to be asking your mission to validate you.

Neichelle Guidry

Preacher and Worship Curator

  • In the presence of Jesus, character is revealed.
  • Jesus only spent 25% of His time in church throughout recorded scripture.
  • Perhaps its not enough to just have a heart that’s in the right place.
  • Growth always comes with growing pains.
  • Your comfort comes at someone else’s discomfort.
  • Grow up. Become Kingdom-minded. Choose.
  • If you’re going to live in the Kingdom of God, you need to give up your addiction to convenience and comfort.

 

And here’s the highlight video for a peek inside the event.

The JUSTICE Conference 2015 Highlights from The JUSTICE CONFERENCE on Vimeo.