I 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…