As I still process and digest all that I heard from Catalyst 2009, two speakers hit home me. Honestly, both speakers gave me a butt kicking and it still stings a little bit in a good way.
What they said really resonates with me as far as, this is what I need to be practicing personal in my life/ministry. I have always had a great respect for both Matt Chandler and Rob Bell, I have always felt challenged as a pastor and a Christ follower by what they say. However, at Catalyst 2009 these two guys totally spoke directly to me and allowed the Holy Spirit to speak through them and into my life directly.
Here are excerpts from what they shared at Catalyst 2009, courtesy of www.catalystspace.com I did take notes and captured many of the things that are in these notes, but these notes are a little more concise and and easier to copy and paste thanks www.catalystspace.com
The Reward of the Tenth Commandment
(This summary created by Kent Shaffer at ChurchRelevance.com)
Rob Bell of Mars Hill Bible Church (Grandville, MI)
I was recently talking to a pastor who said he wanted to quit. So I asked him to draw a pie chart of what he does every week. He had been a pastor for a year and wanted to quite every day. So I asked if he practiced Sabbath. [silence]
There are lots of concepts and truths that we would intellectually agree with, but we are made anxious by deep subterranean forces in our bones that drive us. We “believe” one thing but then do something else.
John 6 tells the story of Jesus giving expectations but the crowd thinning because they think they can’t do it. Sometimes the crowd thins. What would Jesus say to modern church growth experts that say if you do A then B then C, then there will be growth and numbers? Sometimes the crowd thins, and people leave, even ones who are close to you.
Luke 21 tells the story of the poor widow that gave “more” out of her poverty than what the rich gave. What we naturally think is an important measurement may not be how God measures things.
You are a living Eucharist. How can we break ourselves open and pour ourselves out, so that the people around us might experience God? The Eucharist is a sacred and holy thing. You surrender your agenda when you serve. But when you exploit the Eucharist and break it down and rank it, you destroy it.
In John 5:19, Jesus says, “the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing.” His work comes from a grounded, centered, calm place where He only has a few things to do, and He sets out to do it. He is not distracted. He is not stressed. There is a difference between something that is hard and difficult and something that is a burden. God will not give you a burden you can’t carry.
In Exodus 20, the first 9 commandments are external and measurable, but the last commandment about coveting is not externally observable. The “tenth” is considered a reward. Meaning if you follow the first 9 rules then you won’t have a problem with the 10th rule because you won’t want anyone else’s life.
If you have a burden of feeling like you have not accomplished enough, God wants to set you free from that. Jesus wants you to simply enjoy the place that you are at and the work that is in front of you.
Is there any way in your ministry that you have neglected to take care of yourself? You need to love your neighbor as yourself. You need to take care of yourself so that you can be energized. Which day do you take care of yourself, so that you can give during the other six days of the week?
Does your spouse get your very best, or does your spouse get what is left over from the church? Do your kids get your very best, or do they get the scraps? Our children pick up on what really matters to us without us saying a word.
If it is not going well at home, it will not go well at church. Jesus invites us into a peaceful, calm place in the center of his love.
Your Role is Bigger Than You Think
Speaker Summary: Matt Chandler
(This summary created by Kent Shaffer at ChurchRelevance.com)
Matt Chandler of The Village Church (Highland Village, TX) discussed the importance of confession, repentance, and focusing on God.
There are a lot of things going on in your churches. Some of you are in good places. Some of you are in bad places. Remind yourself what you have been caught up in.
Apparently according to Hebrews 11, the gauntlet that you and I will run has seasons with lions and seasons where we escape the sword and seasons where we die by the sword and seasons where the dead will rise and seasons when the dead are dead.
Somehow the idea of confession and repentance has become negative. It seems like the longer we are Christians, the more we think you shouldn’t be confessing things. The problem is, well… the Bible. 1 John 1:5-10 says if you live and walk as if you are sinless, you are a liar.
Look at every delay as an opportunity to deepen the waters with the God of the universe. It is a lack of gratitude and therefore a sin that causes you to want to be something that you aren’t. A day is coming when history in your life will be rewritten as it really is. Your role is bigger than you think.
Look to Jesus because He is the founder of our faith. Without Him there is no reconciliation with God.
May we remember what we have grown up in. May we remember what God has called us to. And may we run well.
Another speaker from Catalyst 2009 that was solid and hit the ball out of the park and really hit me on another level was Malcolm Gladwell. I thought he had so many great principles and thoughts from what he shared.
By the way, content wise I thought this was a great Catalsyt and was the best one I attended thus far. Looking forward to next year's event. Definitely, a great time of learning, growing and soaking in...Catalyst was a personal revival for me of sorts. Definitely many things I needed to hear and digest into my spirit and soul.
Here is the notes from Malcolm Gladwell, of courtesy to www. catalystspace.com for their notes...
The Danger of Overconfidence
Speaker Summary: Malcolm Gladwell
(This article compiled by summaries created Michael Hyatt and Kent Shaffer)
Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, discussed the danger of overconfidence during Catalyst's second session. Here is what he said:
People who are experts still make mistakes, which led to the current financial crises.
If you have more information, do you get better at making a prediction? A recent research study shows that more information doesn’t really make a difference. However, with more information people’s confidence in their prediction improves.
Too much confidence in a guess is called miscalculation.
Incompetence irritates me, but overconfidence scares me. Incompetent people rarely have the opportunity to make mistakes that greatly affect things. But overconfident leaders and experts have the dangerous ability to create disaster.
In 1863 during the Civil War in Virginia, the Union army was in incredibly poor shape. And President Lincoln was becoming increasingly worried. Fighting Joe Hooker came and happened to know more about Confederate General Lee than anyone. Hooker devised a brilliant battle plan to distribute his army in thirds and surround the Confederates. Lee was significantly outnumbered 2 to 1. Hooker said that even God Almighty couldn’t prevent them from victory. What happened next was the Battle of Chancellorsville. Hooker expected Lee to retreat, became entrenched in his confidence, and did not plan for anything else. The Union army lowered their guard; Lee attacked, and Hooker’s army retreated — suffering one of the worst defeats of the war.
Overconfidence is “the disease of experts.” They think they know more than they actually do. In fact, they make mistakes precisely because they have knowledge. This is what happened on Wall Street and General Hooker at Chancellorsville.
The lesson is this: In times of crisis, we think we need leaders who are bold and confident. This is completely wrong-headed. What we really need are leaders who are humble and willing to listen.
As leaders ourselves, how can we avoid becoming overly confident? Three ways:
1. Listen to those around us. We cannot afford to create a culture that is not safe for dissent. Our people need to feel the freedom to disagree with us and tell us the truth.
2. Plan for contingencies. We might be right. We might be wrong. We need to accept this and create a plan A and a plan B. We can’t afford to assume that our plans are infallible.
3. Enlist the help of our team. When organizations are small, they can be run by a single, entrepreneurial leader. But when the organization gets bigger than about 150 people (according to Gladwell) our leadership has to change. It must become a more collective, collaborative effort.
The good news is that, as leaders, we can learn. We can grow. But above all, we must remain humble. If we don’t, we risk large-scale, public failures that will have a catastrophic, negative impact on the people we are trying to lead.