Catalyst Conference notes and quotes…
Andy Stanley spoke both Thursday and Friday. Along with John Maxwell, Stanley helped found the Catalyst Conference, now in its 18th year.
A single act of courage is often the catalyst for extraordinary. If we knew the outcome, it wouldn’t take courage. Often the difference between a risk and an opportunity is courage. You don’t want to look back and wonder what God might have done had you courage to step out.
Church leaders: the time will come when you will be prompted and encouraged to step out.
A catalyst leader is passionate and has compassion for the local church. A catalyst leader rarely regrets the risks they took.
Four courageous catalytic decisions:
1. Courage to stay when it would be easier to leave.
2. Courage to leave when it would be easier to stay. Andy could’ve stayed on at FBC Atlanta instead of leaving to create North Point Ministries.
3. Courage to get help when it would be easier to pretend. Leaders you should fear the consequences of concealment more than the consequences of transparency.
4. Courage to submit when it would be easier to power up. When the board all votes to do the opposite of what you thought best. Which church should we build first: Buckhead or Browns Bridge? The board said both.
You are not the smartest person in your organization. You’re just the leader. If you are the smartest person in your organization then you are a terrible leader. Great leaders don’t make all the decisions. Great leaders make sure all the decisions are great.
I would rather fail in the center of God’s will than to look back and wonder what God might have done if only I’d trusted an obeyed. Fear this: looking back and wondering what might have been had you trusted and obeyed.
Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people with nothing to say. The questions you ask over and over reveal to people what is important to you. There is a difference between someone asking a great question and someone who questions you. The questions you ask reveal your values. Questions reinforce values. Questions reinforce behaviors.
I begin every staff meeting with the same question: What happened this weekend? Tell me the stories of life change. Begin every meeting telling stories of what’s happening in your church. Extraordinary stories are the only ones worth telling. Numbers are secondary. “Make it better” is one of our staff values. Your staff should ask ”what am I doing personally to help us improve organizationally?”
Ask yourself: what would a great leader do? The best way to become a great leader is to do what a great leader would do. We’re not on a mission to build something big. We’re in a mission to build something significant. Corporate mission will eventually conflict with personal ambition.
Loyalty didn’t make it as a fruit of the spirit. A great leader can reach beyond the limits of personality and style. Humility is an invitation for God to do extraordinary things.
God anointed me but I appointed me – is that really the story you want to tell? Many leaders are talented at camouflaging their personal agenda with the language of vision and mission.
Bill Hybels: do you see a vision, or are you seized by a vision? I feel sad if you’re not in relationship with people who are far from God. Having people in my life who are far from God has driven how I preach and how we build our church.
I don’t care if you do evangelism inside or outside your church. It doesn’t matter. Just have a strategy. The local church is a partner with the Christian to provide a place for community and teaching for unchurched people.
How does your heart respond to people who are far from God? Lost people matter to God, therefore they should matter to us. I don’t care where and how you evangelize. Just do it. The church today is becoming insular. Baptisms are rare, stories of life change through the gospel are missing – even in so called seeker churches.
The kingdom of God needs someone just like you. If we don’t do secret acts of service and kindness, our spirits get corrupted. Anyone I know who has been burned out in ministry has said the first thing to go was their intimacy with God.
I’ve never received a message from God when I’m moving 200 miles an hour. I write out prayers to God, then I get on my needs and read them to Him. It’s the only way for me to slow down and focus on God.
God is strong enough through you, you just have to tell the truth. No need to exaggerate. Don’t flow with culture. Stand firm and immovable. Your work is never in vain if you’re doing it for Christ.
Jeremy Courtney: preemptive love means being first in, and last to leave.
Naivete can be a blessing because it causes us to do things we would never have. Sitting with your antagonist is not an endorsement. It is love in action.
When the world is scary as all get out, are we going to be the people who love anyway?
When people ask me what they can do, here’s what I say: stop talking and take a step toward what scares you the most. Is it going to be hard? Is it risky? Are you going to lose your life? Well, I hope you already have.
It matters what team you are on, and who’s on your team.
Know your title. The greatest title you’ll ever have is “Child of God.” People don’t follow titles. They follow courage.
Remember to look back and remember what God has done for you. Know your God is bigger than the giant. The God we serve is bigger than anything you’ll ever face.
Don’t live by feelings. Live by convictions. Always come back to what matters; loving God and loving people.
Christy B Wright
We think we need to feel courageous to be courageous. But that’s a lie. Fear isn’t always a sign you’re doing something bad. It’s a sign you’re doing something bold. There is always something extraordinary in store for you on the other side of the fear. The antidote to fear is action. It’s not on you to pull it off. I Thessalonians 5:24: The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.
You don’t have to feel like a decent person in order to act like a decent person.
Katie Davis Majors
Courage is trusting God when you don’t know what’s next. When God didn’t give me what I wanted, He gave me something else. He gave me Himself. God doesn’t want your leadership skills or your organization. He wants you. Just you.
Courage is stepping into the hard things. Courage is surrender. There is great courage in surrender. Maybe courage isn’t the absence of fear, but looking fear in the face and taking that step anyway.
We believe timing is an art. But timing is really is science. Endings help us energize, encode, edit, and elevate. Given a choice, human beings prefer endings that elevate. Be conscious of endings. Endings can be transformative for your leadership and well-being.
What happens at the end of a person’s life largely affect how people remember that person’s life. Remember that how people behave and how situations unfold at the end deeply shape how we remember them. The best endings produce something richer.
We prefer rising sequences to declining sequences. Use endings to energize yourself and others. When you get to the end of anything, don’t be afraid to edit down to the essentials. Use endings as meaning makers.
We do a poor job of giving bad news because we forget how we would want to hear it. Always give the bad news first.
At the heart of courage is wisdom. Courage depends on wisdom. But wisdom depends on when.
Carlos Whitaker: don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that just because you’re standing on a platform, there’s not a mess inside.
You can’t just clean the cobwebs of sin. To find freedom in Jesus, you’ve got to kill the spider. A spider is an agreement that you’ve made with a lie. A cobweb is a medicator that brings false comfort to that lie.
Because of my sin I was living my entire Christian life without the authority of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so I can cope, He died so I can have freedom.
In the afternoon stage of life I’ve realized space with God and less noise is so vital.