STORY OF THE WEEK - Catalyst Reflections (and why you should invite a friend next year)
Written by: Gary Diehl, Church Health & Resource Specialist (Mobilize)
Last week about 20 leaders and pastors representing 13 congregations in four states converged in Georgia for the 2012 Catalyst Conference. This year’s “MAKE” theme was a challenge to join God in his creative mission of making things like: more disciples, effective leaders, and a difference in our broken world!
cat•a•lyst [ 'kætlist ]
1. chemical that accelerates chemical reaction
2. stimulus to change
Synonyms: Promoter, Spur, Facilitator, Incentive, Goad, Stimulus, Spark
What’s the point of taking so much time away from all the important things of my ministry for something like this? Since shared experiences create a shared language, and these experiences reinforce our Core Values as we pursue God’s life-changing work in us, our congregations and our communities:
- They are Relational because we experience things together and have an opportunity to deepen our understanding of one another.
- They’re Missional because they expose us to the larger kingdom work God is doing beyond our individual ministry contexts.
- They help us become Sustainable because they challenge us to raise up new leaders who will carry on what we’ve been called to do.
- They’re Reproducing as they provide us with practical ways to multiply ministry impact as we empower others.
- And they call us to be Global because we are given actual opportunities to make a real difference in the uttermost parts of the world.
Years ago Bill Hybels wrote a powerful book titled,“Too Busy Not to Pray.” It shares a principle that fits here. If you are too busy “doing” ministry to invest in a potentially catalytic experience periodically, you are TOO BUSY! Start planning now to be part of Catalyst 2013, or one of the many other shared experiences that can spur your ministry forward!
But don’t just take my word for it. Here are insights/reflections from others who went to Catalyst:
"Catalyst was outstanding! A second to none conference that brings the very best, who do their best to empower and equip leaders to make lasting change. Personally, I received plenty of practical information and processes to help me, and those I influence, be more effective at what God has called us to do!"
-Bart Shaw, Napannee, IN
“I would say the most transforming moment for me at Catalyst was Christine Caine's statement, ‘What is on you will destroy you if what is in you cannot sustain you.’ Essentially, if you are not working for the right reasons you cannot keep going. When I am trying to live for God nothing keeps me down; when I try to live for me it all falls apart.”
-Lance McPherson, Columbus, OH
“At the end of day one I was saying, ‘Thank you for the experience but I’m not doing this again even though the address by a little power house named Christine Caine proved awesome!’ On day two, one speaker (who I can't remember) said, ‘If you take credit for the failures you will take credit for the successes.’ O, wow! Caught me right between the eyes! Craig Groeschel's entire presentation seemed aimed straight at my tired heart. He talked about ‘certain uncertainty’ and ‘leading by faith.’ He talked about stepping away from security. He mentioned walking the way Jesus calls us to walk, big or small. There is so much more in my notes. Still, my cynicism prevailed until his closing prayer. As he prayedhe said, ‘There is a 54 year old woman here who is tired.’ Everything got kind of blurry after that. [I turned 54 a week earlier.] I spent the rest of the day in a fog overpowered by the love and grace of our Lord. By the way, I’m going back next year if I can!”
-Dianna Teusch, Huntington, IN
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Maybe you and a few others should join us next year. Catalyst will be back in Atlanta next year on October 2-4. The National Office has already purchased a batch of tickets for next year’s event. Prices are $159 from the office now vs. $329 at the event. Start thinking now if you and others should attend next year and contact Gary Diehl at the National Office at 877-289-1708 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.