Tag: catalyst 2010

John Ortberg and spiritual growth

John Ortberg kicked off Catalyst 2010 pre-labs, speaking on how spiritual growth happens.

How does spiritual growth happen?

1. It starts with a reminder that there is a God.  And it is not you.

2. Remember that transformation requires at least as much grace as salvation.

We tend to cycle between guilt, trying harder, feeling fatigue, quitting, then feeling guilt.

3. Living in grace is learned behavior.

In most churches, we have reduced grace to the forgiveness of sins.  It’s so much bigger than that.  God was a gracious God before anybody sinned.

What if the Spirit really is like a river, available and flowing all the time? (John 7:38-39)  If so, then spiritual formation can’t be a program…it should be happening all of the time.  Our job is simply to jump into that river and figure out what is blocking us from jumping in.

4. Growth is hand-crafted, not mass produced.

What would drown a cactus would dry out an orchid.  What would feed a mouse would starve an elephant.  God never grows two people the same way.  He’s existent from eternity, but has never had a relationship with you.

There is no one-size-fits-all spiritual formation, so don’t simply measure someone’s devotion to God by their devotional life.  If we measure spiritual growth by devotional activities, then the Pharisees win!

Here are two questions to ask yourself:

  1. Am I growing more or less irritable these days?
  2. Am I growing more or less discouraged these days?

A word to moms of preschoolers: maybe you can grow more spirutally by engaging in acts of love and selfless acts of service than by memorizing the whole book of Jeremiah.

5. God’s desire is to create the best version of you.

An acorn will grow into an oak…though the oak may be healthy or not.  Redemption is always the redemption of what God has already created.  The goal isn’t to grow and become somebody else, but rather to grow into who God created you to be.

When Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom,” he’s not heaping a burden, but telling us where the life is.

The world isn’t likely to respond to a Gospel of transformation proclaimed by untransformed people.

What blocks the work of the Spirit in your life?


5 Catalyst Guys you should follow

I’ve spent the week at Catalyst Conference, and have been completely impressed with the way this conference has run.  I thought I’d mention a few of the folks that helped pull this event together.  You can read all of my Follow Fridays HERE.

1. Brad Lomenick – Brad’s leads the Catalyst Conference team, and did a great job pulling everything together this year.  It was a great success.  Brad blogs on leadership HERE, and you can find him on Twitter HERE.

2. LV – I first met LV when we rode from our church offices to Ruby Tuesday’s in a 1985 Volkswagon Vanagon.  Nope, not kidding.  LV was on a road trip around the country to connect with leaders who had been impacted by Catalyst.  LV does a great job investing in and coaching young leaders.  You can follow him on Twitter HERE.

3. Reggie Joiner – Reggie’s talk at the opening labs was phenomenal.  You can read my notes HERE.  I love the work Reggie is doing with his ministry, Orange, revolutionizing the way churches lead students and families.  He stays around all week at the conference, also, to emcee.  You can follow him on Twitter HERE.

4.Andy Stanley – I know, I know…Andy isn’t technically on the team that organizes and pulls off the conference.  But he spoke to launch the conference, and will close the conference this evening.  You can read my notes from his session HERE.  I love hearing him speak, because I feel like he communicates in such a way that he can take a difficult concept and explain it in a way that makes me feel like it’s easy to understand.  You can follow him on Twitter HERE.

5. Tripp and Tyler – I’ve mentioned them before, but I’ll do it again.  These guys emceed the event, bringing a twist of creativity and humor to the announcements.  You can follow Tripp on Twitter HERE, blog HERE.  You can follow Tyler on Twitter HERE, blog HERE.


Scott Harrison, Charity:Water

During Catalyst Conference, Scott Harrison, president and founder of Charity:Water, discussed why he chose water as a charity, and what he’s doing to bring clean drinking water to every person on the planet.

So why water?

  • 1,000,000,000 people don’t have access to clean water.
  • 40,000,000,000 hours are used each year by Africans seeking to obtain water.
  • 5,000 children die each day because they don’t have clean drinking water.

Water changes everything.

His idea was to reinvent charity, because so few people trust them.  He did this in 3 ways.

  1. 100% of the donations go directly to the cause.
  2. Prove where each dollar goes.  Every project is linked via GPS coordinates, and pictures are taken as proof at each site.
  3. Create a brand.

He built a campaign that encouraged people to give up their birthday in favor of supporting Charity:Water.  And it worked.

1,000,000 more people have clean water now.

But his goal is massive.  Over the next 10 years, he wants to provide access to clean drinking water to 100,000,000 people (which will cost $2 billion).

To join this movement, visit mycharitywater.org.


Michael Hyatt and growing your platform

Michael Hyatt, at Catalyst 2010, offers three ways you can grow your platform:

How do you grow your platform?

1. Establish a command center. This is a homebase, that you own and control, whether a website or a blog.  The most important thing you can do is write compelling content on a consistent basis.

2. Set up embassies. These are places you don’t own or control, but have a regular presence.  The trouble with making these places (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) a command center is that they could go away.  Case in point…Myspace.

3. Develop an intelligence agency. Monitor what’s being said about you or your company, because stuff is being said!

What’s your platform?


Reggie Joiner and The Slow Fade

I’m at Catalyst Conference this week, and I’ll be blogging through some of the sessions that I attend.

Reggie Joiner had this to say:

Here are some statistics taken from 20-29 year olds:

  • 95% say they attended church while in middle school
  • 55% say they also attended while in high school
  • 11% say they also attended while in college

Why are we as the church not doing anything to change this?

Of those age 23-30 who stayed in church from 18-22, a mere 6% don’t currently attend church.

The problem is that the church is programmed to draw a finish line at 12th grade.  At “graduate Sunday,” it’s like it’s all over.  So what if we moved the “finish line” from high school graduation to college graduation?

Myths about college ministries:

  1. That’s what campus ministries do…not local churches. But a campus ministry isn’t the same thing as a local church.  There’s a need for peer-to-peer interaction, but also a need for intergenerational relationships
  2. This isn’t a college town or community. Yet only 25% of 18-24 year olds attend college full-time.
  3. We tried doing it before and it didn’t work. Maybe you did a program, when what they needed was leaders.
  4. We don’t know how to appeal to college students. What they’re hungry for is authenticity.
  5. There’s not enough in the budget. Yes there is.  You make room for what you prioritize.
  6. We can’t hire another staff position. This isn’t something you can hire for.  This is changing the way people think about building relationships with college students.
  7. This isn’t a long-term investment. They’ll leave as soon as they graduate.  This isn’t about a long-term investment…it’s about protecting the investment you’ve made throughout middle and high school.
  8. It’s hard to see how this benefits our church. Maybe this is just one of those things that’s bigger than your church.
  9. These are the years they should solidify their faith on their own. But there’s a difference in owning your faith and doing your faith.

Questions for your church to ponder:

What is your church doing to invest in the lives of those who are college-aged?

What are you doing to invest in the life of someone who is college-aged?


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