Day Two and Catalyst certainly did not disappoint.
I was really impressed by the sound of the band. Super tight kick drum/snare combination. One small criticism, though I LOVE U2, it was almost comical by the end of day two when the guitarist would bust into an "Edge-style" riff, AGAIN! And AGAIN!
Great new song by Steve Fee, called Glorious One. Great energy, message and song hook. I really like to look at it for a weekend song for GCC.
Okay, just for fun - we made it into the Guiness Book of World Records for having the largest pillow EVER! All 10000 of us whacked each other for a solid minute. To the fire marshall's dismay, all the pillows began to bust open with flammable pillow inerds flying everywhere! Much fun!
First up - Donald Miller and his pastor, Rick McKinley
I have decided that Donald Miller looks like a cross between Matthew Broderick and Tom Hulce (add 70 lbs).
The first point that the guys was that it's not so much a question of "how" to love the world, but more of "if" we will love the world. This is the idea of the missional church - loving without an agenda and the fact that God is everywhere, we just need to align with his workings in the world.
Rick talked a lot about RISK and what it means to tell his church and our churches to GO. Go out and love the world. Sometimes our people freak out about this since they feel like they may get "infected" by the world. Here is where he made the point that the Christian walk can't be reduced to a set of rules to protect us (reminds me of the Pharisees). It means that we must teach our people discernment. Imagine that - intelligent, Spirit-sensitive, thinking individuals who would engage culture? Hmm. Sounds too crazy...
Donald is in the process of writing a new book about the need for men to mentor young people who don't have dads. He has set up his Belmont Foundation to help facilitate this.
Finally, when we're ON MISSION as a church, the world gets the right idea about the Church. When we're OFF MISSION, a very destructive image of the Church is displayed.
Next Louie Giglio,
The Church is the God's plan to change the world. It isn't plan B, or some kind of oops. With all the church's imperfections, we sometimes tend to look at it like that. The government - not God's plan. Social organizations - not God's plan. Educational system - not God's plan. The Church - God's plan.
Interesting quote: "The local church should be the least "safe" place on earth." Meaning, that is not a cush-cush comfy place to hang, but a place that sends us out ON MISSION. It should be dangerous. Radical. Messy.
We must develop God lovers first. This is key to the sending out. I'm reminded of Matt Redman's song "Mission's Flame". Lyrics "let worship be the heart of mission's flame." This is how we literally FIRE UP to be sent out.
Surprised to see AMBER COX (BEESON) here! She, her boss, Dawn, and Dawn's son ate lunch with me. Nice to hang with them and get their impressions.
Next, Kevin Carroll who wrote Rules of the Red Rubber Ball
This was introduced by the National Champion Dodgeball Team who were, in fact, youth pastors! They came out to the center stage and 30 people whipped balls at them. Then the whole crowd began to whip small red balls at them and each other. Very cultured.
Kevin had a good deal to offer in his narratives about dreaming big dreams. He was actually employed by the Philadelphia 76ers as a trainer and then Nike. He helped come up with the idea for Lance Armstrong's rubber bands that many of us wear today. He called us to BHAGs (big, hairy, audacious goals). We have 86,400 seconds each day. What if each of them were $1? How would we spend them?
Good quote: "The master of the art of living makes little distinction between work and play." - James Michener.
Finally, Donald Miller closed us out on a rather serious note, pointing out that, as he sees it, there are three major influences on the Christian Church in America:
1. Free Market Economic System
2. Darwinian Theory
3. The Bible
We often fall into selling Christianity as a commodity. Selling it by saying "it will make you HAPPY!" Kind of the God infomercial.
As we insulate ourselves from the culture, we tend to role play. The "I'm doing great, how 'bout you?" syndrome.
We really need to be prophets to the culture.
Final thoughts on Catalyst 2006:
- As a first time attendee, I was blown away by the excellence level. It really helped me worship. "Excellence honors God and inspires people". They embodied that this week.
- Interesting that we heard so much about how the church needs to lose its ties with consumerism and yet, in the concourse area there were literally hundreds of vendors peddling their Christian goods to all the churches across America.
- The transitions were very thought out and well prepared.
- I like the idea that the Drive Conference, Orange Conference, and Catalyst Conference keep it simple by using only one word. I mentioned this to Amber Cox and Dawn, that I thought it might be a good idea to shrink the name of our Innovative Church Conference down to just INNOVATE. Simple is clear. We'll see where that goes.
Well, that's about it. Looking forward to applying what I've learned and sharing it with our teams.