Get Inspired, Go Home, Do Nothing

That’s the conference cycle, right? Go to a conference or retreat, get all jazzed up, “meet God,” and then come home and change nothing.

Not this time. This time is different. Two weeks ago I was at Catalyst, and then last week I was in Chicago for Willow Creek’s Group Life Conference. Catalyst inspired me, and Group Life taught me (and then inspired me). And I’m never going to be the same again.

Real life has already set in. In many ways I feel the same as I did before I left, but I’m determined to continue to seek the face of God, to continue to wake up early to spend time in prayer and in the Scriptures. I’m determined to share the love of Jesus with others.

Plans I made have already been delayed, but I will continue to forge ahead. And I MUST continue to seek God.

It’s not easy, but I want it.

Catalyst 2008

You might have noticed a ton of posts last Thursday and Friday. I probably should have posted beforehand to let you know what that was all about. I was at the Catalyst conference in Atlanta and took notes here on my blog. I missed the beginning of Andy Crouch’s talk, so those might be a bit anemic, and we had to skip out on the last session of the conference (plane to catch and all), so those are missing as well.

Of course, since these are speaker notes, they don’t necessarily reflect my personal opinions. I tried to be fairly comprehensive, so there wasn’t much filter between the speaker said and what I wrote. In fact, you’ll notice that many of them are written in the first person. “I” in that context refers to the speaker, not me.

I’m not sure I can put into words how powerful the conference was. We got the opportunity to hear some amazing speakers, not only from the Church world but business and thought leaders as well.

The best session of the conference by far was when Craig Groeschel spoke on IT. “What is IT?” you ask. Well, IT is something like what many people refer to the X-factor. IT is that special something from God that is partially the Holy Spirit but is something else as well. IT is passion, fire, and drive. IT is being broken for the things that break the heart of God. As Craig put it, have you ever met someone and said to yourself, “She gets IT. He gets IT.” Have you ever gone to a church and come away telling yourself, “They have IT” or have you ever come away saying “They don’t have IT.”

IT is hard to put into words, but IT is very real. And just like IT, I’m having trouble putting into words how powerful this session was. The Holy Spirit was moving and convicting. There are a lot of us who had IT and lost it, who are just going through the motions, trying to make up for what we lost.

Craig talked about his experience with having “It,” losing it, and getting it back. His prayer was God, ruin me. God, I want it back. I will do whatever it takes, and I want You to do whatever it takes as well.

At the end of his talk, Craig prayed, and he challenged the people in the audience (mostly church and ministry pastors/leaders). He challenged those who didn’t have IT to stand so he would pray for them, and he made it very explicit that they needed to stand, that they needed to give up pride and recognize their own shortcomings.

I didn’t stand up. I was processing, trying to figure things out. It was an altar call of sorts, and I don’t want to be one of those people who just runs down front every time someone gives an altar call. I don’t want to be constantly rededicating my life to Christ or turning over a new leaf. Too often these become fake markers where we have a “turning point” that doesn’t really change anything.

I realized that I’m not sure I’ve ever had IT, and I feel like I’ve been faking it for a long time. Not that I stopped believing in Jesus or anything like that but that I have been acting on my own strength and power instead of on the power of Christ, instead of on the power of the Holy Spirit. But no longer, I want IT. I want it so badly I can taste it. I want it so badly that I will do whatever it takes to get it.

Half-way through his prayer I stood up, and I can tell you that my life will never be the same again. There will probably still be periods of spiritual drought in my life, but I have a fire inside, a burning desire to advance the Kingdom of God. And I will never be able to do that as effectively on my own as I will being filled with the power of the Spirit.

I haven’t read it yet (although I certainly plan to), but Craig has a book called “it,” and if the book is half as good as the talk he gave at Catalyst, I can strongly recommend it.

Catalyst Session 8 – Matt Chandler

We baptized a witch. We baptized an atheist. And then we baptized a man who had grown up in the Church.

I know that there are witches out there. I know there are atheists out there, but what really bothers me are the people who grow up in the Church that miss the Gospel while sitting in church. What do I do with this?

1 Tim 4
There are men and women around us who are worshiping with us who know Jesus but don’t know him. They can unpack him, but they don’t know him.
Keep a close watch on yourself and your teaching. Persist in this for by so doing, you will save both yourself.
There is a way to live and a way to teach that helps men and women see what the Gospel is and what it is not.
If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Jesus…

You’ve got a chance here to talk about what is deep and beautiful and meaningful and mighty OR you can kinda just address silly things.

Doctrine, deep, beautiful doctrine is somehow becoming synonymous with historic fundamentalism. That is completely untrue. How can that be equated to death.

The same is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, for to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living savior who is the hope of all people. If the end goal is not God and him glorified, then you’re in big trouble. If you like Jesus to grow a big church, get better marriages, etc. you are after that thing and not Jesus, then you are an idolater.

The good news of Jesus Christ is not that everything is going to go well, it’s that if you get Him, He is sufficient no matter what.

John the Baptist, the greatest man who ever lived (?), is in prison and asks if Jesus is the One. Jesus says He is, but John is beheaded anyway.

Moses had to wander in the desert.

The idea that if you follow God everything will go well with you on the Earth gets trumped by this: reality.

If you’ve been at your church mroe than four years, where your church is weak is where you are weak. You cannot ask your people to read the Bible and not do it. You cannot tell your congregation to share the Gospel with their neighbors and not do it yourself. You are the mirror. You are the example.

Practice these things: doctrine, purity, etc. Devote yourself to them so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself. No man can avoid the painful work of self-examination. You can tell what is going on your heart by two indicators, what you do with your money and how you treat others.

My parking spot is the last one, not the first one.

If you’ve strayed too far from the Gospel, you’re not the Church, you’re the rotary club.

Guard your life and doctrine closely. Because by doing these things, you’ll work out your salvation, and others will come to know Him.

Catalyst Session 8 – Andy Crouch

People aren’t really interested in us.

We’ve mastered an attitude toward culture that hasn’t really helped.

  • Condeming
  • Critiquing
  • Copying – We took forms that culture had already created and created Christian versions of them (shows a t-shirt with an easy button labeled Jesus – it’s just that easy).
  • Consuming

What we should do:

  • Cultivating – About what’s taking it already good and keeping it good. Taking not just what’s in nature and preserving it’s goodness.
    Are we known as custodians of what is already good in our culture? Maybe not as much as we should be.
  • Create
    Every culture has it’s glory and honor, the best things it has made. Sometimes you hear this idea that only souls will survive, but revelation says that the glory and honor of the nations will fill the new Jerusalem.

Why have we done these four ineffective things and not the two things we were asked to do?
Those four are easy. It’s not that hard to condemn, to just poke holes in things. Critiquing, looking at culture, is much easier than creating. Copying is obviously easy. Consuming definitely doesn’t change culture. These are ineffective because they are easy.

Cultivating and creating are effective because they are hard. Culture only changes when you make more of it.

Here’s the most important thing about creating culture, we have to do it together. One of the unbreakable laws of culture is that it’s always created together. Every act of cultural creativity begins with a small group of people, usually 3, sometimes 2 or 4, but never 1.

Why couldn’t it be 30 or 300 people?
Whenever culture changes, it moves the horizions of the possible, but this also means that culture tells us what is impossible, what cannot be imagined.

Only a small group can maintain the suspension of impossibility.

You then expand to 12 or 15. They bring depth and excellence.
You then move to about 120. They bring breadth and spread it into the world.

Here’s the good news, all of us have a “three.” And all of us can be part of a 12 or 120.

There is something that our little circles can create that no one else could.

You’re here because you’re creating something that has to be created by your little circle, but remember that the people that you serve aren’t doing it in the confines of their little Christian circle but are doing it out in the world. Celebrate when they are creating things well in the world.

3 Questions

What are you cultivating? What is here that you are keeping good?
What are you creating?
Who is in your creative circle?

If we answer those three questions, we will be doing what we were made to do. We will be in the game.

Catalyst Session 7 – Franklin Graham

God puts us on earth for a purpose. We’re not here to have a good time. We’re here to honor and bring glory to His name and to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel is God’s power. This is something that a lot of guys in ministry don’t get. There is Holy Ghost power in the Gospel message. When you tell a person that their a sinner, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, come to earth, died, buried with your sins, and resurrected, you think, “are people going to believe that?” You think you need to help the Gospel a little bit. You’re going to fall flat on your face if you do that.

Jesus shed His blood for my sins. When you preach that, there’s Holy Spirit filled power in the Gospel, because God uses his Gospel to penetrate to the heart of a person.

In Paul’s day there were already people ashamed of the Gospel, make it more acceptable, make it something that sounds less ridiculous. So Paul said that he was not ashamed of the Gospel.

When you give the simple Gospel invitation, it’s God’s invitation, not your invitation. It’s God’s message, not your message. The Holy Spirit goes into the lives of people

Growing up I believed in God, but I wanted to have a good time. I thought, if I invite Christ into my heart, I won’t have any fun. I wasn’t a bad kid, just a lost kid. I grew up in Billy Graham’s home. I went to church.

When I was 22, my dad told me that he and my mother loved me. He told me that I would always be welcome home, no matter what. He told me that there was no middle ground with Jesus, and I was mad.

A week later I confessed my sin, gave my life to Christ, and that night God forgave me.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I went back to school and got a degree in business. After I graduated, a couple of guys came to me and asked me to help them start a mission to send doctors overseas. I told them I didn’t know anything but would help them for a few months. I’ve been doing this 30 years.

I’ve never tried to be Billy Graham’s son. I’ve never been very good at that. I decided to just try to do what God had for me to the best of my ability.

When you give a hungry person food, they listen to you. It’s not that we hold the food out and make them do something or listen to something for it. It’s just that after you give them food, they’re willing to listen.

It’s about the Gospel. Without the Gospel, there is no hope. Without the Gospel, what do we have.

My dad saved everything. If there was money left over at the end of the year, he didn’t roll it over into next year’s budget, he just saved it. When I took over the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, there were 100 million dollars in the bank. I told my dad that I didn’t want to just sit on this money. I wanted to use it. My dad said, son, that’s what I want you to do. So we put my dad on TV in countries where he had never been before.

We trained counselors to open up their homes and have meals with people and watch the program when it is on. We’ve trained 800,000 counselors in India. They opened their homes and invited 10 people over, many of whom made decisions for Christ.

Proverbs: “The fruit of the righteous is the tree of life.”

What should it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?

People are going to Hell.

This is serious business. God has called us to serious business.

I’m 56 years old. I’ve got a few years left. I’m going to go down fighting.

Preach while you can. This world is changing. You may not be able to do it forever.

Catalyst Session 7 – Jeff Foxworthy

The 410 bridge, using the gift you’ve been given.

I knew at the age of 7 I loved Jesus, but Africa took God out of the box for me.

Being a comedian, I have done all kinds of benefits and charity events.

Don’t ignore the Holy Spirit.

I’m involved for life. We decided last year not to buy stupid Christmas presents for people who don’t need them anyway.

The things I saw should never be seen. They shouldn’t exist. Garbage heaps that leak and mix with raw sewage. Vultures sit atop the pile, and women and children scavenge for food.

Surely hell could not be worse than this, but it is, because hell includes separation from God, which is not true here.

Catalyst Session 6 – Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is the host of The Dave Ramsey Show. It is syndicated to 375 stations with 4 million listeners.

The world is not coming to an end. God is still on His throne, and He is still crazy about you! And you’re going to be okay.

How to build a great workplace: talk about it a lot.

Meat and potatoes mechanical things that you need to do in your organization right now. There are enemies to unity. You need to identify the enemy.

Tower of Babel (Genesis 11)
The people of God got together to build a tower to Heaven, and God scattered them.
God said, “Indeed the people are one, and they have one language. Now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.” He dispersed them because they were proposing idol worship and evil, but there are some powerful phrases there. In unity you can do great things.

Without unity there is no synergy.

You must be very intentional to create unity. It doesn’t just occur. God said, “Nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.” That mean’s a lot.

Very Few Churches or Organizations Experience Real Unity
Consequently, very stinking little gets done by these people. A Belgian Plow Horse can pull 8,000 lbs. 2 Belgian Plow Horses can pull 24,000 lbs. If you train them together, if you make them a matched pair, they can pull 32,000 lbs., four times as much as one alone. This is the power of unity/synergy.

“One player struggles, we all struggle. One player triumphs we all triumph.”

The Five Enemies of Unity

  • Poor Communication
    When the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, you want to kill each other. If you worked together, you want to kill each other.
    Weekly staff meetings, weekly devotionals, weekly reports.
    Communication doesn’t just happen. It’s not a vague management concept. You’ve got to freakin’ do it.
  • Gossip
    Do you get disgusted when all people do at work is run down others when they’re not in the room?
    It’s the Christian sin we don’t talk about, and don’t do it in the name of a prayer request.
    I hate this so bad; it’s such a nasty sin.
    I have a zero tolerance policy for gossip. I will warn you maybe once, depending how long you live there, but I will not warn you twice.
    We’re trying to do work that matters together. I’m not going to do all this work and have you tear it down because you can’t keep your flippin’ mouth shut.
    A successful leader develops and maintains a culture in which negatives are handed up and positives are handed down and laterally.
    You in our organization 30 minutes, you’re going to have a problem, but you hand it up.
    If you’re talking to someone who can’t fix the problem, it’s gossip.
    There’s a lot of places to go with your problem.
    Christians got stuff to do.
  • Unresolved Disagreements
    Happens when a leader doesn’t know they exist or when that leader avoids confrontation.
    A leader by definition has to have a backbone. You don’t need to be harsh, you can and should be loving and diplomatic, but you must deal with your stuff. If you don’t, your stuff gets bigger. If you have a splinter in your hand, it may be painful to remove, but if you leave it in, you eventually have to cut your hand off.
    Sometimes as Christians we avoid confrontation because we’re too nice. I submit to you that that is not nice, that’s wimpy.
    A little confrontation cleanses the wound, allows the parties to go forward in a spirit of unity.
    Somebody’s not going to like somebody, but you do have to respect their integrity.]
    If you’re running an organization, there’s drama and you better deal with it.
    When you are aware there are hurt feelings and/or disagreements, act quickly and decisively. A leader is, by definition, decisive. “An unstable man is double-minded in all his ways.” Leaders, make a call. It might be the wrong one, if it is, you’ll get to make another one.
  • Lack of Shared Purpose
    Caused when a leader doesn’t restate the goal, the vision and mission early and often.
    There’s no communication, no common values.
    We teach people God’s ways of handling money. That’s what we do. We’re not in the printing business.
    On a football team, everyone has different roles, but ultimately, the goal is to get the ball over the line.
    If everyone’s got the “me” agenda, you don’t have a team. Drop and do push-ups for your team.
  • Sanctioned Incompetence
    Sanctioned incompetence demoralizes. We need to be kind and loving; not all of us are good at everything. Incompetence is not evil, but when you allow someone to goof off and not carry their weight, you damage your witness.
    If we’re going to be Christians, we ought to have a level of excellence that is stunning. If you want to go penetrate the marketplace in the name of Christ, you have to have extreme levels of excellence.
    You can deal with incompetence by helping people or setting them free.
    We don’t shoot our wounded. We’re not going to smack you around while your kid is in drug rehab or your father was just diagnosed with cancer.
    We’re going to be kind, investigate, find out what’s really going on, but we’re going to deal with our stuff.
    People will become demotivated when someone in our group isn’t doing their job.

You have homework. You have to go home and fight these enemies. Your enemy might just be your family.

When unity is valued in the culture, the team will also act to keep these enemies from the gate.

Unity occurs among churches when Billy Graham comes to your town to do a crusade. Churches come together with a shared purpose. It is a beautiful thing to watch the Body of Christ get in concert.

It is time we rid ourselves of the disunifying factors in the name of leadership.

Together is the Catalyst theme. Cause your family to be more together. Cause your church and workplace to be more together. We’re going to be okay America if we do it together.

Practical Issues Facing Us in Our Economy Right Now
I can see fear in the news media, the Congress, and the President.
I finally became afraid. I finally thought that maybe this thing would collapse. I realized that a spirit of fear had come on me. These people that are doing stupid things in the media and in Washington because of a spirit of fear.
MS, GOOG, etc. are not worth half of what they were a year ago. It is an artificial low driven by fear. The stock market has dropped 10% or more 10 times since the 70s, and 9 out of 10 times has returned within 2 years.
There have been a lot of dumb things done recently, and we cannot lead in fear.
God’s word says to get out of and stay out of debt. When broke people buy houses, they can’t pay for them. Why is this shocking? If you are debt free right now and had saved money like God’s word said, would you feel a whole lot different. When God’s ways of handling money look very weird when things are going up, they look very wise when they’re going down. I’m continuing to invest steadily just as I have been for 20 years. I’m just going to keep on keeping on, I’m not freaking. I know your 401k looks like a 201k right now, but in 5 years you’re going to feel really dumb if you pull it out right now. Make sure you have an emergency fund in place, 3-6 months expenses. Live on a budget.
Facts on gold: Averaged 4.3% for 50 years, and most of it’s return has been the last 7 years. People buy gold because they think it’s real money if the economy completely fails. That hasn’t been done since the Roman empire. Stuff becomes money in a completely failed economy: water, boots, etc. Gold has no intrinsic value. It only has value to the extent someone will accept it is payment. Money is just whatever we perceive to have value. If you buy gold now, you’re buying at the highest point ever. “I’ll tell you how much gold I own, none except some cufflinks.”

Catalyst Session 6 – Tim Sanders

Tim Sanders is the author of “Saving the World at Work.”

You create abundance by giving. You solve scarcity by love and giving. All of us together are bigger than Wall Street.

Values have been stirring in this country for eight years. People are starting to care in business. They want to do business with businesses that care.

Good is the new great.

Tell your people to take their values to work. Take your Christ-like values to work. That which you learn on Sunday makes you a rock star on Monday.”

The law of interdependence. The reason that we care about companies’ actions is because of a series of teachable moments over the last 8 years.
9/11, Enron/Worldcom, and Katrina taught us.
What’s going on Wall Street right now continues to fuel this.

UPS went to Louisville and found a shortage of high-school graduates to work there. UPS created a program called school to work. If you got a diploma, you got a job, paid students to study.

Common grounds coffee shop.

The 3rd Law – Observed Reciprocity/Contagious Compassion
You might have been raised to believe that if you do something nice for me, I’ll do something nice for you or maybe for someone else. But if people see you do something nice, it changes the people around you. A leader gauges reality and gives hope.

Timberland gave when times were tough. They had their annual sales conference in New Orleans 1 year after Katrina. They sacrificed their second day to do community service work. Worked with local volunteers from CityYear all day. Charles Barkley showed up with a media crew. One of the senior executives from Timberland (Michelle Johnson) realized they were playing it safe in the nice part of town. She loaded 200 Timberland sales people into 3 school busses and took them through the 9th Ward. They were afraid and hushed. They realized how little they had done that day. She tells the young sales reps to walk around. One of them noticed a community center. He walked up and introduced himself to a volunteer. The volunteer explained that he and his family had been washed out of the 9th Ward and was living in a smelly trailer. The volunteer was in hard straits himself, but took the time to volunteer. The young sales rep asked what they need. The man said they needed shoes, boots. The 9th Ward was filled with all manner of dangerous objects. The sales rep took off his shoes and gave them to the man. The sales rep’s boss noticed it, and the sales rep explained what had happened. The boss and 15 other employees gave their boots. Soon, all of them got off the bus and gave their shoes to the people in the 9th Ward. One person took a picture of the boots and sent it to others. In the Timberland culture, they call it a ripple, a single act of compassion that sets off a chain reaction.

If not you, then who? If not right now, then when?
Together we will fix this world.

Catalyst Session 5 – Craig Groeschel

Craig Groeschel is pastor of

Joel 2:12 – Return to the Lord for he is gracious and compassionate.

Have you ever met someone so full of the love of Jesus, so passionate for the things of God, that you walk away and say, “They get it”?

Have you ever been to a church that you walk away from and say “They get it”?

Have you ever walked away from a church that is dead, that just didn’t have it? started without any of the cool stuff.

The 13 LifeChurch campuses are all under the same leadership, all have the same feel but with widely different results. Some had it and some didn’t.

What is this it? I don’t know. It has something to do with the Holy Spirit, but it’s not only the Holy Spirit.

You don’t have to have technology or cool videos or whatever. That’s not it.

IT – The something special from God.

You know “It” when you see “It.”

God makes it
You cannot create it.
It is not a model. You can’t simply recreate it.

Upside: Lives are changed because of it.
Downside: It attracts critics. When things are happening, people shoot at you.

For those of you that have it, there’s no guarantee you’re going to keep it
For those of you that don’t have it, you can get it.
For those of you who don’t know what it is, you’ve probably never had it.
For those of you who have it, your spiritual enemy is plotting to steal it.

There is one thing necessary for you to have that something special of God. The most important ingredient is that you have it. It’s not about money, buildings, location, video screens, the right musical instruments. You must be overwhelmed by the driving force of God using you to change the world. If you want your church and ministry to have it you must have it.

Jesus hung out with sinners; I got saved out of bars. If Jesus were alive today, he would hang out in bars, so I went to bars. Drunk people love to talk about God.

I had it, and at some point the ministry started to beat it out of me. It is like a very slow leak in a tire that you don’t notice until time goes by. Things changed. When I looked back I could realize that my motives changed. I wasn’t about building His Church; I was about building my church. It was about me. I had become a full-time pastor and a part time follower of Christ. I had it, and I lost it. And so have many of you.

You have to do something drastic, because if something small would have done it, some little tweak, you would have done it a long time ago.

The prayers that I prayed for God to bring it back were painfully simple. “God, stretch me.” Stretch me again, God.

There is more in you, and don’t let any board talk you out of it. Don’t let anyone who’s complaining complain you out of it.

Before God stretches you, he needs to heal you.
I am addicted to things that are much more acceptable in the church: people pleasing, adrenaline.
Some of you are addicted to progress. Some of you are addicted to looking in the mirror and making your hair look just right. Some of you are addicted to eating. Some of you are addicted to other things.
I submitted myself to counseling because I needed healing; I needed help.
I used to get so nervous before I preach that I would always vomit in a trash can.

I don’t get nervous anymore before I speak because I realized I cared more about what you thought than what God thought. Now, before I speak, I take a step forward. I step out of Craig Groeschel and step into the power of God. I am being healed of this.
I am addicted to adrenaline, and I am being healed of it. I will neglect the rest of the world and give my attention to my wife and my six children because God is healing me.

Some of you are jacked up, and you need to get as open and as honest as you can. Who or what will stretch you? Who or what will bring you healing in your life? You need to get around that person.

People pleasing is idolatry. That is making people in your life bigger than God, and that is idolatry.

Before God can heal you he must ruin you. Return to God with weeping and fasting and mourning.

I used to think I had to be above the pain, separate the emotions. Now I joyfully and willingly step into it. God, break my heart, crush me, make me miserable. I want it back, with weeping and mourning and fasting.

I was listening to a sermon, and I was so far from God. And no one knew it. The message spoke to me, and I got down on my face before going to preach for the weekend and asked God if I was even saved. I knew I was, but at that moment I wasn’t even sure.

I was at seminary the day the Oklahoma City bombing happened, and I should have been in my office. I should have been injured or killed. I rose above it. God was trying to break me, but I wouldn’t have it.

My mentor killed himself, and his wife and two children moved in with us. Still I rose above it. I wouldn’t let God ruin me.

I broke my son’s femur on accident, and I cried for the first time in a long time. I couldn’t do anything about it. I went to another country and held a baby who was going to die after I left, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I’m living this stupid life of luxury with this big church doing virtually nothing. Don’t you dare think it’s about anything outside of you. It is about having your heart break for the things that break the heart of God.

For some of you it’s been way too long. You had it. You wouldn’t have gone into ministry if you didn’t have it.

I pray that some of you encounter the presence of God in your hotel room tonight, and you are never the same again.

Some of you are a senior pastor and you don’t have it any more and you don’t want your congregation to know it. Some of you are student leaders and your students have it and you don’t.

Catalyst Session 4 – Seth Godin

Seth Godin is the top business blogger in the world and has nine best-sellers.

I’ve never been in a room with so many people with faith.

I think what you want is more. More people to touch, more interactions, more goodness, more growth.

One way to go about that is to mimic the marketers in the world.

I want to leave you with one idea. What marketers did for a long time was interrupt people. They stuck messages places where people didn’t really want them.

Marketers realized that TV worked.

Interrupting people doesn’t work any more.

What’s better, more organic, is to have people talk to each other.

Ask 2 questions?
Who else is going to be there?
Who is going to lead us.

The idea of tribes is an ancient idea.
Tribe: A group of people connected by an idea, language, goal, leader, etc.

There used to be only three tribes in our lives: work, church, & community.

In order to drown out those tribes, marketers aimed at us.

Now we have discovered that we can get people to talk to each other.

The Internet was supposed to homogenize everyone, but instead allowed pockets of people to form.

People do things to fit in. Chefs wear white. Stock traders wear smocks.

There wouldn’t be a volunteer fire department anywhere in the world if it weren’t for tribes.

People do things because they want to.

People like being with people they like being with.

Sports fans aren’t rooting for the players or the coaches, they change. They’re rooting for themselves.

There are tribes at work. People stay where they are because they are defined by what they do.

A crowd is not the same as a tribe.
A mob is an angry crowd.

Tribe: A group of people, usually self-selected, often with a leader.

Tribes have insiders and outsiders. Everyone in the world can’t be in one tribe. That’s just a crowd.

Sometimes tribes are silly; other times they have a deep blood connection.

The more powerful your connections are, the more valuable the thing you are building is.

Your job moving forward is to connect people, to find out what they share.

This is about one thing, having leverage.

Barack Obama raised $400 million by building a tribe.

The Grateful Dead only had one top 40 record, but they built a tribe.

What you do for a living isn’t what you thought it was. What you are doing here today is learn how to lead a tribe.

You don’t deserve a tribe. You don’t get one because you want one.

If you want to grow, it’s going to come from a tribe.

We know now that everyone is 4 degrees away from everyone else.

When I think about a tribe, one thing I can do is make the tribe tighter. In a tight tribe, it’s not easy to join, but once you’re in, you’re in.

You can make the tribe bigger. Oprah has a big tribe because all you have to do is watch an hour of TV.

It’s hard to make a tribe tighter and bigger at the same time.

Marketing Management is now Tribal Leadership

Everyone is not the same. You’re idea might spread through some groups is not others. The idea that everyone who wants to join your tribe is wrong. Your job is to find the people who want to join your tribe.

There are tactics and tools; don’t get stuck on them.

My thought: People want community. They want to be accepted.

It’s not about bringing knowledge; it’s about finding someone who is naturally leading and helping them to do it better.

If you can’t get 10, you’re not going to get 100. If you can’t get 100, you’re not going to get 1000.

You have to do something people can criticize. If you want to be safe and play in the middle, you’ve already failed. No one is seeking a safe leader.

There are three things that tribes do to grow.

  • Find people in the world who are lonely and don’t think there are other people like them.
  • Find people who already knew there were people like them.
  • Find people who would never ordinarily be together.

It’s about leading, not controlling.

Sheepwalking is another giant problem. No one follows sheep. They don’t want to get in trouble. They don’t want to stir the pot.

No one is going to follow the average.

I am begging you to become heretics, someone who’s faith is so deep that they are willing to deal with the criticism of the status quo because their faith is so deep. Martin Luther was a heretic.

There is a giant distinction between faith and religion. Faith is built into us. It is something that everyone has and needs. Religion amplifies faith for a while but eventually becomes a tool to control others. Faith and Religion exist everywhere. In corporations, in sports teams, etc.

Controlling through a series of rules when the faith is faltering is exactly the wrong idea.

The rules get piled on, and piled on, and piled on. Some rules are good. Some rules make sense. Often times heretics seek out a rule and break it on purpose.
What piece of religion are you willing to set aside if you have a big yes.

Being a community organizer often gets you in trouble, but it also means that you can have a big impact.

Leadership is the same thing as marketing, and marketing is the same thing as leadership.

  • Leaders challenge their tribe, they don’t settle for what is now.
  • Leaders create a culture for their tribe.
  • Leaders are curious, they don’t accept something just because it is written down.
  • Leaders have charisma. You don’t become a leader because you have charisma; you get charisma because you are a leader.
  • Leaders communicate. They figure out how and when and where to talk with the tribe.
  • Leaders connect tribe members with each other.
  • Leaders commit to the well being of the tribe.

Tribe members want to

  • Connect
  • Create Meaning
  • Make a Difference
  • Be Noticed
  • Matter
  • Be Missed

If you can’t be inspiring, you have no business being a leader.

Are you doing something for the tribe or to the tribe?

We have an obligation to do something with the leverage we have.

Note: Seth (a non-Christian) gave a copy of his book “Tribes” to everyone at the Catalyst conference.