Catalyst 2011 Highlights

In our staff meeting this week, the National Community Church team reviewed some of our personal highlights from Catalyst 2011: Be Present. There's some good stuff in here that I thought was worth sharing. Most of these are my paraphrase of someone else's paraphrase of a speaker.

  • Being present often means being broken before God with and for people.
  • Coupling “Jesus is sufficient” with fear.
  • Are you welcoming people into your church the way you would welcome them into your home?
  • Confidence in who God has created me to be and what He has created me to do.
  • It’s okay not to be typical. -Bob Goff
  • Are we really seeking God’s presence or are we seeking his hand? -Francis Chan
  • The best I’m going to be is a redeemed sinner. -Cornel West
  • Jesus’ prayers were heard because of his reverence for God. -Francis Chan
  • Katie Davis is a child herself but is a mother of fourteen. Her faith is simple yet so profound. She loves her Jesus and follows as she goes.
  • Being present means dwelling with Him. -Francis Chan
  • Opportunity is attracted to excellence. -Dave Ramsey
  • Nothing is moved unless it’s shoved. -Dave Ramsey
  • Pay attention to the people who are willing to pour out what they have. -Andy Stanley
  • The never-ending line of people in need is not a problem to solve but a tension to manage. -Andy Stanley
  • You can’t be there for everyone, but go long with the people the Lord puts on your heart.  -Andy Stanley
  • It’s almost like there’s a thin place every year at Catalyst where the Holy Spirit is present and at work.
  • Inconsistency yields mediocrity. -Jim Collins
  • Define your 20 miles. -Jim Collins
  • Don’t be alone when you’re doing anything. -Andy Stanley
  • When is the last time you’ve wept for the people in your life who are hurting?
  • Know when to stop and when to push forward. -Jim Collins
  • Even though some mercy ministries aren’t completely merciful, sometimes it’s more convenient to do them anyway. Be truly merciful even when it’s inconvenient. -Robert Lupton
  • Interruptions are divine interventions. -Priscilla Shirer
  • Call out of people what you want to see in them. Call out of your ministry what you want to see in it. -Priscilla Shirer
  • Innovation and creativity are nothing without discipline. God created the world in all of its facets over a period of time. -Jim Collins
  • We have the fullness of God’s glory revealed to us through Christ, and we still don’t think it’s enough.  Moses did so much, and he only got to see the backside of God. -Judah Smith
  • If brokenness and humility don’t have a place in our worship, God won’t have a place in our worship. -David Platt

Thanks to Mike, Steph, Chris, Juliet, Jennifer, Sarah, Matt, Andy, Heather, Christina, Jeremy, Joel, Dave, Maegan, Amanda, Amanda, Emily, Jason, and Kurtis for sharing their hearts and to Pastor Mark for opening up the dialogue.

Hope you found these helpful.  If you want to take a look at what the speakers said, I've got notes from the main sessions and labs.

Judah Smith at Catalyst

I want to spend just a few moments with you sharing from the Bible. I'm going to start in Exodus 33, and I'd like us to consider the glory of God and its implications in your life as a leader, and most importantly as a follower of Christ.

Ex 33:12-23

John 1:14,18

Jesus is the glory of God. I believe if in fact that statement is true, you will leave here tonight with a surplus, the overwhelming fact and truth that you will leave hear tonight with everything you need for living and leading and pastoring.

Thursday night is the most special night in our family. It's date night. When you've had children, the rhythm of life sounds something like this: date night, blur, date night, blur. I love date night.

I wish someone had told me before we got married that women have rules. And they don't have to share their rules. You're supposed to know them. And if you really love them you will know their rules and abide by them, and then they will feel loved.

My wife Chelsea has rules for date night. And women are under no obligation to tell you when the rules change. So the other days I suggested we do dinner, coffee, dessert, and a movie. Her countenance dropped, and I thought "rule change." She's like, "I don't really want to go to a movie." I said, "Neither do I. They're secular."

Gentlemen, what you have to know about date night is that there is always a score and if you score high enough, you score. And I don't know why you do date night, but I don't do it for the conversation.

Chelsea said, "I don't want date nights to just be movies." I didn't show displeasure, but I'll be honest with you, my perfect date is like, go see a great action flick and go home and make love. We don't even have to talk!

She asked me the other night, "Where do you feel most loved?" I said, "Really, do you need me to answer that question?" But really, when women ask you a question it's just a front for wanting to be asked that question. I couldn't believe the answer. It was the antithesis. It blew my mind. She said, "When you ask me question." For a guy, that does not communicate love, ladies. It's like being interrogated.

My wife's office is right next to my office and we work together, and we go on date nights and she asks me how my day was, and I'm like "You were there the whole time." So I ask about her day, and she tells me about the morning meeting, and I am like, "I was there."

But my wife is smart. She doesn't just want to do stuff for me or with me, she wants to know me. She is good for me. She sits me down and asks me how I'm doing, as a dad, in my ministry, with each other.

Marriage isn't just about doing stuff together or being in each other's presence. You need to know each other.

Moses has experienced the presence of God. And he's kinda on a role with God, so he asks for something he's never seen before: glory. He asks to see God's glory. What a crazy request, a risky request, maybe not even a healthy request.

And I think God must have been so happy. My boy doesn't even want to just do stuff with me, he wants to know me. It's early in the day. I was going to make a new covenant, but he's like, alright, how do I do this. Now, I want you to shimmy in this rock over here, and I'm going to put my hand over you as I pass by. Now don't peak, it won't go well for you. And as I pass I'll pull my hand away. So Moses shimmies in, and God's like, you're not peeking, are you? So God's like, you can look now Moses. And Moses asks, are you sure? And God's like, you're good now.

So Moses' face glows in the dark for days.

Maybe you'll notice that Moses' request was not fully granted by God. Moses got only a glimpse in passing. It was in Jesus that we got the full answer to Moses' request.

Throughout all of the corridors of history and the ages, no doubt Moses' request stood unanswered until Christ came, and we beheld his glory.

People say, "I want to see what Moses saw?" I'm like, "I don't." Why would I want to see God's backside when I can look him full in the face.

I'm singing "Show me your glory." And all of the sudden I get this distinct impression from the Holy Spirit. He says, "I already have. His name is Jesus."

Look at Hebrews 1. I don't do crack, I don't smoke weed, because this is good enough for me. "God has in these last days spoken to us by his son." "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person."

When Moses asked to see God's glory, what he's really asking is to see God's essence, the inner reality of who God really is. He wants to see what makes God, God.

And then Jesus comes, and he's just that. He's the enactment and full form of divine radiance. You don't have to wait for a fuzzy feeling, for the hair to stand up on your nect. You'll have everything you ever need in Jesus.

A couple of years ago my family went through the most difficult period of our life. My father had cancer, multiple myloma. There was not a day in my life I did not talk to my father. They passed leadership of the church off to me, and the elders agreed. I started to play out in my mind that I'm 30 now, and if all goes well, I'll probably pastor this church for the next 30 years. And I started to think about 30 years of weekends, and all of the sermons I'm going to have to write. ANd I began thinking, God, I can't do this. I'm not my dad. You know those guys taht can get up and don't read the Scripture, they just quote it. And they don't have notes, the sermon just flows out of them. ANd I get up the next day and I'm like (in a high pitched voice), "Hey church. I'm pastor Judah." They used the King James, and it sounds so spiritual, and I'm like, "Yo, what's up church."

Have you ever come to an event like this and you don't leave encouraged at all. You're actually discouraged because every single person who gets on stage, you're like, "I've never even seen that in the Scripture before." And you leave with your head hung. The Bible says don't compare ourselves with others, but what (we think) that really means is don't do it in public. And you show up at your church and you're like (in a high pitched voice), "Hey, church."

And so you're looking for secrets, like some special program that you can do and then you'll become super-sermon dispenser.

Or maybe you watch Christian television, and you're like, "Maybe I'll just preach that."

So it was the perfect storm. Daddy handed the church over and then went to Heaven. If and when this day came, he was supposed to be there to help me.

I wonder if I really realize what I have in Jesus.

Where do I get off looking for secrets. There's no secret, no potion, no magic formula. There's no software that can supplement the savior, the King. God is no respecter of persons, no background, no pedigree. He is freely available to every person in this room.

You all remember that story where Jesus breaks down the desperate housewife by the well. She's a bad woman. She's a loose woman. She would make a fantastic porn star. Which is amazing to me because we deify the people Jesus reached out to. But these were scandalous people.

Remember how the whole story goes? Jesus asked how she is, and she's like, "You talkin' to me? I'm a woman, and I'm a Samaritan woman? You want to talk to me and get harrased by the Jews?" And so he's like, "So go get yo' husband." And she's like, "I don't have a husband." And so he's like, "No, you don't, you've had 5, and the guy you're with now isn't your husband." And she's like, "Shoot, you a prophet or somethin'?" Jesus talks about worshipping him in spirit and truth. And she said, "I don't know about all that, but when the Messiah comes, he'll figure it out." And so he says, "I am he. You don't have to look any longer or any further."

If I could apply that to every volunteer, church leader, mom, dad, business leader, etc. Pastor, you don't have look any longer or any further. There's no potion or secret. It's just Jesus. He is the rose of Sharon, the deliverer, the healer, your pastor, your friend. He is everything you'll ever need in your life. I just came to tell you, "You've got Jesus."

I'm starting to figure out pastoring a church wasn't really about me to begin with. I'm starting to figure out God loves my city more than I do. I'm starting to figure out it's his name on the line, not mine.

Can somebody start to paly the piano so I really sound spiritual?

You guys feel that (listening to the music)? It's like the Holy Spirit just came in.

I feel like I cam tonight to ask you the question, "Since when was Jesus not enough?"

Was it the inforamtion age that broupght us to this place? Since when did we have to add to his sufficency.

I have to admit, I started to look further than Jesus. Maybe I need to read that or go here. All the while I felt Jesus trying to get my attention and tell me, "My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness."

I don't want anyone to leave here tonight feeling like they're lacking. You have everything you need, pastor. You have everything you need in Jesus. He calls all of us to Himself, all of us who feel like they're in over their head, like they don't measure up. Come to me, Jesus says. I will give you rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.