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Catalyst Day Two

April 24, 2010 Leave a comment

What’s the good word? Well, it’s Saturday and Catalyst is over. There wasn’t enough time to get a post up yesterday, so I am updating about day two today. Day two started off with snow. Yes, you read that right, snow. It snowed in Catalyst yesterday morning. It was GREAT! We even had snow ball fights. White confetti fell from teh ceiling and we had these little white stress balls that we threw around. A great way to wake up and start your day, huh?

Day two’s speakers ranged from Donald Miller, to Kay Warren, to Wes Stafford, and Erwin McManus. I do have to say that Erwin McManus stuck out at me the most from yesterday. If there is one thing that I got out of his message yesterday it was this: “God designed us to be creative!” God is a creating God. He is still making all things new! If God designed us to be creative, why is it so many churches die from lack of innovation and creativity? There’s a saying he brought up, perhaps you’ve heard it: “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Erwin talked about how that is a conclusion for someone or some organization that has lost their meaning in life. What is our meaning? What is your meaning? There’s pressure to be who you aren’t, but I’m talking about being who God designed you to be. Being the ministry God has called us to be. It’s only in the new that we find the beautiful! Donald Miller challenged us to think about the “What if’s”. What is your what if? That’s the good word for today.

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Catalyst Day One

April 23, 2010 Leave a comment

What’s the good word? It’s 9:30 p.m. and after a long day, it’s time to reflect on the first day of Catalyst Conference. This year’s theme is Unusual Tomorrow, and they have been pushing us to think about what tomorrow would look like in our churches. Andy Stanley talked about how your vision for ministry will be no bigger than what you think is possible. I often think we limit ourselves too often and there are times when we don’t think things are possible. How many of us think our vision for ministry at our local congregations is possible? How many congregations set out 5 year plans, 10 year plans, and just say “It’s wishful thinking.” What we believe is possible can ultimately squash our tomorrow. I love the question surrounding this whole conference: “How are you going to lead today to ensure a better tomorrow?”

Mark Driscoll was one of our speakers, and while I disagree with a lot of his theology, I was quite surprised at how much I agreed with his message today. One thing that stuck out at me was this question: “Who leads your church?” Answer: Jesus Christ. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about letting Jesus lead the church. Then he really hit me with this- “The difference between your ability and your calling is the grace of God.” Wow! How true that is. And that goes for all of us because I feel we are all called to be where we are at- in our jobs, in our communities, in our places in life.

Another speaker that just spoke to me today was Reggie Joiner. What a great guy! He wrote the book “Think Orange” which is an absolutely fabulous book on the church and parents partnering together to raise faithful youth. He spoke on the parable of the prodigal son. You know, this parable keeps coming up lately. We did a class at Messiah around this very topic when I first came on board, and every time I revisit this parable, some thing else sticks out. Reggie spoke about how there are two approaches to sinners, and I believe these are two approaches we can take as a church as well. The first is of a loving father, and the second is of the elder brother. Now a few examples for us as a church. A loving father is preoccupied with who is missing. Remember, as a church, we don’t exist for ourselves, we exist for the world. Now an elder brother is preoccupied with themselves. A snare we can too easily get caught up in. Loving fathers operate from a context of forgiveness. Older brothers operate out of a context of shame. Remember, we don’d see Jesus shaming people, we see him shaming people who shame people! (Good catch there Reggie!) What approach will we take?

Now there were other speakers who were great I think there were like 9 today in all, but these are just two that stuck out at me today. We had a wonderful worship time tonight with Chris Tomlin. What a great songwriter he is. Very moving experience. There are other things I could write about as well, but just wanted to hit some highlights today. Lynette, Jessica, and I are learning and are growing in our leadership while here. We feel blessed to be here and feel that God is working. And that’s the good word for today.

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Good Friday

What’s the good word? Today is Good Friday, also known as Black Friday to some. We use the term Black Friday to also describe the day after Thanksgiving. A day of shopping, and hopefully for retailers, a day they get into the black. In essence, it’s a “good” day. So is today. Through all the blood, beatings, and shouts of lament, this is a good day. But eventhough it’s deemed a good day in the church, sadly it is one of the least attended worships of the church year. There are some faith communities that don’t even offer a worship on this day. Fast forward two days from now, and you get the most attended Sunday of the entire church calendar. Here’s the irony, we have to have Good Friday for there to be an Easter Sunday. A church that isn’t built on the theology of the cross, really isn’t a church, is it? In scripture, it says that the cross saves us from…From what? Scripture says, the cross saves us from the power of darkness, the grip of sin, from death, and the list goes on. Today we learn and realize the brokenness of this world. In a few days however, we will realize that the resurrection saves us to…, and we will come to celebrate that in the resurrection God tells us that even though there is brokenness, this world matters. And that’s the good word for today.

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