Thursday, May 3, 2012

Catalyst Leaders...Are Present

Two weeks ago I had the awesome and unique opportunity to attend the Catalyst West Conference...yes, West, as in CALIFORNIA!! It was awesome! Because of some very great friends I had a lot of my expenses taken care of making a trip like this possible. Which also meant the bonus of seeing some of my very best friends, engaging in awesome, soul refreshing conversation in addition to an amazing conference under some of the country's best leaders.

The theme of the conference was "Be Present." They encouraged us to disconnect from social media and mobile devices while in each session and just be present. However, on the last day this theme really hit me hard after hearing Brenda Salter McNeil's talk on John 5 and the paralytic man that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. She focused on John 5:17-19 from the Contemporary English Version:

But Jesus said, “My Father has never stopped working, and that is why I keep on working.” Now the leaders wanted to kill Jesus for two reasons. First, he had broken the law of the Sabbath. But even worse, he had said that God was his Father, which made him equal with God.
Jesus told the people: “I tell you for certain that the Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing, and he does exactly what he sees the Father do.”

Two important things to remember: 1) God is at work NOW! He's always been at work and He'll continue to be at work but don't miss out on the work He's doing now. 2) Jesus did whatever he saw the Father DOING (again, present tense!). He didn't just do whatever he wanted to do, but He did what He saw the Father doing. What can we take from this?

Do what you see the Father doing now - Be Present! If He's at work IN you then there's work He wants done THROUGH you. Don't get so caught up in the future, in "what's next" that you miss out on right now. Often times you will never make it to "what's next" unless you are at work in the present.

I know I needed to hear that! And as my experience has proven, I am sure their are others that need it as well. In addition to Brenda, there were other great points that just hit me at my core through the week. Here are some of my favorite quotes that I jotted down:

  • "Always be doing for one what you wish you could do for everyone." - Andy Stanley (ie: as your ministry grows don't get overwhelmed by the numbers but be constantly investing in those that can expand your influence further) "When you can do - DO"
  • "Everything I do today is a result of those that went before me and invested in me." - Craig Groeschel
  • "Young people are not the church of the future, they are the church of today!!" - Craig Groeschel
  • "Delegate authority, not tasks. Authority creates leaders, tasks create followers." - Craig Groeschel
  • "Always show honor up. Honor publicly results in influence privately." - Craig Groeschel
  • "I had to learn to shift my balance while spinning." - Tony Hawk (yes, the pro skater :))
  • "Haters only get loud when you say/do something that matters." - Jon Acuff
  • "We tend to discount compliments and obsess on insults. 1000 compliments + 1 complaint = 1 complaint." - Jon Acuff
  • If you chase "enough" outside of Christ, you'll never get there." - Jon Acuff
  • "Take the risk to speak what you see God doing." - Brenda Salter NcNeil
  • "Being present is being there, at the right time, for the right length of time...and then testifying about it!" - Brenda Salter NcNeil
  • "Leadership in the Kingdom is the overflow of love from the King." - David Platt
  • "God hates sinners. Sin is not outside of us. Jesus went to the cross for us, sinners." - David Platt
  • "God knows every sin we have committed and will commit and yet He chooses to love us anyways." - David Platt
  • People in the US are lost, but not unreached. They have access....2 billion people in unreached areas don't." - David Platt
  • "You can't be who you were made to be if you are afraid. When we aren't afraid, others aren't afraid. So...Go Big! Stuff happens when we aren't afraid!" - Bob Goff
  • "Your challenge is to take what is unique about you and make it useful!" - Marcus Buckingham
  • "Great leaders catch moments of excellence and reflect it back." - Marcus Buckingham
  • "We aren't called to live in our city. We are called to be ALIVE here!" - Charles Jenkins
  • "Acts 19...Twelve people turned that city upside down. It doesn't take an army or lots of money!" - Dave Gibbons
  • "God created us and in His image, so we shouldn't be surprised that we are creative beings. Until you live a life of intention you will never know the satisfaction and joy of what you were created for." - Erwin McManus
  • "Environments change us. What environments are you choosing and what environments are you creating??" - Ervin McManus
  • "Choose your companions before you choose your road. It's not the terrain that will suck your energy, but the others around you." - Mark Burnett 
  • "If you are only friends with people who agree with you in everything -- you will be extremely alone." Donald Miller
  • "Always be investing in someone that could one day replace you. Apprenticing: selecting, modeling, and coaching for the purpose of replacing yourself." - Andy Stanley
  • "You will never feel like you are adequately prepared to apprentice another leader. You are not responsible for knowing everything there is to know about your field or knowing more than everyone else. You ARE responsible for passing what you DO know to somebody else. Your responsibility it to EMPTY YOUR CUP! You might not fill theirs completely either, but you do have something to offer when you empty all you have." - Andy Stanley
  • "Always Model what you do, Explain why you do it, and Demonstrate how to do it!" - Andy Stanley
  • "Success is not measured by how capable you are of handling your responsibilities. Success is ultimately measured by whether or not you leave your responsibilities in capable hands." - Andy Stanley
I know that's a lot of gooooood stuff, but all stuff I couldn't NOT share. I hope in some way some of it encouraged you, challenged you, and/or lit a fire up under you like it did me! So thankful to First Baptist and my sweet friends that made this great experience possible! :)

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