For those who don’t know, I am currently in Chicago for a few days with two purposes in mind….
First, I came for Catalyst One Day event which was held yesterday at one of the Willow Creek campus churches.
Second, I came to hang out with my friend Pat who pastors a church just outside of Chicago in a town named Bolingbroke. I love what I hear they are doing there and want to be part of his community for a few days. I head there later today.
For now, let me focus on Catalyst One Day. Our church leadership has gone to the last two years of the original Catalyst conference in Atlanta and enjoyed them. They are huge with multiple speakers (Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Francis Chan, Rob Bell, Franklin Graham, Dave Ramsey, Matt Chandler, Steven Furtick, and many more) tackling many topics, over 11,000 church leaders in attendance, and great worship leaders (Fee, Aaron Keyes).
One Day is quite different. About 2,500 attendees, only two speakers taking turns (Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel), digging deep into one main topic, and one lessor known band. I loved it! Also, I loved the practical Q&A with the crowd and when Andy and Craig just talked about practical items from their own ministries to encourage us.
The main topic of the day was momentum: how to get, keep, and leverage momentum for the glory of God.
I won’t bore you with all the details (most of you are not “church leaders” and could care less) but I should say “Wow”! It was simply powerful. Some of that was because of the simple yet out of the box thinking to the points presented. I can’t wait to take the CDs home to our elders and dig into them more. However, that is not the only thing that made me so pumped.
It’s mostly the continued encouragement to continue on the path of faith God has put my wife and I on here of late. We are going through major changes. The kind of changes that many would consider stressful and painful. In truth, some of it is. However, for the most part, there has been a foundational peace that God is in control and has a plan on the other side of all this.
This past week, we talked about the woman and the oil from II Kings at church. Long story short, a widow was overwhelmed with her husband’s debt before he passed and went to Elisha for help. He asked her “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you already have?” She answered “I have nothing……. except a little oil.” Elisha told her to gather jars from her neighbors (not just a few), start pouring out the oil, and when they were all full, go sell them and pay her debt thus leading her back to freedom!
What do you already have? Pour it out…… pour it all out……. That little bit of oil kept pouring out due to the hand of God until she was out of jars! God would have kept going but she wasn’t prepared for more!
Pour it out! (Don’t forget to seek God on where to pour it so it’s blessed…. she didn’t pour it out on the ground, you know)
There’s a reason I left behind my past professional life for the ministry. There’s a reason I left a good paying structure to being paid much less and sometimes not at all. It’s not to play politics. It’s not to make everyone happy. It’s not to worry about money, programs, or schedules. It’s to be sold out to love people and follow God. Our church vision is this….
To be a real community, fulfilling the Great Commission by being people of faith, displaying hope, and acting in love.
I get excited as I type it and what God is doing! I get frustrated when I allow myself to get pulled into the muck and mire that cheats it. Pour it out!
Hey! Did I get off topic? I did if you wanted to know more about One Day. However, the main point of my trip was to meet God here, be refueled (well, not so much refueled as encouraged to keep full), and come back with some new understandings of the tools we have been entrusted with.
So good trip…….Great God! Pour it out!