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Posts Tagged ‘Catalyst’

This is the last in the series…

 

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I have read and discussed a lot over the years about watered down theology in the postmodern church but this is not one of those posts. This is a post from a pastor of a contemporary church who enjoys going to powerful conferences (Catalyst, Willow Creek GLS), reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and thumbing the latest books on church leadership. This is a post from a guy who has tapped into the teachings of many of the cutting edge church leaders that have solid theology and engage culture without watering it down. This is a post from someone in the mix who has to say that while there are many wonderful new things happening in the modern church in the area of leadership, there are some concerns as well. Quite frankly, the same old concerns done in an all new style. Here are just a few….

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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.

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We just left Cleveland, TN on a pit stop for lunch. This was the scene of my dumb move of the day…

Once in the resturant, I realized that it was quite chili sitting under the AC vent at Chili’s (ironic) so I borrowed Josh’s keys to go out to the car to get my fleece.

At the car, I realized I was not so skilled at his car clicker as I thought since it was not unlocking the back door. However, when I tried the driver’s door, it opened so I just leaned in and unlocked the doors manualy. Success, the back door finaly submitted and opened up.

As I leaned in to grab my fleece, a sight surprised me… What is Josh doing with all this police riot gear in his back seat?

Yep, I broke into the wrong car! A unmarked police car!

I quickly shut the door and walked briskly to the correct vehicle. I grabbed the fleece and headed back in to see if any of my coherts saw my mistake. As I moved along, I passed two larger built men with police badges on lanyards on thier way out to their car.

If I was just a minute behind, they would have come out while I was leaning in their car. Yikes!

I told the guys, it could have been worse. It could have been a k9 unit vehicle. Open door…growling dog….. Scared Tom

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Our eldership team is heading to Atlanta on Tuesday to attend the Catalyst convention. This is my second year heading down to this 2 day gathering of over 11,000 church leaders and I am getting more and more pumped.

Most blogs will tell you about the great speakers, worship, and fun that is available there and they are right. The line up of speakers is (again) impressive: Andy Stanley, Chuck Swindoll, Louie Guglio, Tony Dungy, Matt Chandler, Dave Ramsey, Francis Chan, Josh Hamilton, and many others. There are so many great ideas, instruction, and encouragement and I continue to be challenged while watching the teachings on DVD from last year and even the year before. The worship is incredible as well! The Worship leading of Aaron Keyes and Fee were instant classics for Josh and I last year. Not to mention the intensity of worshiping the living God of all creation with so many church leaders from around the country! As for the fun, there’s plenty to be had through the creativity and hospitality of our hosts.

I have decided to blog my way through Catalyst this year with what little internet time I will get. One added feature for this event will include video blogging as well as text. This is thanks to flip video camera that I won from Catalyst this year. Thanks guys! (Also, you can get more info by following me on Twitter at @tsfGodguy)

However, this blog will be a tad different from many of the other blogs. While I will surely cover some of these same details as the experience rolls on, there is something even more exciting to me that I want to document and share.

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I say day one because the conference part started today. Yesterday was the pre labs….

It was a full day and I must admit, I probably should have waited to blog on all this when I got home after I rested and processed. I will do that later but here’s a quick overview before I fall asleep.

So we travel into the conference center which yesterday held about 1500 people but today is packed with about 12,000. We took in the sights as much is going on from a more artistic and experience oriented conference. There are multiple vendors, performers in the halls and outside, signs and other items of visual interest, a girl riding on the shoulders of a guy telling us the conference is about to begin, others passing out candy, and so on and so forth.

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Well, I’m in Atlanta for Catalyst. I have a friend who pastor’s a church in the Smokies who tried to talk me into going last year but we ending up passing. This year, we were about to pass due to tighter funds at church but we felt, after a period of prayer and discussion that not only myself, but Josh who serves on the Leadership Team should both go.

We had a period of 30 days of prayer and fasting in our church to prepare and humble ourselves in preperation for the trip and what God might lay before us. We opened up a fund raiser to get the cash together and everyone chipped in. The only thing left was to go.

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