08 October 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Catalyst Labs

It’s almost 2am.
I have to be at Catalyst in like 5 hours.
I should go to bed.
But I’m in the lobby of the Hilton.  So instead I’ll share some quick highlights from my day at the labs and then go to bed.

Ed Stetzer

One of the sessions I checked out was Ed Stetzer in the church planting track.  Many of you know this is a passion of mine and look forward to the day we get to embark on planting.  Ed is a great communicator and very inspirational.  As I listened I seriously wanted to go out and start tomorrow!  He talked a lot about the Kingdom of God and the keys to the kingdom.  Here are some notable quotes from his sharing.

  • Make sure that Jesus is the focus of everything in your church, not your creativity or your pithy sayings.
  • Many of you will go out and plant churches and you will fail.  God does not fall off his throne when that happens.
  • When Jesus said “I will build my church,” he was talking to you.
  • There are more verses in the Bible to support you having a concubine than for us forming a denomination.
  • Reach the lost, not the found.  Changing from their denomination to your denomination is NOT reaching the unchurched!
  • If you plant your church, and don’t plant again, you are not kingdom minded.  You are only concerned with building your own church kingdom.  Everybody says they’re gonna plant daughter churches, but they never do.
  • You will never feel ready to multiply.
  • Plant because the kingdom has birthed a church.

There was also this light hearted interaction that I thought was pretty funny:

“I was at a conference with John Piper…”
(A couple of cheers)
“Yeah you say a name people cheer.  Andy Stanley.”
(A couple of cheers)
“Everyone’s got their team.  Mark Driscoll.”
(A couple of cheers)
“Yeah, go sober up kid.”

Jonathon Tyson

One of the main reasons I wanted to check out the labs was to hear Jonathon Tyson again.  He was a highlight at Recreate for me this year, and was speaking on “In The City.”  He shared what he refers to a cultural acupuncture.  We need to find the nerve centers of our culture and reach them.  that is the cities.  Here is some of what he shared.

  • There are 3 competing movements set on reaching the world:
    • Western Consumerism
    • Islam
    • Christianity
  • By 2080 – 50% of worlds population will be in a city.  Move to cities and plant churches!
  • Planting churches in cities is expensive.  You could dig a freaking ton of wells in Africa with the money it takes.  We as Christians need to have a both/and approach, but at the same time, Starbucks is giving lots of money digging wells in Africa.  What Starbucks is not going to do is pay to advance the Kingdom of God in urban areas.
  • You can’t plant one church to reach a city.
  • The neighborhood is the building block of a city.
  • Parish Church model
    • Relational – Triad – Smallest building block outside of Jesus
    • Communal – Life Group – built of triads
    • Missional – Missional Community – built of life groups
    • Contextual Incarnational – Parish church – built of missional communities
    • Church – Network of Parish churches
  • Islam is on their face trying to reach the world, industries are spending billions to spread consumerism, and Christians are trying to come up with cooler ways to do services.

The parish church would be a lot to really unpack, but it just makes sense to me.  I still think this guys a genius.

The night ended with an evening with the Deadly Vipers Mike and Jud, and that was an amazing evening.  Very transparent discussion about the assassin of Sprinting Headless Chicken and avoiding burn out as church leaders.  Very powerful.  I’ll just leave it at that.

My only beef at this point is that there isn’t free wifi at the Gwinnett Center.  And I heard a little rumor that the Catalyst team had them turn it off so it wouldn’t be used during speakers.  If that’s so, I’m extremely disappointed with the Catalyst team.  Another reason I love Recreate.

Anyway, time to crash.  Greatly looking forward to tomorrow…even if there isn’t internet access.

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