Catalyst 2012 Take-Aways

Catalyst 2012 was an incredible experience.  Interestingly enough, after a decade of conference hopping, I had never made it to the actual Catalyst conference.  So glad I finally made it.

It was definitely like dringing from a fire hydrant.  Wayyyy too much content to process in 48 hours.  I’m sure I’ll spend the next several weeks decompressing everything I’ve heard and learning how it fits into my specific leadership and ministry contexts, but in the mean time, I’ll go ahead and dump my takeaways here.  Maybe latching on to one or two of these thoughts might be helpful for whatever season you’re in.


-Leaders are defined by their RESPONSE to the following things:  Unexpected Opportunity, Unavoidable Adversity, Undeniable Calling.

-The most important thing as a leader may not be what you actually DO, but who watches you do it, and how they would describe you along the way.


-God may choose to make you into who he wants you to be through an unexpected opportunity that you feel totally unprepared for.

-It’s always better to make a difference than to make a point.

-God gets more mileage out of adversity in your life than anything else.

-Leaders are made, ONE response at a time.


-5 Characteristics of a Healthy Team:

-TRUST.  As a leader of a team, you MUST be the first to be vulnerable, and create an atmosphere where people trust you.  They have to know you are human, and they can talk to you about the areas you need to improve in.  If not, they won’t trust you.  They may do what you say, but never fully trust you.  And if they don’t trust you, you can’t trust them.

-CONFLICT.  You must be willing to disagree OUT LOUD, and to one another.  Healthy conflict almost always leads to the truth.

-COMMITMENT.  Always force clarity of direction and vision, as well as the course of the team.  You will, in the process, develop a team that is fully committed to the direction of the organization.

-ACCOUNTABILITY.  You have to be willing to confront difficult issues and hold people accountable.  Leaders who choose not to hold their teams accountable, then simply dismiss or terminate them because of their mistakes are cowards.  And firing someone without holding them accountable, in love, is the last act of cowardice.

-RESULTS.  As a team, you must be focused on the same results in order to have collective outcomes.


-Once you are broken, you begin to hear and see things you couldn’t otherwise see an hear apart from being broken.

-We cannot serve the broken unless we realize our own brokenness.

-Grace means nothing if not shared.

-Our job is to stand between the marginalized and those throwing the rocks at them.  Stone-catching is not our elective, it’s our calling.


-In leadership, there is no PROGRESS until we embrace the PROCESS.

-Your greatest potential is found in your preparation.

-Your focus on your “ANNOINTING” gets you nowhere.  Your focus on your AVAILABILITY to God gets you everywhere!

-Leadership Cup-Check:  David NEVER dishonored Saul.  Instead of talking ABOUT your leader, talk TO your Savior.


-If you wait until something makes complete sense, or you are sure it will work, YOU WILL NEVER DO ANYTHING.


-The last thing the Body of Christ needs right now is another wounded healer. We have plenty of those.

-We hang onto our junk and carry it into our leadership. We carry it and put our stuff onto other generations.

-Nothing will kill you quicker than a spotlight.

-Using social media to tear other people down is a terrible way to show God’s love.

-Your talent will open the door but only your character can keep you there.


-We’re told to go and make disciples, but we often just sit and make excuses.

-When we begin making disciples we will begin experiencing God.

-It’s in disciple-making and witnessing that we experience the Spirit in our lives.

-We make disciples because we love the lost.

-Too many of us hear tough sermons and just walk away sad…so did the rich young ruler. We must walk away changed.


-Remember WHO you are. You aren’t what you make, You are MADE.

-Remember who God is. God will never be handcuffed by your failures or unleashed by your successes.


-When God prompts you, he won’t show you all the details. You can’t handle all the details. He may not show you the details. You’ll have to take the step of faith.

-To step towards your destiny, you have to step away from security.

-If you’re not ready to face opposition from your obedience to God, you’re not ready to be used by God.

-Everything new and effective will be met with resistance.

-If I blame myself when things go poorly, I will take credit for when things go well.

-If you’re a church, you should be called a cult every now and again or you’re probably not doing anything significant.


-Our job is on the fringes of our flock, where they bite, kick, and scratch.

-Some of you have come in here with a smile on your face with a devastated heart.

-Sometimes in ministry, we define our success by attempting to score the touchdowns of others rather than the touchdowns that God puts in place of us.

-The way the Bible works is inside out, not outside in.

-God works in the mess. The Bible has an uncanny ability to teach the realities of the Gospel through the messiness of the Bible.

-I don’t want to go camping with a judge. I want to go camping with Dad, though.

-No job is better than Jesus.

-No position is better than having Jesus.-Being a pastor will NEVER be better than being a son of God.

-It’s not up to you to reach the nations. God will reach the nations. But he’s invited you to play. It’s up to you to decide if you want to play.

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