catalyst reflections

October 11, 2006 | 3 Comments

With a few projects that had looming deadlines finally complete, I have a few moments to actually reflect on my experiences at Catalyst last week.

  • First off, thanks to those who helped us get there. I’m so grateful to Catalyst for providing registrations for our team, as well as to JJ and Mark for sending some frequent flyer love our way.
  • A dark episode of Lost on a small hotel TV with a bad antenna connection was a bit of a disappointing start to the trip, but watching it with two other Lost fanatics made up for it.
  • There is a healthy mixture of both emerging/missional church and evangelical/attractional church influence that happens at Catalyst. Even trying to use terms to define those two creates difficulty for me, but it seems like there is a desire to define what movement someone is a part of a draw lines between them. The reality is that most young church leaders probably find themselves somewhere in the inbetween, and I’m happy to see Catalyst going into that inbetween to inspire leaders to forge ahead.
  • I think the highlights of the conference for me were Gary Haugen, Rick McKinley, and Donald Miller, although I thought I benefitted from every sesson — at least the ones I attended. I was already familiar with Gary Haugen, but I was happy to seem him given an opportunity to speak to such an important audience. Donald Miller and Rick McKinley just sharing a conversation together was a nice change of pace in presentation styles — I think we need more of that kind of thing. Marcus Buckingham was great, although I was already familiar with most his material.
  • Some of the hype surrounding the conference was a little over the top for me, and kind of set me back initially. Having been out of student ministry for a few years, and now being in a pretty relationally driven, low-key church setting, it took me a bit to adjust. I find myself trying to define between when is hype too much and when is it meaningful and usefel. Sorry…I’m just thinking out loud on this, but not going to explore it further here right now — mostly for the sake of time.
  • It was great to bump into a number of guys I’ve worked alongside in ministry with over the years and see what they are up to now. I didn’t know any of them were going to be there, and in an arena of almost 11000 people, I’m surprised I saw them at all.
  • Hey John,

    Great to see you guys there and spend time with you. Miss you all a lot. I pray God continues to bless you all in the ministry up there.


  • Wandered over here from a Mars Hill friend’s page, Matt Shedden.

    I like your Catalyst breakdown. I agree, it was pretty hype-y. And it was nice to see the mix of missional/attractional as well. Just by chance, my regular seat was definitely surrounded by a bunch of attractionals with Southern accents, hehehe. Made for good contrast in conversation as we compared notes.

    So, did you bring home some magic from the bottle?

    Grace & Peace-
    Durango, CO

  • John,

    I missed seeing you at the Catalyst conference. I didn’t expect that you would be there. I got to go down with the D.Min. office of Gordon-Conwell, since I represent the Center for Preaching. It was the first time I got work to pick up the tab for attending a conference. I saw Justin, the old junior high intern, there and he mentioned that other Central people were around, but I just never caught up with them.

    Being in New England, we don’t get much hype in churches or youth conferences like the West Coast. So, I was interesting to experience this with a guy from New Hampshire that has never been in this Christian culture.

    I found it to be an amazing conference though. A solid mix of speakers.

    Sorry we didn’t get to connect there.