Top 15 Things Learned At Catalyst One Day

I traveled with some friends to the Catalyst Oneday event in Baltimore (actually, Fulton) Maryland this past Monday.  I had been hoping to get to a Catalyst event and had originally planned on going to the big one in Atlanta in October. That didn’t work out- so the Oneday event filled my void.

Let me just say it was a great day.  Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel were funny, challenging, transparent, and encouraging throughout the day.  Not just a training event, there was a real sense that God was at work in our lives throughout the day.

So, I have gone back through my notes and pulled out some things that I continue to think about or that challenge me.  I tried to keep it to 10, but I’m just going to let it rip with 15.  Read the list after the jump.

  1. Anything new triggers momentum- the new must be radical and noticable.
  2. Minor changes/improvements do not create momentum.  This is a problem for an established church, especially.  People do not get excited for minor changes/improvements.
  3. Why do we continue to fund mediocre ministries?  If the cost of a ministry is a concern you probably are doing too much.  Pick 5 things your church is passionate about and pursue them with excellence.  Are we being good stewards of God’s resources by funding mediocre ministries?  Do our ministries bear fruit?  If not, why are we not actively pruning for better effectiveness?
  4. We can grow when people leave.  Don’t be afraid to give permission for unhappy people who are unwilling to get behind the vision of the church to leave.  Bless them and speak well of them as they walk out the door.
  5. Limitations are the best breeding ground for innovation.
  6. We most often recruit volunteers or hire new staff for current ministries levels rather than future levels.
  7. The difference between where you are and where God wants you to be may be the suffering you have to endure.  I heard this said a different way elsewhere- is the “why” big enough for the “how”?  Is our vision so big that we’ll endure anythign to accomplish what God has called us to accomplish?
  8. The quickest way to forget what God thinks of us is to conern ourselves with what others think of us.
  9. Delegate what someone else can do and do something only you can do.
    1. Only I can be a husband to Andrea
    2. Only I can be a father to Abbie
    3. Only I am responsible for my own spiritual growth
  10. We can become full-time pastors who are part-time followers of God.  Ouch!  I know I can get so caught up with church work that I neglect my own spiritual life.
  11. We must be more committed to our mission/vision than to our programming or ministry model.  Sunday school is a great example of this around the country.  Numbers for Sunday School are falling.  Could we invest that time/energy/money into better models/programs to reach the unchurched?
  12. Are we willing to fall out of love with old, outdated programs and back in love with the call of God?
  13. Churches are empty because pastors/leaders love their programs/ministry models/traditions more than they love non-Christians.
  14. How long does Apple and Coke hold on to an outdated model?  Maybe they are more committed to their shareholders than we are committed to our Savior.  Just think of how often Apple has come out with a new iPhone/iPod/Mac/iTunes and how seldom the church changes format/platform, etc. 
  15. If we want to reach people no one is reaching, then we must be willing to do what no one else is doing.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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