I’m exhausted so this will probably be quick. AWESOME DAY at Catalyst. Let me see if I can remember enough to give you a quick rundown. I may leave out some people. Hope not.
Great opening. DJs were scratching, then a powerful multimedia show: lights, sounds, so cool. I covet the round 360 degree LCD display that’s about 20 feet tall. Then a stomp team. Then Steve Fee leading worship. “All Because of Jesus.”
Andy Stanley was the first speaker. I could have left when he was finished and chewed on his message for a month.
Break time between speakers was insane! It was typical Atlanta traffic, only inside and human bodies.
Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great”, I think, was the next speaker. Nothing against him but I was up checking out the displays during his time. There was this one really neat display. The publishers of the NIV Bible are producing a special 30th anniversary edition sometime in the near future. The neat thing is every verse in that edition will be handwritten, over 31,000 contributors. I contributed Genesis 24:35 and Teresa Genesis 24:46. Can’t wait to see that. And I’m so glad I didn’t get a verse that featured Judas!
OK, next was lunch, then
SarahBrenda McNeil. She did a great job and almost started preaching! (for all my Baptist bro’s, she just spoke really well, and I’m sure she was under the authority of some man in the room while doing so).
After her, none other than Jon Foreman, of Switchfoot, sang a song with his acoustic and a guy playing cello. So cool.
Then Steven Furtick brought it. The guy is only 28, but, man, the dude’s got wisdom beyond his years (and mine). I don’t think anyone even got up to go to the bathroom while he was speaking. Some may have had accidents while laughing though.
Jon Foreman came back and did a few more songs, including an acoustic “Dare You to Move.”
Seth Godin, of blogging fame, followed. A very good talk and great media presentation to go along with it. He really held my attention.
Craig Groeschel, known best for making a comment on this blog a few weeks ago (!), closed the day. Oh, man. He hit me hard. With a left jab and a right hook. I think God showed Craig my heart and said, “Preach on this!” It’s been five hours since that message and I’m still shaking. God, ruin me.
In between, I saw lots of folks I haven’t seen in a long time. I saw an old seminary friend, Daniel, for the first time since we got our undergrad degree at NOBTS in 1999. We sill look 30. Ran into other seminary friends and a prof, a young guy I spent two weeks with in Romania, and some friends from south Mississippi. And I got to talk to our sister church guys from Grace Fellowship, DC, Kevin, and Smiley.
I’ve been to a hundred church and evangelism conferences since I’ve been in the ministry. As they say in Mississippi, “This weren’t no conference.” This is a God experience. I wish you were all here.