Why I'm Going to Catalyst Atlanta

September 26, 2014

"Next week at this time we will be in Atlanta getting ready for the Catalyst Conference. I'm looking forward to being energized, encouraged, and educated. We've been a number of times and the majority of our staff have had the privilege of attending this intense few days of leadership infusion. I intend to write some follow-up critiques of the conference when we return, but for now want to pose a question for consideration. Why don't we have anything of this calibre in Canada? Now some of you will claim they exist, but I've not been able to find them! What discourages me is that leadership is such an important part of ministry, but seems relegated to the back row in our Canadian context. Why is that? You're likely thinking I'm over-exaggerating the point but I don't believe I am. I personally have learned more about leadership from Catalyst Conferences than any other sources combined, and I'm an avid reader of leadership material. Here are just a few of the things I've learned.
  • making vision stick
  • leadership is a stewardship
  • tensions are meant to be managed, not resolved
  • the importance of staffing well
  • Less is more
  • systems are critical to a healthy church
Besides those little gems, I've learned how to preach more effectively, build better teams, grow committed disciples, and reach out with more effectiveness just to name a few. And its not just the conferences, but the ongoing resources they provide throughout the year through their websites and newsletters. Here's what I really like about Catalyst. Its a leadership conference. It speaks to those who have been tasked with the burden of leadership. Its practical, informative, and usable. I may not agree with everything and I certainly won't be able to use everything that I learn at the conference, but I am always inspired and energized to be a better leader. Now some of you will balk at the ""big American show"" and will retort with, ""we in Canada like it small and personal,"" but is it any wonder that we languish in the arena of leadership across our fair land? Where is a strong national evangelical voice in Canada? Where are respected leaders that can take the national stage and bring credence to the church in our nation? I know that many of these points are debatable, and there is a potential downside as the recent Mark Driscoll situation has proven. But I for one am dishearten by the fact that whenever I think of sharpening my leadership skills, its south of the border I go. Would love to hear your thoughts, and better yet, if you think we can start something here that would focus on leaders in an inspiring and inventive way, I'm all ears! Stay tuned for my updates on the conference when I get back and hope to pass on some of the big takeaways from the week."

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