Thoughts on Catalyst and The Eerie Quiet

Catalyst bills itself as”the largest gathering of young leaders in the country…”

The Catalyst Conference is the largest gathering of young leaders in the country, but it pains us to call it just a conference. Catalyst is more than just a three-day event – it’s a movement, a convergence, an experience where you find yourself fully immersed in learning, worship, and creativity. Catalyst brings people together – the influencers, the do-ers, the cultural architects, and the change agents who will reclaim our communities and culture for good.

Catalyst has been described many ways but once you’ve experienced it, you’ll call it what we call it – pure leadership adrenaline.

A few years back I was in the Atlanta airport and there seemed to be thousands of people  wearing Catalyst backpacks, probaby catching planes back to where ever they came from.  I asked a guy next to me what it was all about and it did seem like an awesome gathering. And though this world is normally politically reactionary, it did seem that the organizers at Catalyst did offer some challenging words and ideas. Hopefully, they are trying to take the evangelical conversation in a different direction.

Anyways, my church, Lockerbie Central United Methodist, got a visit from  Catalyst’s LV Hanson on Sunday night.  LV is on the road meeting with young church leaders after hearing about our church from a friend.  He came to our Sunday night worship service and posted this on our blog:

I am familar with the predictable flow of church services that strive to leave people feeling encouraged and uplifted throughout the experience.  But right now, there is no flow leading me towards an entertained or comfortable place.  In this absence of the familiar I am facing myself, and the Lord is stirring an unsettled and convicted spirit.  The fog of my world is fading, and I am coming undone as I see the Lord behind the backdrop of this facede that I so often champion.

Maybe that is why Lockerbie will continue to struggle to grow numerically as “…there is no flow leading me towards an entertained or comfortable place” or not get the support from the United Indiana Methodist conference that we deserve.  We are a church that (intentionally or not) that forces people  and other churches out of their comfort zone.  We aren’t afraid to speak truth to power or call a spade a spade.

But that is why we struggle on.  Because a church needs to have a prophetic voice, needs to connect people with the deep and radical traditions of the early and historic churches.  We got a long way to go and we need to grow, but LV’s blog is right on.

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