Thoughts on My Catalyst Conference Experience


This past week I attended Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, GA. Some 13 thousand Christian leaders came together for 3 days of  meetings that featured, Pastors, businessmen, marketers and thought leaders. While I wouldn’t attempt to review or summarize the conference, I decided to share with you a few random thoughts:

Catalyst Conference 2010 Maurilio Amorim

Michael Gungor Band on the Catalyst Stage

  • Authenticity from Christian leaders is no longer a novelty, it’s the norm. The days of the bully pulpit are over.
  • I’m truly optimistic about a new generation of Christian leaders whose commitment to living out their faiths encourages my own walk. They are bright, resourceful and committed. I hold out a lot of hope for them.
  • There’s a strong movement to give away resources and tools to the Christian community at large. Generosity seems to be making its way into the evangelical church.
  • Evangelicals have embraced the under-resourced, exploited, and downtrodden. Social justice seems no longer the banner of the liberal left. It feels like we have decided to take “all” of Jesus’ commandments to heart after all.
  • Christians seem to look more like the communities they come from: piercings, tattoos, fedora hats. It seems for the first time in a long time that thankfully we have de-homogenized the Christian “look.”
  • No matter how much technology or production-value any given session or speaker has, content and delivery are still king. You might have the coolest presentation or a best-selling book, but the most memorable moments are the ones that connect  with both your heart and mind.

I’m curious. What changes have you noticed in American Christianity during the past decade?

  • It was a great experience indeed. I'm excited to see that the "social justice" issue appears to be moving past the stage of being a "fad" term but more so into how the Next Gen appears to be living out their faith. It doesn't seem like a label to them but more a response or responsibility to Jesus' call. I like that. 🙂

    If we are to be a reflection of Christ then we need to show His love.

    • The boomers ignore it, the busters paid lip service to it, but I think the millenials and generation Y's are actually going to do something about it.

  • Lewis Clayton

    I have seen Pastors be a lot more open and authentic from the pulpit, sharing from a place of strength but also from a place of brokenness and humility when appropriate.

  • Linda Stone

    I appreciate the fact that the evangelical movement in America seems to be moving beyond just trying to get people saved and in a Sunday School trying to connect them in life-giving serving opportunities so they can not only learn about the Bible but live it out as well.

  • i see less talk of leading people to Christ and the passion to preach the cross and the blood of Jesus Christ–and its reflected by recent survey that Christians cant answer basis questions of why they believe–We have many great pastors leading people to Christ however we need thousands more!! thats the real bottom line!! not how big the church is how how many campuses one has.

    • Evangelism is not an option for any church. It's part of our calling.

  • The generosity and social justice parts do seem very alive among evangelicals, and thankfully so! I'm not sure I'm as hopeful about the authenticity of Christian leaders or the extinction of the bully pulpit. My skeptical side has been in overdrive since leaving my church staff position just over a year ago.

    • Lori, it will take a while to heal from that kind of abuse. I pray that you'll find joy serving in a local church sometime soon.

  • ricardo

    Yeah. That's what I thought. Glad to be in the same room as you, lol and as those anointed presenters.

    • Glad to share those memories together. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • I think Christians actually just have a new look. We still stick out like sore thumbs…just hipster sore thumbs…

    • Hmm. You might be on to something here, Lindsey. I went to a pastors' conference last year and it looked like there was a run on the Buckle before the conference. Saw skinny jeans on people who should never, ever had them on.

  • clintbyars

    Perhaps just a little less behind the times than previous generations

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