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Catalyst Expectations October 4, 2011

Posted by thesociallyawkwardchristian in Christianity.
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Tomorrow I will be on my way to my first ever Catalyst Conference. Catalyst is the preeminent Christian leadership conference in the nation if not the world. Prominent evangelical leaders like Andy Stanley, Mark Driscoll, Dave Ramsey, Francis Chan, and many more will all be speaking.  Not to mention fun demonstrations like a human cannonball and a guy who throws knives at a human target are all apart of the experience. Needless to say, I have high expectations.  Here are just a few of them:

1. I will meet a famous pastor, ask for his autograph, then feel weird about asking for a pastor’s autograph.

One of the oddest aspects of current evangelicalism is the celebrity culture. Evangelical Christians have their own celebrities. These people are famous, but usually only to evangelical Christians. These celebrities are usually pastors or authors. Asking for an author’s autograph isn’t that unusual, but I can’t help but feel a little odd about asking for a pastor’s autograph. I mean, I’m gonna get Francis Chan to sign my copy of Crazy Love should I get that opportunity. But, I still can’t help but think that that’s a little weird. He’s really just another dude that loves Jesus, but he writes and talks about his love for Jesus in an enlightening way. And that makes him a celebrity? Hm. Okay. I’m still getting his autograph.

2. I will turn into a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich.

Chick-fil-A is the official food of Christians. It is the new manna. I plan on eating Chick-fil-A for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an afternoon snack at least one day there.

3. Mark Driscoll will say something I disagree with, yet I will still kinda admire him.

Mark Driscoll is probably the most unpopular speaker on the Catalyst schedule this year. At least, unpopular in the eyes of the group of Christians I usually associate myself with. He’s has said more to make me dislike him than like him. Yet, I have still learned from some of his teachings. And I do appreciate his frankness. I fully expect to not completely agree with his talk at Catalyst, but I am also expecting to learn something from him as well.

4. I will spend more on books, shirts, resources, etc., than I want to. Then Dave Ramsey will speak and I’ll be convicted.

I’ve heard exciting things about the crazy amount of free stuff (swag in Catalyst vernacular) that Catalyst gives it’s attendees. However, there is plenty more to buy in the conference bookstore. I’m a sucker for the kinda stuff that is typically pimped at a conference. My current plan is to bring only $100 cash for food and extra stuff, and when it’s gone it’s gone. But, I will bring my debit card for travel expenses, so if I go over my limit, my entire bank account will be in my back pocket in the form of plastic. But, hey, at least it’s not credit. Right, Mr. Ramsey?

5. I will be refreshed and encouraged.

This is the main reason I’m going to Catalyst. I’ve been dry, here lately. My quiet times have been consistent and I have not “fallen away” from my relationship with Jesus in the least. However, to get away from my town and my job for a couple of days and just be with brothers and sisters in Christ to worship and learn more about Jesus is desperately needed. Just the sound of it, is like telling a man who has been lost in the desert that there is beach just over the horizon. I can’t wait to dive in.

Those are my expectations for Catalyst.

Have you ever been to a Catalyst Conference before? What were your expectations?

Are you going to Catalyst this week? What are your expectations?

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