Great 8


Last week, our entire Student Ministries team went down to Atlanta, GA for the annual Catalyst conference. There were a lot of cool things that we saw and heard while we were down there (as well as on the way down and back). Here are the highlights in no order whatsoever.

1. 24 Hours in a Van – We rented a 12 passenger van for all 10 of us and drove 12 hours down and 12 hours back. And a game that we literally played all the way down to Atlanta was the “Letter Game” compliments of Tyler Stanton’s Trip Tips. We played: Football, Music, and Basketball. And come to think of it, I’m pretty sure it’s still Matt’s turn.

2. Guy Being Shot Across Arena From A Cannon. Yep, that’s it.

3. The Sessions – They were very challenging and each speaker brought his/her own take on the theme: The Tension is Good. Favorites were:

Andy Stanley (pastor) bringing a new take on the Jacob/Esau/Birthright story

Craig Groeschel (pastor) challenging both old and young leaders to work
together and learn from each other

Seth Godin (blogger, author) raising some good questions about creating and being creative

Daniel Pink (author) changing the way we (as leaders) look at motivation

4. Tripp and Tyler – Knowing these guys would be there was 42% of my excitement for going to my first Catalyst ever. They’ve made some of the funniest videos and many of them have been made specifically for Catalyst, which I’ve had to enjoy by way of YouTube. And from them walking around with bowl-cuts (*see below), repelling in from the ceiling (100ft above), to leading the entire audience in a ‘rousing’ rendition of “We Aren’t the World (We are the Christians)”, they brought the funny (*again, see below).

5. “Not Afraid” – Catalyst Opener – It started with pitch black. Then a violin. Then a drum machine. Then a beat-box. Then a keyboard. Then some singers. Then a children’s choir. Then a rapper. It wasn’t until the choir started in with, “I’m not afraid; to take a stand…” that I realized what song it was. And once I recognized the song, I wasn’t sure if the whole experience was real. But it WAS real, and it was fantastic.

6. Dude Beatboxing – At one point in-between sessions, the DJ grabbed the microphone and started doing some beatboxing. The dude was crazy and once he starts into his self-proclaimed ‘impossible beat’, it just gets ridiculous. Don’t think so? Try it and see if what comes out of your mouth sounds anything like what comes out of his.

7. Michael Jr. – Comedian – I like stand-up comedy. I’m not really that big of a fan of ‘Christian’ comedy. But this guy he went up right before Andy Stanley closed the conference and the whole place was laughing (myself included). I guess he was on Leno and some other big venues and I can see why. The guy’s just funny. And he made a documentary about going into a prison, skid row (in LA), and some other forgotten places to do his comedy. Check it out here, and check out his set from Catalyst West 2010 that is pretty similar to the set he did in Atlanta for us.

8. Korean Karaoke – Sometimes as a team, you have those moments where you only have to say a couple words to anyone on that team and you’re instantly transported to a place or a memory. For those of us on this trip, “Korean” and “Karaoke” are those two words. Laughing until we cried. Wondering what was behind “Door #3”. Singing along to songs like: Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise” (me); Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” (me and Carter); Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (all); Toto’s “Africa” (RAD); and many others. More memories, but not enough space to tell.


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