Hello friends. Hope you’re all doing well. I was sick for a couple days but I’m feeling better now.
I think I was running on empty and my body just gave out. But after sleeping for like two days straight … all is good. Anyways, for my 5 Things Tuesday this week I’m basically just going to recap my Catalyst experience - which is good because I actually need to sit down and debrief the event. So much information at once. Reflecting will be good.
1 ATF FOR ADULTS - I’ve gone to and participated in so many Acquire the Fire events that conventions like Catalyst is something of a norm to me. Like, duh, it’s a conference. Speakers, worship, funny skits, great Emcees. Etc etc. But honestly, I haven’t gone to anything like that in ages - and I think I really needed this. Well, I did go to The Awakening Conference last August and I called it ATF for Adults back then too.
But the nice thing about Catalyst is that it’s a Christian Leadership conference. And I love learning. I love listening. I love collaborating with other people who love God. And so this was probably one of the BEST things I ever could go to. I pretty much just soaked in every moment. The classes, the sessions, the meal time in between. I’m so glad I got to go.
2 FAVORITE SPEAKERS - Some of my favorite speakers were there. And there were new people there that totally rocked me with the words they spoke. If you ask me who my favorite speaker was, I’d say “Jon Acuff … oh wait, Don Miller was awesome too … but David Platt was amazing! and well … Bob Goff was hilarious”
And well, there was just too many good moments that you can’t really pinpoint your favorite. It was just awesome to be around all these thought leaders and worship leaders and creative leaders in one place.
3 MEETING PEOPLE - I actually had the chance to meet people at Catalyst. And that was probably a huge highlight of the event. I got to meet Jeremy Cowart (who is one of my favorite photographers) and for bonus Caitlin Crosby was there too (she is a rad musician who also founded The Giving Keys). I also met Promise Tangeman (who is an incredible graphic designer and blogger).
There were also people I saw who I know via Instagram and Twitter/blogs that I felt awkward to be like “hey, I know you. I just want to shake your hand” - but still was awesome to be like I know that person and that person and that person.
I did shamelessly eavesdrop on a conversation next to me with Jon Acuff and Baker Books. It was cool to be like “oh that’s how publishing magic is made.” Honestly, their conversation didn’t seem so far-fetched to me since I came from the RELEVANT world.
4 BEING PRESENT - The entire event had a message: “BE PRESENT” - I can’t capture everything I learned about being present in one sentence, because the idea behind it is so important. It’s about being present in the moment, living in the now, embracing those around me and engaging in life around me. Not to be dwelling on the past, or worrying about the future. But it’s also not about documenting all of life for social media when the most important audience is right there with you.
I definitely was challenged to turn off my phone (or actually put it in airplane mode) to just cut myself off from the constant Twitter/Facebook/Instagram activity I was used to.
Honestly, I felt encouraged and kind of free from that constant updating. It’s kind of like when I fasted blogs during Lent. Just un-cluttering the clutter for now. Being in the now. That’s what’s important.
5 TAKE-AWAY - There was so much that I got to take away. Besides the amazing messages spoken and the chance to meet people, I got some resources that will equip me. I’m really excited to read “Quitter” by Jon Acuff (as soon as I finish Hunger Games). I also got to watch a free screening on “Blue Like Jazz” (there are a few scenes that I seriously laughed out loud - like that one scene where he’s attacking the PT Cruiser with his armor. So funny!).
I actually walked away with tons of books and notes about things I want to follow up on and learn more about. Donald Miller talked about a new book that he’s working on, so I’m excited about that. And Andy Stanley was also an amazing speaker - I’d like to read more about what he has to say.
I also got to see Gungor, All Sons & Daughters, and Josh Garrells live - all AMAZING. Like seriously, AMAZING. Also, Tripp & Tyler were hilarious. Seriously hilarious.
All in all - Catalyst was a GREAT EVENT. And I definitely would love to go again.