So we had another creative meeting yesterday for Catalyst. Really fun ideas generated during the meeting. Plus we discussed in greater detail the theme of "together" for this years event. We met at the global headquarters of BigStuf, in the heart of downtown Alpharetta, GA, just across the street from the headquarters of Passion. Included in the meeting- Kevin Sterner, Reggie Joiner, Ben Arment, Lanny Donoho, Brian Pirkle, Ken Coleman, Jeff Shinabarger, Brian Cole, Jeremie Kubicek, Sheila Shouldeen, Melissa Kruse and myself. It is always a highlight to get together and dream big and think outside the box with our creative team. The reason we are so intensely focused on this is very clear for me- God demands our best, and everything we do is with excellence. "Our standard for excellence is not measured against others, it is measured by our overall potential." Thanks to Jeff Henderson for that quote.
Thought I would provide a list of some of the highlights and major areas we discussed:
1. Speaker flow and overall lineup- the lineup of speakers this year is off the charts, and will provide a great mix of Biblical leadership challenge, practical application, and outside the box learning.
2. Big idea brainstorming- we already have at least 20 good ideas that will be really fun and totally out of the box (something we strive for), and this is only our first official creative meeting of the year leading up to October. One key part of a good brainstorming environment- the response to any idea is always "yes" or "yes and" and is never "no" or "but" or "can't." The technical producers and operations minded people always have a hard time with this one!
3. Ben Arment is a great addition to the team. Ben brought some new creative energy to the team, and also provided great insight from a church planter, blogger and innovator perspective.
4. Theme discussion- the theme of "Together" makes for a great angle to provide some serious moments as well as really, really funny moments. There was smoke coming out of Lanny's ears the whole time due to his wheels turning.... Let's just say Lanny will be busy over the next several months working on some pretty cool stuff. Together is directly tied to the phrase "intentional about community" which is one of the 6 elements of a Catalyst leader, and so vital to the life and ultimate success of a leader. You can't finish well if you finish alone.
5. One of the very important angles to this entire year for Catalyst in general, and not just the event, is the reality that the power of the Catalyst community lies in those who are on the front lines of ministry. See the Catalyst Road Trip- the whole point behind traveling around the country visiting leaders is to hear their stories and allow others to learn from them. Many of these frontline next-gen leaders will never have a platform like the Catalyst stage, and we want to be a conduit for others to hear what they are doing. So if you've seen the Catalyst website or brochure or anything associated so far with this year, you might know that we are using almost 2,000 headshot pics from the Catalyst community to visualize this idea. So look for a continuation of this at the event- you will probably see your mug shot somewhere!
6. Overall experience- lots of discussion around the worship experience, the learning environment, creativity, and aesthetics, based on feedback from last year as well as what we are seeing and hearing currently. Look for a few surprises.