Don't Be Average

Are you just being average? In your job? In your family? Your friendships? Your community? Your Church? Are you typical? common? ordinary? all right? common? decent? moderate? All common synonyms of average. Yuck.

Don't be that person who just does enough to get buy and keep your job for one more day. Don't be that person who everyone says, "yeah, it was an ok presentation, nothing out of the ordinary." Don't be that person who is the last option when it comes to helping out or volunteering because you have a reputation for just showing up but not helping out. Don't be that person who your boss or employer has to painstakingly consider every quarter whether to have a sit down conversation about your performance.... "I like you Bob, but your performance and contribution to the team is just average." Don't be that.

There are way too many average people. Right now, get up, straighten up, stand up, and do something extraordinary. Something outstanding. Make today remarkable.

A Great Story of Unity in Portland

Portland City Fest This is a great story, and a great example of how the Church, the body of Christ, should be the Church. The festival took place in August in Portland, and around 190,000 attended the two day event. Now they are working on service projects throughout the city- in partnership between the local city government, schools, churches, and the Luis Palau Association. Inspiring. Thanks to our good friend Kevin Palau for leading the charge on this.

Read all of the story from a recent article in Christianity Today. It is worth your time.

Give Poverty a Swift Kick- 50,000 shoes in 50 Days

728x90 pixels It's time to give poverty a swift kick with 50,000 pairs of shoes!

This is the 50,000 Pairs of Shoes in 50 Days challenge. Today is the day. We want to raise enough money to purchase 50,000 pairs of shoes in 50 days. Go to

$5 buys 2 pairs of shoes. I just bought 10 pairs of shoes online, so get involved now by going here and buy some shoes today. 

And anyone who donates will be entered to win a trip to Mexico to personally deliver their shoes to someone who has never had shoes before. 

The organization behind this effort is Soles4Souls, and was featured on Friday in USA Today. 

Let's help those in need. And feel free to link here or to put a similar post up on your site TODAY. We want as many blogging about it as possible. 

A Few Highlights

- Had coffee yesterday with Dave Travis from Leadership Network. Always great catching up with Dave. He is an expert in the church leadership world and knows everybody. Really excited about the Innovation Conference that Leadership Network is hosting in late January in Dallas. Make sure to check it out. It will be a completely different kind of event.  - Lunch earlier in the week with Jeanne and Jarrett Stevens. Jarrett is on staff at North Point, and Jeanne is a writer, communicator, pastor, and hosts all of the Youth Specialties events. Great couple with great thoughts regarding the church and how to engage your neighbors and community. Talked about some fun ideas to work on together in the future. 

- The election has come and gone. Barack Obama won in case you missed it.....

- Had dinner with Mark Sanborn on Thursday night in downtown Atlanta. Mark is the best-selling author of The Fred Factor and numerous other books, a past speaker at Catalyst, and was the emcee of the Maximum Impact Simulcast for many years. Always good to catch up with Mark. He is on the road constantly speaking, and just recently released a new book called The Encore Effect. Highly recommended. 

- Just under two weeks until the first Catalyst One Day event in Granger, IN. The staff at Granger has been amazing to work with. It's no surprise- Granger Community Church is the REAL deal, and their staff is the reason for being such an attractive church body for people in the Granger area. 

- Oklahoma scored 66 points today on Texas A and M. Wow. 

- Had Lanny Donoho over to the office on Tuesday and we recorded an interview for an upcoming Catalyst Podcast. Lanny is working on a number of new projects..... check out their new Big Stuf media site, and make sure to watch the Happy Together video that we showed at Catalyst. 

- There are 46 days until Christmas, and people are already putting up Christmas lights. And the commercials have already started, promoting Christmas specials. Honestly. It's too much. We should all be reminded of what's really important at Christmas. Join the Advent Conspiracy campaign.

What's On Your Ipod

OK, I am a major music fan. Of all types- worship, classic rock, rap, 80's, classical, country, etc.

So let me know what is currently on your IPOD or in your CD player in your car. 

For me, here are a few recent songs/albums:

1. Together album- album is entitled "songs for the soul." this is a 5 person female group with great harmonies singing classic hymns and modern worship songs. You need to buy this album immediately.

2. Lift High- Eddie Kirkland. Awesome stuff. 

3. If You're Out There- John Legend. 

Rating the Election Coverage

Hands down, best coverage of the entire political season over the last several months has been CNN. Their use of technology, the flow of their programming, and the quality of their panels and hosts are far superior to any other network.  In regards to coverage of Election Day, CNN still was hands down better. A distant 2nd was Fox News. And coming in a lagging third was NBC. 

CBS and CNBC get an honorable mention. ABC was not even close.

Hologram Technology

It is 7:15 pm EST on Tuesday night, election night of 2008. CNN just introduced Hologram Technology by beaming Jessica Yellin live from Chicago at Hyde Park at Obama's campaign party headquarters. She is having a conversation with Wolf Blitzer. Pretty amazing how clear and life like she is. First time to ever use Hologram Technology on Live TV. Reminds me of Princess Leah from Star Wars when she was beamed through R2D2 to Luke Skywalker with a special message. Wolf is already making jokes about hologramming in Roland Martin in the future- Wolf is a prankster!

What is ironic about this.... our team just visited with a local company here in Atlanta today about hologram technology, and how we might use it in the future with events. 

In retrospect, we wanted to use Hologram Technology this past year at Catalyst, but it is tough to pull off in a 360 stage setup. We'll see what happens in the future.

Oklahoma Football

You can take the boy out of Oklahoma, but you can't take Oklahoma out of the boy. A few shots from the homeland and center of the known universe- Norman, Oklahoma.  Got to attend the OU - Nebraska game on Saturday. 35-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. Ended up 62-28. Oklahoma win. Boomer Sooner.


A Great Story

Take time this weekend to read this article

A great story regarding Courtney Hawkins- a story of hope and leadership regarding a struggling high school football team, a poverty stricken community in Michigan, and a former ex NFL player looking to re-establish pride, a program, and winners in his hometown. 

Thanks to Joshua for turning me on to this great story.

Young Influencers List- October edition

Here it is, the October edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see the archives here. In no particular order:

1. Daley Hake- talented musician and photographer from CA. Check out his work and some recent shots he took at Catalyst. He makes Carlos Whittaker look like a runway model! Daley- help me!

2. Steven Furtick- you've probably already heard about Steven and the incredible work happening at Elevation Church in Charlotte. Make sure to subscribe to his Sermon podcast. Prepare to be challenged. 

3. Justin Dillon- visionary and Director of the recent rockumentary Call and Response. Also a musician and former member of the band Dime Store Prophets. His work in fighting sex trafficking and slavery is inspiring.

4. Danielle Bennett- Virginia native, a Junior at USC (that's Southern Cal), and the most recent addition to the Catalyst team- our West Coast Catalyst intern. Danielle is gonna be president of something substantial someday. 

5. Aaron Keyes- gifted worship leader, and a fresh voice to worship leaders all over the world. Aaron has forgotten more scripture than I can remember. His approach to leading worship is fresh and extremely Biblical. 

6. Jonathan Bostic- if you need motion graphics, amazing videos, or just basic branding/graphics, Bostic is your man. Jonathan did the recent opening video and motion graphics display on the screens at Catalyst. He also helps out with Orange Conference, Passion Conferences, and does work with several bands and musicians.

Who to Vote For?

Yeah, I've already decided who I am voting for in this upcoming election. However, I don't think it is my responsibility to tell everyone via blog, email, facebook, podcast or any other medium whom YOU should vote for.  This was the context of Kevin Myers teaching this morning at 12 Stone. In 20 years of the existence of 12 Stone Church, he has never even preached on politics. And he wasn't about to tell anyone who to vote for, or which party to line up with today. But, he did lay the wood down in regards to how we as Believers should view this election, and our involvement in politics in general. His main points:

- Jesus is bigger and greater and much more highly ranked in the "Kingdom" than the President of the US. 

- The Church is bigger and greater and much more highly ranked in the "Kingdom" than America. 

- Our primary (1st) citizenship as a follower of Christ is the Kingdom of God. With this citizenship comes platform. 

- Our secondary (2nd) citizenship as humans is to our country- in my case the United States of America. With this citizenship comes "pallet," meaning that it is important and provides influence, but when you put a wooden pallet on a platform, it doesn't compare. 

- We have to be aware of the difference between rights and responsibilities in both the Kingdom of God and here in our country. Focusing on RESPONSIBILITIES is more important. We have lost that in our country. We tend to focus today much more on "what is my right?". 

- Daniel is a great example of how to be properly involved in both the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of man. 

- God doesn't need our country. God has worked, and the Kingdom of God has continued to prevail, whether in dictatorships, democracies, communist regimes, or whatever political system. 

- Ultimately, he challenged everyone to do their homework, vote based on God's values, and pray. Three good steps.

Weekend review

- Oklahoma can score at will, but can't stop anyone on defense.  - Oklahoma State might be the best team in the state of Oklahoma this year. It pains me to admit that.

- Flying to the west coast and back in a matter of 48 hours is tough on the old body.

- Fall has officially arrived in Georgia this week, with temperatures down in the low 40's. 

- You can find some great interviews, articles, and videos on the American Express Open Forum site. Several featuring Seth Godin and Tom Peters

- I am joining the ranks of phone hipsters today by purchasing the 3G iphone. Yessir!

- Chad Johnson from the Catalyst team officially got engaged to Kim Williams on Wednesday night at Pebble Beach. Way to go Mr. Johnson!

- Hulu now has most major tv shows on their site that you can watch on demand.

West Coast Fever

Got to hang with some friends from the West Coast earlier this week. Mike Foster, Jud Wilhite, Eric Bryant, Charles Lee, Mike Erre, David Chrzan, Kyle Zimmerman, Kym Andrews and many others. Also got to see a great ministry up close. Attended Generate on Wednesday night, a high school and college ministry in southern California at Crossroads Church in Corona, CA. Tony Wood, who leads this ministry, has captured the attention of students in this area. Over 1,500 were in attendance on Wednesday night, with great worship, challenging teaching from Tony, and connection with each other. It reminded me of 7:22 here in Atlanta during its early years. Tony is doing an incredible job. Stay tuned to this influential ministry.