The Tension is Good

Catalyst Conference was last week in Atlanta, Georgia.  It is a conference designed for church leaders.  Ultimately, it is to help inspire, rejuvenate, and encourage leaders to be a catalyst in sharing the gospel message in their city and world.

Host Reggie Joiner

Cove took some staff members, volunteers, and members.  I thoroughly enjoyed this conference…from the wonderful speakers to men being shot out of cannons to the booths of stuff to walkways filled with trampolines to seeing John Maxwell in the elevator–it was awesome!  The theme this year was “The Tension is Good!”  We explored the idea that living in the tension can be good, and sometimes tension is even needed.  It propels us forward.

The cannon

As I usually do for conferences, I am posting below my notes from the sermons ( I will star thoughts that are just mine).   My favorites were from Beth Moore, Francis Chan, Craig Groeschel, & T.D. Jakes. I hope you enjoy and will be a catalyst for change!


Andy Stanley- Lead Pastor for North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley

Appetites & Desires…we all have them.  Food, sleep, sex, to be loved, to be respected, to be successful, “more”  etc, etc.

Appetites of Leaders: -Progress -Responsibility -Respect -Win -Growth -Fame -Achievement -Envied

1- God created  them & sin destroyed them (appetites).

2- Appetites are never fully & finally satisfied.

3- Appetites always whisper “now” & never “later.”

Your ability to let them rule your life will determine the direction of your family life.

Inability to manage your appetite leads to destruction.

Genesis 25

-Birthright- given to the oldest, this is the judge of the family on punishments, blessing of God is given

Who would throw away their future for something as small & temporary as a bowl of stew?

-Why?  Because appetites are powerful

Chemicals are released when an appetite increases:

1-IMPACT Bias- magnifies appetite out of permeation; often seen in buyers remorse.

2-Focalism- Focus in on object

EVERYTHING would have been different is Esau had not of given in to his appetite….It would have been “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Esau.”

Nobody is there to “reframe” our appetites.

If you allow your appetite to dictate your leadership…destruction will happen.

10 years from now…what do you want to see God do?

What’s your bowl of stew?

You have no idea what God wants to accomplish through your life, your kids, your grandkids…etc.

Reframe and refrain.  Don’t trade it.


Scott Harrison- Charity: Water

80% of disease is from the contaminated water.

Water changes everything- health, dignity

1/100%          2/proof         3/design


Daniel Pink- Author of Drive & A Whole New Mind

*Every month the ministry heads read a book together and discuss it.  This month we are reading Drive.

We all have motivators.


1- Awards to get more of a behavior

2-Punishment to get less of a behavior

3- Pathway to get people to perform at a higher level

Studies show:   Larger reward = poorer performance  (if…then mentality)

Took 10 pieces of art that was commissioned works and  and 10 pieces that was on their own and the ones they did uncomissioned was better.

Creativity is better.

Fact: money is a motivator.

You need to pay them enough to take the issue of $ off the table.

1- autonomy- management is a technology to get people organized to get production.  Management is used to get compliance.

2- Mastery- desire to get better @ stuff; DIY performance reviews.

3- Purpose- A great man is a sentence (i.e.: Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery.). Do a couple things well.


Christine Caine- Author, Hillsong Church, & Founder of the A21Campaign

Christine Caine

We have passion deficiency syndrome.

Luke 15

The church has got to start “being” the church instead of just “doing” church.

We are to be a “spiritual GPS.”

People get lost because of responsibility.

People end up lost.

It is our job to get the lost and “reroute” them.

We have got to go to the highways and byways and help reroute them!

Luke 10- “and so he went”

No “buts.”

It is our responsibility to be a rescuer & show the way.

Light is made to dispel the darkness.

Stay at your post and on your watch.

Will there be lost people on this churches watch?

Ephesians 5:13


Rani Hong- Troni Foundation

After people are sex slaves and trafficked, they are left destitute and dying,…but God.

India is the #1 country for child labor.

Text- SLAVEFREE to 27138


Seth Godin- Blogger & Author of Tribes and Linchpin

The system requires you know the time.

There is a difference in what is & what you expect.

All that’s left is…to make a difference, to be grace-full, & to tell the truth.

CMO instead of CFO- Chief Movement Officer

People win because they create a movement. Example, Apple. Apple has the least amount of adds for technology all because they created an Apple movement.

Art vs. Painting

Art- Changes someone, is a gift, the act is the work, emotional labor

Painting- skill


Beth Moore- Author & Founder of Living Proof Ministries

Proverbs 3:21-26 (NLT)

vs. 26- “caught in a trap”

Fear & insecurity in leadership.

Insecurity- self conscious.

Instant scrutiny happens when you are a leader.

Everyone is published with out an editor (facebook, twitter, blogs).

Eat the thing before you tweet the thing.  Think it over.

I Corinthians 11:1

It won’t turn out the way you pictured it.

Does it matter what “it” is?

Being misunderstood is normal for pastors…but also makes them insecure.

It’s not just the bad press that makes you insecure…can you do better than what you just did?

Then there’s the insecurities of others.

How to overcome networking with their faces.

Sense of feeling threatened.

Pride is the graveyard of good leaders, and insecurity is the psych ward.

Insecurity is in your own head and eats away at your heart.

Proverbs 3:26

Security- trust, confidence in God, folly, stupidity with evil (Ecclesiastes 7:25 & Job 8:13-15)

Satan will do everything to make you ineffective if not quit.

Do we have the spirit that it takes  to stay?

Know who you are not.

We are miracle material.


Francis Chan- Cornerstone Church & Author of Crazy Love

Jeremiah 9:23

Isaiah 58

We say we think biblically, but do we really?

What is really weird?

Following a calling?

The church fought to keep slavery, had squint holes in church buildings for lepers, and sang louder when the Jews were being taken to the fume chambers…What today will be like that?

What/who is weird via scripture?

Does my life fit in this book?

1 John 3:16-18

Ezekiel 16:49

Jeremiah 22:16

Matthew 25:44-46

Luke 12:33

Luke 14:13

Romans 12:13

Psalm 37:25

Proverbs 19:17

Proverbs 28:27

Proverbs 21:13

John 9


Tad Agoglia- First Response Team of America (CNN)

We are here to bring order to the chaos when it’s needed.

Tad got a Masters in Theology, and he started a crane company.

Today is what you’ve got…do something.

Fear is combatted with passion and purpose.

Address fear but don’t let it hold you back.


Perry Noble- Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church

I Kings 17

We often think we don’t want to follow Him, but when we do, we are often thankful.

Do what the Lord told you.

We need to be spending more time on our face and less on facebook…you will be closer to God.

THE greatest things in your ministry are unexplainable.  If you can explain it, then it is not God.

Things happen because we are following Jesus.

I Kings 17:7

I Kings 18

God brought Elijah to chapter 17 so that he was prepared for chapter 18 and what was to come.

God is not punishing you; He’s preparing you.

Don’t give up when your by the brook.

God had to teach Elijah because…

-Elijah thought the brook was his supplier.

-However, God’s supply is never “dry.”


Gabe Lyons- Author of UnChristian & The Next Christians

Post Modernity- Scepticism towards certainty

Pluralistic- Christianity has dominated the square in public forum.

– That is no longer.

– How do we respond?

– Fight back? Fear? Accept the new norm?

Christian Interaction with Current Culture:

1.) Separatist- Not even in the world; Fall & redemption focus.

2.) Be Cultural- of the world

-The heart of the Gospel is to bring restoration.

-*Ministry of Reconciliation- talents and gift to restore

– Create culture- new generation

-Using talent and burden in our heart

– .orgs, blogs, trips, schools

-To understand that the people in our churches are working in the world.

3.) Army of people on mission

-We have to empower them

-That is when restoration, change, and movement happen.

9/10ths of downs syndrome children are aborted at 20 weeks.

Sometimes your calling finds you.

Isaiah 58:9

-Repair the broken walls.

-Restorer of streets to dwell in

-Need to understand what it is to “be” Christian.


Craig Groeschel-

Division is bad, but tension is good.

Energy and passion.

Older is to invest in the younger.  Believe in them.  Help pave the way.

Older Generation:

Not to resent, fear, or judge the next generation of ministers.

Consider it a calling to pour into them.

They are the church of TODAY.

Don’t get off on style.

Believe and invest.

If you are feeling insecure…nothing works, delegate authority.

Be real, it doesn’t matter if you are cool.

They crave realness.

If you are not dead then you are not done.

You are to be a spiritual dad or mom to the next generation.

Psalm 71:18

Younger Generation:

You need those ahead of you.

#1 word used to describe you…”entitled”

You were raised that way; it’s really not your fault; protected.

They feel things should be easy when they are challenged.

Overestimate- what God wants to do in the short term.

Underestimate- what God will do in the long run.

Think BIG into the long run.

How do I lead up? You always honor.

We need to work on showing honor.

Honor publicly, and influence them privately.

Love & invest + partner with honor = great things

Mark 6:4-6


Bishop T.D. Jakes- The Potters House

It says, “Go into all the world,” and we heard, “go into all your community!”

Speak to ALL people.

We are called to provide a solution to every crisis, but we only talk to our neighbors.

We have to be leaders that are willing to get out front and take a shot for the team.

We end up with a limited World View.

Ruth- she was inspired to go and to do.

Leading outside of our comfort zone.

Ruth was called to go to the middle of the field and not stay at the corner…

The church will become obsolete if we only work on the corner.

Jesus basically said, “On your mark get set go!”

Our job is to not allow anything or anyone around us to force us back into the corner.

If Ruth had stayed in the corner then she would of never met Boaz.  She has a divine appointment.

You can not change the world in the corner.

Emmanuel- God with US.

His glory is in the center for us to share in!

We have got to pull God out of the corner and put Him back in the center of the church where He belongs!

Greater is He who is in you, than He who is after you!

Are we armed with language that  meets the masses or is our language exclusive?

Who can you speak to?

-You can tell by who you draw in.

-Get in your cell phone and see if the people in there are like you.

Learn the language of the masses– men, women, young, old, ethnicity,…

If you always do what you’ve always done, then you will be where you’ve always been.

-Fish grow to the size of the tank you put them in.

-God wants to drop you in the ocean.

If people are always looking to you for answers, then you are the big fish in the tank…you need to get out.

This is the time to stretch and pull.

To be a great speaker, you need to be a great listener.

If you can’t listen spiritually, then you can’t speak spiritually.

There are people hungry to be known.

God won’t let sameness create. Fruit is born when differences come together.

* If you made it to the end of this some 1900 words, props to you! Go have a cookie because that was super long! 🙂


2 thoughts on “The Tension is Good

  1. nathanalbert says:

    That conference looked awesome! I’m really jealous you got to hear Seth Godin speak (actually, I’m jealous you got to hear all of those folks speak lol.) I must say you are quite the note-taking stud lol. I really enjoy reading your blog!

    • carolinehare says:

      It was really rejuvenating. Haha yeah, I can be like a sponge at times! Always soaking it up! Thanks for stopping by!

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