Today was the first day of our Catalyst activities. Because of wanting to save on money, we actually opted out of going to all the labs and instead purchased just the pre-labs and during the afternoon spent some time as team around the hotel area. It ended up being an incredible day for us to learn from the pre-labs and we got a chance to spend some quality time learning and talking with Chuck Bomar. This was my first time meeting Chuck and not only did I get a ton of great tidbits of wisdom, but he just seems to be a person who really embraces the things he's talking about and there is no question that he is someone who should be speaking into the lives of leaders all over of the country.
John Ortberg - Spiritual Formation - Pre-Lab Session
This was my first time ever getting to hear John Ortberg speak and I really had no idea what to expect; he really had a lot great to say. John had a lot to say about what he simply called "observations" about the process of spiritual formation.
Some of his big ideas, which were each filled with a ton of other great insights:
- There is a God, it is not you.
- Transformation requires at least as much grace as salvation does.
- Living in grace is learned behavior.
- Growth is hand-crafted not mass produced.
- God's desire is to create the best version of you.
One of the things I loved about what John spoke on, was that he made it clear that spiritual formation is not something that we do, but it is something that God does. He spoke of the gap between the person we are now and "Me 2.0" and how most of us see the gap as something that we need to close, but the reality is that it is something that God closes. He also spent a bunch of time talking about how much spiritual formation varies from person to person - we all don't need to just spend time journaling, that may not be how God wired us.
Reggie Joiner - Slow Fade - Pre-Lab Session
Reggie spent a chunk of time talking about the Slow Fade and the importance of us as ministry leaders to be sure that we are not making graduation our finish line. I appreciated Reggie's approach to the session; he essentially threw out some stats and some myths and gave it to us as some stuff to think about. Throughout the myths that Reggie essentially debunked he really tried to shift our thinking about College-Age, and basically all of ministry, outside of the box of programs and processes to relationships and mentoring.
The more and more I learn from some of the stuff being written about in College-Age Ministry the more I realize that even in my specific role as a Middle School Minister, it is critical for me to be intentional about my relationships with College-Age students and the relationships that I have with them.