The theme for Catalyst this year is "Tension is good."  Andy Stanley opened up the conference and in typical Andy Stanley fashion had incredible insight into the tensions that we must manage as leaders.

Appetite was a large focus of this session; as leaders we are constantly looking for more.  We are doing something and always looking to what's next, what's bigger, what else we can do.


3 Things You Need to Know about Appetites:

1. God created them, sin destroyed them.

2. Appetites are never fully and finally satisfied.

3. Your appetites always whisper NOW, never LATER.



As leaders the appetites we have and the things that we desire need to constantly be kept in check.  Because the danger for us is that we let the current desire to take so much focus that we aren't able to step back and look at what God wants for our lives.  Andy talked about the story of Jacob and Esau.  He told the story of Jacob and Esau and Esau trading his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.  He asked the question what if the story of the Bible, the genealogy of Jesus spoke of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Esau instead of Jacob.  But instead Esau changed all that by trading his birthright for a bowl of stew!  What are the bowls of stew in our own lives?

Andy closed the session by challenging us to look into the future of our lives.  To look at the things we desire for our lives 10 years from now.  What do we hope our marriages are like?  What do we hope our ministries look like?  What do we hope our life looks like?  And when we start to clearly look at what we hope for our lives, we can reframe our appetites.  And the importance of doing this comes from the fact that it is easier for us to get so focused on what we want now and the reality of our hopes and God's hopes for our future get blurred out.  We often don't care how great our future should be and are more concerned with the fact that we are hungry now.

We have no idea what God wants for our lives, so when we reframe our appetites we help protect ourselves from trading something important, like our marriages, for a "bowl of stew."