pumped up to take a flying leap of faith

This week has been an extremely full week of Christian/ church leadership conferences: Exponential Conference in Orlando, Gospel Coalition in Chicago, and Catalyst West Coast in Irvine, California. All of that adds up to many hours of inspirational and motivational speeches.

I attended my first Catalyst conference, which ended a few hours earlier, and undoubtedly the most highly-charged energetic kind of Christian leadership event I’ve ever attended. I do love going to these events to meetup with people in person and not so much to attend the sessions — I buy the recordings for the content. I can always get the content plus have the ability to rewind and review, whereas being able to talk with people face-to-face is irreplaceable.

I did hear several of the messages, and sure it moves me to do something. Everything grabs my attention. Everything is urgent. Everything is so compelling. Everything is so good.

Kinda feels like being drawn and quartered. It’s a tough call to choose the one that God has for me, and that is not everything. I can’t do it all.

Plus, It’s less easy for me because I don’t think of myself as a natural born leader, or an organizational leader type. It seems to me that most, if not all, of these platformed Christian leaders are driven Type-A goal-oriented entrepreneurs who have launched their own organizations. So when I hear them, it takes an enormous effort for me to translate all of that into something that could work for me.

Sure, God can do it all. And I could take a flying leap of faith and “trust God” blindly. The impulsive and spontaneous me would love to sell all and follow Jesus, to jump into a new endeavor with full abandon and see the hand of God move. But, that naive leap would hurt me badly. Been there. Done that.

I confess I haven’t figured it out. And I have to keep leaning into God to walk by faith and not by sight. No leaping. Just walking.

Aside: the audios and videos from The Gospel Coalition 2009 are online already and free to listen and watch! One of my favorites is Tim Keller’s The Grand Demythologizer: The Gospel and Idolatry.

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14 Responses

  1. allanwhite says:

    DJ – great post, gonna re-read this in the morning. You're on to something.

  2. djchuang says:

    Role models are a big part of what shapes us as people, and as leaders. So, if during a leadership conference, we only hear from entrepreneural leaders of large churches, while that is very motivational and energizing, I also wonder about how that shapes the rest of us who are not entrepreneural, not large church pastors, not conference speakers.

  3. allanwhite says:

    I think you've nailed something I was feeling in the back of my mind. It's a very narrowly-focused conference. I really enjoyed hanging back with you guys and just getting to know you all – there's not enough networking time, with so many wall-to-wall, high-powered personalities.

    It'd be really interesting to hear from the Catalyst team on how they would describe their audience and goals. It's certainly not targeted at guys like me, although I got a lot out of it as a church planter, worker, and ministry supporter.

    Who are your role models, personally or professionally?

  4. Tim Liu says:

    Hi DJ, I went to Catalyst last year and really enjoyed it. But I definitely felt the longing to be just 1/100 as charasmatic and inspiring as any of those guys, and the feeling of wanting to go home and build a BIGGER and BETTER and MORE EXCITING (flashy) church and wrestled with that.

    But from what I have seen from this year's conference is that it seems like a lot of the speakers really went deeper to the heart issues and brought it back home to personal character and dependence on God, which is awesome, and is lived out in the lives of many of those speakers. Reading the notes from Francis Chan's message really hit me, especially this part.

  5. Joe says:

    I wasn't at Catalyst, but I know the feeling. Any conference in fact drains me. So many ideas, so many powerful speakers, so many new shiny objects to think about. Ironically I often feel paralyzed instead of energized and moved to decisive action.

  6. Jim says:

    that's a good way to twist an ankle, by leaping. i'm a mulcher and processor.

  7. Jim says:

    i'm not in any of those scenarios, at the moment. i am large, however…lol.

  8. Dan says:

    You can go ahead and leap. I will catch you.

  9. benboles says:

    DJ,

    I know what you mean. I've never considered myself the Type-A personality most of the church planting orgs say you need to be. The problem is that God doesn't always call Type-A's to be leaders in His church and we can't deny His call on our lives. I'm with you, it's time to take the leap of faith and follow God where ever He leads with out Type-B personalities.

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