I promised on Monday that I would write some about the Catalyst conference later this week. I think the best way to do this is just to tell you what I thought were some of the highlights from the speakers.
One guy we got to hear that really challenged me was Craig Groeschel. Craig is the pastor of lifechurch.tv in Oklahoma. His church was named by Outreach magazine as one of the most innovative churches in the country last year. Craig spoke about practical atheism. A practical atheist is anyone who believes God exists but does life as if He does not exist. He talked about how often times we as pastors say we believe God exists but then we do ministry as if He doesn't. According to Craig these are three we ways we can test if we are a practical atheist or not:
1. We start to believe that our effort is better than God's power.
Too often I believe that if I just work harder Freedom will reach more people.
2. We believe that our private life doesn't effect our public ministry.
When I hear this, I automatically think of "big sins" like adultery or stealing money, but Craig emphasized how things we think are small (negative attitudes, prejudices, etc.) also affect what you do in public.
3. We believe we must please people more than we please God.
That's a big one for me. I just want to be liked is that so wrong? It is when being liked by people keeps you from doing what God has clearly said you should do.
Craig challenged us to be sure we weren't becoming full-time ministers and part-time followers of Christ. God wants to do a work in my life, I need to be sure and let Him.