Catalyst: Andy Stanley

So I guess the format that I’m going to pursue here is just break my Catalyst experience down session by session.

For my friends who weren’t able to make it, the theme was clearly. And it was pretty well-integrated throughout the conference.

The first speaker on Thursday morning was Andy Stanley. He’s the pastor at North Point Community Church in Atlanta. Definitely appreciated his insights on leadership; it was cool that he didn’t just go for “Here’s how Jesus led…” Here’s the deal:

The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men. Daniel 4:17b

I’m not super-sharp on my OT, so this was new to me. But its context was familiar. This is part of Daniel’s interpretation of the dream that haunted Nebuchadnezzar. Stanley presented it as the answer to “What will give us clarity in our leadership?” So why is this important?

When you say “follow me” you get attention. You become a center. So you need to keep a right view of things. So Stanley is going down the humility route, which is good… something that I feel pretty strongly about and struggle with now and then. And he had credibility there because from everything I know and have seen, he’s got a right view of the humility issue in his own leadership.

So what should we do about the inherent self-centeredness of leadership? The writing’s on the wall.

This is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. This is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians Daniel 5:25-28

The whole Nebuchadnezzar/Daniel thing demonstrates three things about leadership. It’s stewardship. It’s temporary. And you are accountable.

Stanley pulled three insights from this story. (You might need to go brush up on it; the insights might not directly connect with the parts of the story I typed.) But anyway, if this story is true…

  • Be Diligent
    • Your God has given you the “kingdom” you’re leading.
  • Be Fearless
    • Your God is sovereign over the “kingdom” you’re leading.
  • Be Humble
    • Love as your God loves, as you’re taking care of the “kingdom” you’re leading.

Bottom line: The story of Daniel interpreting dreams about God keeping Nebuchadnezzar in check should not scare us. It should absolutely liberate us!

So how do I apply this? Well, if you know me, and you’ve got suggestions, I’m all ears. Please, help me unpack all this! But here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Be Diligent
    • More discipline in stuff like chronic email-checking during the workday.
  • Be Fearless
    • Don’t get too caught up in worrying about reporting to people.
  • Be Humble
    • Adopt more of a God-dependence. My efforts will only get me so far.

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