Well, it's our first day in Atlanta. We rolled in about 3:30am today (losing an hour to the Eastern time zone) and with little sleep managed to climb out of bed at about 9:30am. Then it was off to the Catalyst Labs. There were a total of three sessions, each with a different speaker. I must say that all three sessions were decent, but by far the best speaker of the day was Len Sweet. He was very articulate - VERY intellectual, and very challenging. He analyzed the marketing (image) strategy of Starbuck's Coffee and made a great comparison that business is using strategies and ideas that are straight from the Bible. As a church, however, we are failing to use the very things that make companies like Starbucks extremely successful. It was very interesting.
I took two things away from his conversation. Number one, even though this is a leadership conference, Christ called us to "follow Him" and not lead. In order to be great leaders we first have to be great followers. Or in Sweet's words, it's not about discipleship, but followership. Secondly, we must open our eyes and look for "God" moments, or the study of semiotics (spellling?). This is basically looking for the "signs" that God is present. And not just looking for them but then knowing what to do once you find them. That, Sweet states, is the same concept that Starbucks has used successfully for years. Knowing the signs of their business, identifying them, and then knowing what to do with them. A great discussion for the short hour period.
There were two other speakers, but none that were as captivating as Sweet. I will add however, that the evening session featured one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) who was as witty as his writings. If you haven't checked out his books, I encourage you to do so. You won't be disappointed.
Tomorrow begins the main sessions in the big arena. Many, many talented authors and speakers to appear tomorrow, so I am off to bed to recoup from my day. More updates later!!