When I hear the word “catalyst” the first thing I think of is chemistry. A catalyst is something that helps start a reaction but isn’t consumed by it. Perhaps the creators of the Catalyst Conference (http://www.catalystspace.com/events/east ) had this in mind. The conference seeks to “create ‘change agents’ throughout the church that possess wisdom and understanding, the opportunity is created to usher in the necessary adjustments to an ever-evolving church.” (from the Catalyst website). The conference featured speakers like Andy Stanley, Seth Godin, Gabe Lyons, Beth Moore, TD Jakes, and a bunch of other great and interesting people.
Tyndale was a sponsor of the 2010 Catalyst conference and several employees attended, including myself. We all had different goals, but mine was mostly to man our booth where we had some great books and Bibles displayed. Here are some highlights:
– Labs – The day before the main conference started in the arena there were smaller sessions with more focused topics being discussed. I was able to get away from our booth and attend a talk Jon Acuff was giving. He’s the creator of the “Stuff Christians Like” (http://stuffchristianslike.net/) blog and author of the book Stuff Christians Like. He had some really great points on creating good stories and using stories as an impacting tool.
– Project 7 was one of the exhibitors, they had several booths around the arena and they gave away free coffee throughout the entire conference. They are doing some great work, check out their website – http://www.project7.com/
– Meeting great people: With all the work going through email, Twitter, and Facebook, it was nice to get to talk and meet with people face to face. Electronic communication is great, but it can never replace the feeling of a firm handshake, shared laughter, or a question answered face to face.
– Giving away books: Many people were excited about the new Tony Dungy book The Mentor Leader and asked about purchasing it. We weren’t able to sell books at this conference, but we did take names and will be sending out some signed copies to some random lucky winners. Beth Moore was a speaker at the conference and we’ll be giving away a few signed copies of her book, So Long, Insecurity, to some random booth visitors as well.
– Seth Godin: The first name that popped out to my while preparing for Catalyst was Seth Godin. I often read his blog and recently read his book Linchpin, and was excited to hear him speak. He is one of those people that after you hear him speak you just want to get to work right away at being a world changer.
– One of the most picked up books at our booth was Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask by Mark Mittelberg. Lots of young leaders are very interested in different perspectives on tough questions that are often avoided. You can read more about the book here – http://www.tyndale.com/The-Questions-Christians-Hope-No-One-Will-Ask/9781414315911
– NLT: We got lots of great comments about the NLT. Lots of people expressed how much they love the clarity of the translation. A few even commented that it helped to revive their Bible reading.
My favorite moment from Catalyst courtesy of Chick-fil-A
And we can’t forget the human cannonball…