When was the last time you went on a hot date that was all about learning together?

Thanks to the generosity of some Atlanta friends, both my wife and I were both able to attend the Catalyst Leadership Conference in Atlanta. Those unfamiliar with the conference can explore its history here. Brad Lomenick and the Catalyst team did a phenomenal job with an event that was both entertaining and intensely enlightening.

Our favorite part of Catalyst 2012? An unannounced and nonchalant appearance by Michael W. Smith to lead worship.

Trust me. That's Smitty on the keyboard beneath the giant K at Catalyst 2012.

Add to that an earth-harp. 

A marriage proposal. The Dan Deacon app (you have to see this one).

Connecting with other leaders and bloggers. Sharing Starbucks coffee across the street at Krogers. And cheap chinese food for lunch.

Most unexpected? A surprise appearance by Justin Bieber’s mother.

Oh, and the speakers were excellent. We went to Atlanta praying for God to give us some affirmation about our decision to relocate there ASAP to better position ourselves for ministry. I still think some of my Atlanta friends tipped off Andy Stanley about our faith walk because his opening talk seemed targeted directly at us.

Some of the Andy Stanley’s most memorable lines.

“Info and insight alone do not a leader make.”

Leadership is made by how we respond to:

  • Unexpected opportunity
  • Unavoidable adversity
  • Unquestionable calling

“When you tell your story, you’ll tell about a period of time when you had to wrestle [one of those three things] to the ground.”

“This needs to be a story worth telling!”

“The greatest thing you may do as a leader may not be what you do but who watches you do what you do.”

“It’s better to make a difference than to make a point.”

There was much more, of course, at Catalyst 2012 Atlanta that I hope to share in the coming weeks. But the best part was sharing it with my wife and hearing stuff that made us both laugh at how it seemed exactly what we needed.

Talk about a hot date! Learning AND loving!! Who could ask for anything more? Well, she did mention something about going to  Hawaii, but I don’t really recall what that was all about.

Have you had a hot date like we had at Catalyst 2012 in Atlanta where the two of you learned together? Share your story with a comment here so we can all grow. 

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