Catalyst Day Two wrapup – Andy Stanley

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Catalyst 2009

The last speaker I want to share about from my Catalyst experience was Andy Stanley.  He was the first speaker for Catalyst and the one that wrapped things up.  Andy talked about cultivating a healthy staff culture.  Why?  Because,

Your church and your church culture should be the healthiest organizational culture in your city.

Here’s what Andy said it takes to creat a healthy staff:

Healthy people are attracted to healthy cultures.

Andy talked about the gap between what we expect of people and what they actually do and that ultimately we choose what goes in those gaps.  His emphasis was on the reality that our choice for those gaps will shape the culture of our organization.  The choices?  Assume the worst or believe the best.   Each of those choices have a powerful affect on the direction of organization culture.

According to Andy, there are two things that make it difficult for us to believe the best,  “What I see” and “Who I am”.  If someone consistently brings poor quality stuff to the table then you will always assume the worst.  Also, what you have experienced in terms of personal hurt or betrayal will influence what you choose for the gap.

The thing is, as Andy puts it, developing a culture of trust is critical to the health and success of your organization. Why?

  • Trust fuels Productivity – (the message of trust: I think you are smart enough to know what to do and how to do it).
  • Trust attracts trustworthy people and quickly surfaces those who AREN’T  (You will never know who you can’t trust until you trust them and you will never know who you can trust until you trust them.  Also, I liked this statement: Trusting is risky. Refusing to trust is riskier!
  • Trust enables an organization to move FASTER

Here’s a quote from Reggie McNeal that Andy shared,

Teams use trust as currency. If it is in short supply, then the team is poor. If trust abounds, the members of the team have purchase power with each other to access each other’s gifts, talents, energy, creativity, and love. The development of trust, then, becomes a significant leadership strategy.

The next point Andy made is that, developing a culture of trust BEGINS with the leader.

  • Trust and suspicion are both telegraphed from the leader throughout an entire department or organization.
  • When you can’t choose to trust, you must choose to confront (concealed suspicion poisons the entire relationship – the moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted *Mahatma Ghandi)  The consequences of confrontation are far less severe than the consequences of concealment.
  • To develop a culture of trust, leaders must be trustworthy.

To bring it all together Andy wrapped up by saying cultivating healthy organizational culture requires five commitments:

1. When there is a gap between what I expected and what I experienced, I will BELIEVE the best.

2. When other people assume the worst about you, I will come to your DEFENSE

3. If what I experience begins to erode my trust, I will come directly to you about it.

4. When I’m convinced I will not be able to deliver on a promise, I will inform you AHEAD of time.

5. When you confront me about the gaps I’ve created, I will tell you the truth.

Here’s some questions Andy left us with to help evaluate this in our own organization.  What answers would you give?

1. Are there people in your organization you have a difficult time trusting?

2. Is it your issue or theirs?

3. What can you do about your part?

4. What do you need to address with them about their part?

5. Who do you sense has a difficult time trusting you?

6. Why?

7. What can you do about it?

For another great write up of Andy’s talk see Kent Schaffer’s, “Andy Stanley on Creating a Healthy Work Culture“.  I’m coming close to the end of my notes on Catalyst.  There’s one more post I’ll be writing up on some of the fun stuff I saw at Catalyst.  Stay tuned!

Catalyst Day One – Getting Things Started and Andy Stanley

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Catalyst 2009


Well today was the first day of Catalyst.  Since this is my first year there everything is new to me.  And everything was WOW for me.  They really don’t spare any change in making this an unforgettable event.  At least I know now why the tickets are so much…

Anyway, today was a day full of incredible stuff that challenged, some stuff that was controversial and some holy moments too.  When trying to think, of a way to describe what Catalyst has been for me so far this is what I’ve come up with

What catalyst does is mix your mind and your heart together and adds a good helping of holy getupanddosomething

Yeah, that good.

One disappointment with catalyst was the unreliability of the wifi – I was really hoping to blog during the day so I wouldn’t have these late night posting sessions but it looks like I wasn’t alone in this.  Many of the official bloggers of catalyst were unable to get any kind of wifi connection either with both the in house arena wifi and at&t not playing nicely.  Still, blogs are getting written!  If I come across any I’ll post them at the end of each post I make on Catalyst.

What I’ve decided to do is write each post in a series so that they’re all linked together.  For each speaker I’m just going to write about the one (or maybe two) things that impacted me the most out of what they spoke.  I’ll also post links that I’m aware of at the time of posting to other coverage about that speaker. I’m not going to be writing a post on every speaker, partly because there are some that I just didn’t listen to (because I skipped out early to check out booths without the crowd swarm) and some I just didn’t hear (because I wear hearing aids and have tinnitus and my prayer for close captioning doesn’t get answered…one day! One day.)  Oh, and I should mention, if you’re following Catalyst you really need to bookmark Visit it and you’ll know why

A few remarks I’d like to make about the beginning of the event.  A woman (sorry, my recognizant abilities are not great) opened up catalyst with an amazing Hallelujah moment and of course FEEBAND came out ROCKING the house with some awesome worship.  I’ve read about this band and now I know why people around here love them.  I’m SOOOO glad the Catalyst package included some free downloads of their music!

Andy Stanley was the first speaker.  He shared from Joshua 5:13-15 and here was the biggest takeaway for me.

It’s really not about who’s for you or against you – it’s really about who you are for.

In other words, are you, am I willing to submit my skills, abilities, opportunities, my person to God and His bigger story?  God was in effect saying to Joshua, “I have not come to be a part of what YOU are doing.  I want YOU to become a part of MY story!”

When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”
“Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord ‘s army.”

Joshua 5:13-14

The commander of the Lord’s army answered, “Neither”.  Why?  Because it’s not about who’s your friend or who’s your foe.  It’s about who you are for.  Are you for God and His plan?  Is He Lord over your life?  Are you wanting His mark to be made through you or are you just wanting to make your piddly little mark?

Andy said that there is a statement on his Dad’s wall that has always stuck out with him – “God takes full responsibility for the life wholly devoted to Him”

Andy really hit home as he finished with this:

You need to settle once and for all why you do what you do and who your doing it for…Living to make my mark is to small a thing to give my life to…so, let’s give our lives to leaving His mark!

What a challenge!  And how liberating!  You don’t have to concern yourself with who’s for you or who’s against you – concern yourself with who YOU are FOR!!  And it better be Jesus.

(check out what Kevin, Brad, Jason, and  Kent,  have to say about Andy if you want to read more)