Catalyst Day Two – Dave Ramsey, “The Momentum Theorem”

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Catalyst 2009

Catalyst – Day Two got off to another incredible start.  I had decided I’d get up early and get to the doors about one and a half hours before the official start (wanted to make sure I got a good seat again) and was incredibly surprised to find that about 1000 other people got up earlier than me!  NUTS!  Nevertheless, I still got a good seat (I actually managed to snag the same seat I had the day before).

Among the speakers for Day two was Priscilla Shirer, Dave Ramsey, Chuck Swindoll, Louie Giglio and Andy Stanley.  There were also interviews from other folks including Margaret Feinberg.  The interview with Margaret was kind of neat because it kind of came across as a commercial for her new book – in a way it was but then Reggie Joiner announced that this was not a marketing ploy – they wanted to interview Margaret for the book because every attendee from Catalyst was getting a free copy of “Scouting the Divine“,  even better, the upper section of the stadium (where I was sitting) were to get signed copies.  Kind of neat, I’m looking forward to reading the book!

As I stated in the first post in this series, I’m not going to blog on every speaker at Catalyst but only the ones that made a significant impact on me.  Next up is Dave Ramsey.  Dave introduced a concept called the Momentum Theorem, here’s the notes:  (Oh and by the way, I was thinking about an article I wrote about keeping momentum a while ago while listening to Dave speak – feel free to check it out!)


  • When you have momentum, you LOOK – better than you are. When you don’t have momentum you ARE better than you look.
  • MOMENTUM is created. It does not randomly occur.

Definition of Momentum: Focused Intensity, over Time, multiplied by God, equals Unstoppable Momentum!


Focus is lost for two reasons – FEAR and GREED

“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways – James 1:8

Focus means you don’t look at anything outside of what you’re focused on

Rick Warren calls focus being INTENTIONAL

Stephen Covey calls focus being PROACTIVE


Pour intensity into things that really MATTER

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might – Ecclesiastes 9:10

Intensity causes things to MOVE

Over Time

“If I persist long enough, I will WIN” –Og Mandino

Run the race in such a way as to win the prize – 1 Corinthians 9:24

The TORTOISE wins the race every time.

Multiplied by God

You and I are finite. God is INFINITE

He is in CHARGE, and He carries you in the palm of His hand.

What is impossible with men is possible with God. – Luke 18:27

Get PLUGGED in to Him as a power source, and your momentum will become unstoppable!

Find out what God is doing and get in on it – Henry Blackaby

To wrap up, what impacted me the most with what Dave had to say?  What he said about intensity.  I consider myself a pretty intense guy but sometimes I get intense about the wrong things.  It’s okay to be intense but it’s better to be intense with what really matters.

Keeping Momentum

Momentum is a tricky thing.  It can be positive or negative.  Positive momentum is movement forward in the right direction, negative momentum is moving in the wrong direction.  Positive momentum leads to growth, negative momentum leads to death.  The more momentum there is the quicker either will happen.

Every organization has momentum – I really don’t believe there is any such thing as the “status quo”.  When you are maintaining the “status quo” all you’re really doing is slowing negative momentum.  Here’s the thing – negative momentum happens when you do nothing.  Positive momentum takes a lot of energy to get going and a constant addition of energy to keep it going.  The key to keeping positive momentum is to focus your energy on the right things:

  • Identify the momentum killers in your organization and deal with them. Quickly.  The sooner you do so, the longer the positive momentum will continue and the less energy you’ll expend to keep it going.  This requires the ability to see down the road and anticipate the things that might slow your positive momentum.
  • Identify the momentum builders and release them.  Ask the question, “What is keeping my momentum builders from building?”
  • Don’t get caught in the trap of “maintaining” the momentum.  That is the biggest killer of positive momentum.
  • Do “maximize” the momentum – what is the momentum enabling you to do?  If it enables something that builds on where the momentum has brought you then go for it.