Getting to the Catalyst Conference
This past week, Rudy, Chad, and I made our way to Atlanta, GA, for the Catalyst Conference. If you want to know why we chose Catalyst, it's because we started listening to Francis Chan's podcasts (from Cornerstone Church - just click on Media and you can listen, too. Currently I have 217 of his podcasts on my iPod and have been listening to him while I run) and the guy has completely blown us away. So we started looking for a conference where Francis Chan would be speaking.
We found Catalyst.
Not only was Francis Chan there, but so was Andy Stanley, Chuck Swindoll, Malcolm Gladwell, Rob Freakin' Bell, Tony Dungy!, Priscilla Shirer (Tony Evans' daughter), Dave Ramsey... Wow.
So we headed to Atlanta. Not actually Atlanta, but somewhere in the outlying universe. Getting to Catalyst was actually a lot more difficult than it sounded. No, the flight was fine. As was the hotel, somewhere about an hour away from downtown Atlanta (which is a great place to have a convention). The problem in getting there came on Thursday morning, as we left our hotel, 7 miles from the arena, with only 1 hour to spare.
It took us that full hour to get there. At least we found a radio station that played ALL METAL ALL THE TIME.
There is something wrong with the picture of a Church that is trying to be a good steward of the environment all jumping in our cars from our hotels all over the place and converging on the Gwinnet arena, but sitting in a exhaust spewing traffic jam for an hour to do so. Then to get into the arena to find it absolutely packed out (and the ushers weren't being a lot of help - I don't know if they could have been)... we ended up finding some places to sit up in the nosebleed section (I didn't actually get a nosebleed. Oh, wait, I did. But that was at lunch and had nothing to do with the altitude).
It then took a while to get into what was going on, as worship had already begun, and the hosts were a little wacky and I'm not much on arena events anyway, but when Andy Stanley took the stage, all of the logistical problems went out the door.