I’m attending the Catalyst Conference this week and the theme is “The Tension is Good.”  We’ve heard some phenomenal speakers and information that has challenged, affirmed and inspired me in my journey and my ministry.  The whole idea of managing, maneuvering and embracing tension in life and ministry is completely relevant…and biblical.

Does that mean that everything I have heard so far is readily applicable to my situation?  No.  The various presenters and perspectives serve to begin dialogue and spark thinking that is innovative and, well, catalyzing!  For example, are there applications in the business model describing “motive” that Daniel Pink presented which apply to ministry?  Some say “no.”  I say, “More than meets the eye.”  (I’ll expand on that in another blog).  Are there things that I’ve heard and will hear that I will say….”Eh, ok, but not much application to where I am or what I’m doing?”  Yes.  But even those things can serve a purpose.  All of this information serves to S T R E T C H us.  When we listen with a broader mind we allow ourselves to begin to think and apply principles outside the box.  We see possibilities rather than limitations.  My creativity expands and I allow the tension between where I am and where I could be to S T R E T C H me.

Our staff spent Wednesday, the day before the start of the conference proper, in planning retreat and dialogue.  The majority of our interaction centered around being S T R E T C H E D in ways and directions that reflect a demand for cultural awareness and ministry transformation.  It was time well spent as we S T R E T C H E D one another, S T R E T C H E D our paradigm and let the power of Scriptural application to culture S T R E T C H us.   The tension truly is good and our intention is that we see God’s hand at work as we emerge from that process with fresh passion for what He’s called us to do.

Like after a tense physical workout, my spiritual muscles may be a little sore, but “no pain, no gain, right?”

How are you being stretched in life and ministry?  Do you have one or more people around you who stretch you?  Do you need to find someone?

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