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Catalyst 2011 Andy Stanley: Be Present

Can't know everyone? "Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone."

BE PRESENT. That's the theme for Catalyst 2011. I love the theme. I've spent most of my life learning how to show up—I mean really show up—and be present to God, my own heart, and of course people—church people, lost people, happy people, anguished people. But how do you pull that off, especially given the frenzied demands of ministry? Andy Stanley opened the day by offering one small step on the journey of being present.

He started with a simple premise: "The more successful you are, the less accessible you will be." For instance, now that my senior pastor oversees 1,000 people, he can't be accessible to everyone. Given this reality, Stanley says we have two options: (1) Ignore it and burn out being accessible to everyone; or (2) Face it and hide yourself from everyone. But here's a hard-edge truth of ministry: we can't shut out all the needs around us but we can't take them all on either. According to Stanley, that's the fundamental tension of ministry—a tension you'll never resolve. ...

May/June
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