Almost two weeks later and I'm just now beginning to digest the impact of a conference called Catalyst. Honestly, before Brad [the guy who runs the entire show] called us in June, I really didn't know much about it. Now, I can't stop talking about it. It is by far the best conference for church leaders I've ever seen. It isn't a conference that promotes one "style" or "brand" over the other, it's just a conference to refresh, renew and challenge the leaders of today's churches. In fact, it even challenged us.
They invited Austin to do an interview onstage and it was an incredible time and honor to be there. In fact, after the interview, they hired a professional dunk team to do some entertainment and pledged $1000 per shot that they made. They ended up donating $10,000 to Hoops of Hope to help us build the medical clinic in Chilala. Needless to say, we were blown away. I've attached a few videos on our YouTube page so you can see for yourself.
I also had the chance to sit and listen to a few of the speakers while we were there. I found myself completely engaged in a talk by Craig Groeschel of LiveChurch. He talked about the beginnings of his church and how they first met in a two car garage...no powerpoints, videos or any technology to speak of. But what made it work was what he called the "It" factor. This factor was the drive and passion behind the ministry. We've all been to places before that just have it, right? Places that just feel different. Companies that seem to get it. People that you want to associate with.
You're probably getting where I'm going with this. Yes, his talk made me think about Hoops of Hope. Technology? Well, we now have two computers thanks to an amazing donor. We don't have an office and quite frankly, don't need one. But I think we do have that "It" factor. We probably have 1,000 or more volunteers that help pull off Hoops of Hope events around the world. They don't get paid a penny and in fact, I'm sorry to say, sometimes aren't even thanked like they should be. But they keep working. Why? Because they have "It". There "It" is a passion to help these children that just drives them. My prayer today is that we'll never lose "It".
Thanks Catalyst for getting "It" and for giving "It".