Saturday, January 31

Catalyst & Culture

Earlier this week our family hosted L.V., a great guy from Catalyst, an organization which focuses on developing the next generation of church leaders. L.V. has been traveling around the country, spreading the Catalyst vision (and for those of you vanagon lovers, you must check out his sweet ride!) These are some observations he has developed about Portland, based on his time with many of our city's great church leaders, including Rick McKinley of Imago Dei.

* Individualistic Spirituality - the people that settled in Oregon made it to the END of the Oregon Trail - they traveled the furthest, beat the odds, and did it themselves. They settled as far away from the east coast as possible. The real spirituality of the great northwest is found in it's beauty - nature, wilderness, all that is before the eyes. "I don't have to conform to what everyone else is doing...I don't WANT to conform."

* "There's no verse for this one..." - no formulas or standard answers for people here. Some crazy stories and questions from people that would shock the "southern baptist culture."

* Time Tested - not interested in the fad or pop culture of church. If it doesn't stand the test of time and lead to real spiritual transformation then it's rejected. Must be real, and real is identified by long term impact. Are you willing to to share your life along with your message?

* Patient - a culture that is not anxious or reactive to getting caught up in "what's next."

* Church planters beware - your "model" created in a strategy room will NOT work here. Success is organic and often looks very different than what is initially planned.

* Rick, is the northwest a spiritually dark place? "Well, I don't know what 'dark' is. I mean, if you think about silicone enhancements, fake tans, fancy cars, and empty commitments to discipleship, well, then, that's dark to me. These people know where they are and that they don't like church or Jesus. The greatest hindrance to the church is the unconverted converted."

What do you think? Are his observations on track for Portland?


Update: Here is the rest of LV's article highlighting his Portland visit.