My Top 12 Takeaways From Catalyst One Day (Grab my personal notes here!)

Mike Kim, Personal Brand & Marketing Expert

Mike Kim, Personal Brand & Marketing Expert

My good friend Mike Kim did a phenomenal job coaching the Catalyst team with their marketing strategy. They were already really strong in this area so it goes to show you how much of a value-add he is to be able to take organizations like Catalyst to the next level.

Mike was able to hook me up got me a ticket to Craig Groeschel’s Master Class that happened the day before the conference (valued at $3,000 per seat!). It pays to have amazing friends! Thank you, Mike:)

What an experience.

I learned more about leadership & multi-site in one day that I could’ve ever imagined!


Pastor Craig & his team at, have the privilege and tremendous responsibility of leading 27 locations and serving over 80,000 in attendance in 160 services each weekend. Along with over 150,000 online viewers. They don’t know it all but they’ve sure learned a lot over the past 15+years of multi-site ministry.

These takeaways can train and inspire those of us who are leading scores, hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands.

Don’t be intimidated by the metrics.

Just stay hungry, teachable and BOLD in stepping out in what you are learning in your local context.

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The next day our tribe and team from Freedom Church came up from MD to join us.  We all got to be poured into by Craig and Brian Houston (Senior Global Pastor of Hillsong and President of Hillsong Music, TV & College)

I know a bunch of my friends couldn’t make it out to this Masters Class or Catalyst One Day event in the Lancaster, PA area so I captured My Top 12 Takeaways to share with you:

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1. “Sometimes the place of your greatest passion is also the place of your least education.” –Craig Groeschel (The ideas we often resist the most are the very same ones that we need the most!)

2. “Leadership is measured far more by your absence than by your presence.” –Craig Groeschel (Craig doesn’t even go to the grand opening of new campuses anymore. Now he strategically stays away until the 1yr anniversary. Then he doesn’t even jump up on the platform to great the people. He never wants to communicate, "Now your real pastor is here so junior pastor please step aside." Local leadership on the ground is more important than you could ever imagine.)

3. “Teams are designed to be values-driven, people-centered, culture-focused, and systems-dependent.” –Craig Groeschel (Their team is running around 575 staff members which is actually a very lean FTE [full-time equivalent] for a church their size.]

4. The 5 Legs Of The Multisite Stool (Necessary To Scale Up):

  • Staff to lead it.
  • Buildings to house it. (Small enough so that people can be needed and known.)
  • Money to build it. (If you can’t fund it, you can’t build it.)
  • Members to fill it.
  • Systems to support it. (“Your systems are perfectly designed to get the results you are getting.”-Stephen Covey)

5. 3 Questions Needed In Creating A System:

  • What should be expected?
  • What should be rewarded?
  • What should be corrected?
  • (Good systems make an average leader look great, yet bad systems can cause a great leader look average!)

6. Evaluate everything at every level.

(They do continual staff training like a boss! Check out for FREE resources on doing staff evaluations with your team members or high-level volunteers. Each of their staff meetings are 50% leadership development and 50% operational.)

7. The 3 Vitals Of Stage Communication:

  • What do I want them to KNOW?
  • What do I want them to FEEL?
  • What do I want them to DO? (Stop making announcements-lead people to take action towards a desired result!)

*Bonus Communication Tip! “The 'hat' you wear determines the emotions they feel.”

(“As your pastor…As a husband wanting my wife to know how much I love her…As someone who has also been challenged in raising my kids…As someone who has struggled in creating a sustainable budget.” Put yourself in the shoes of those you are communicating with.)

8. “We have to change the way we view change.” –Craig Groeschel

Most people don’t hate change. They hate the way we try to change them.

People change when they HAVE to. (Desperation)

People change when they WANT to. (Inspiration)

What you have is what you’ve created or tolerated. You cannot change what you can tolerate.

9. When you share the “WHY” behind a change you disarm critics, educate bystanders and empower advocates!

“The person who knows the HOW will always have a job. The person who knows the WHY will always be their boss.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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10. “Be more loyal to the FUTURE than the past. Don’t become a memorial of better days gone by!”  –Brian Houston

11. “I want to enter the next life with bruised shoulders from allowing the next generation to stand on them!” –Brian Houston

12. “Leaders could really learn from their mistakes, if they weren’t too busy denying them!”  –Craig Groeschel

I pray my personal takeaways leave you inspired and sharpened in your own leadership context.

Getting better at what you do matters.

Getting better at how you do what you do matters, because what you do really matters.

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Join The Conversation // Leave A Comment.  Which of the 12 takeaways were most helpful to you?

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