Chillin with Rick Warren…at Catalyst West 2011
this is the 3rd year ive been to catalyst west. every year is different, and unfortunately my catalyst friends from the great northeast couldnt make it out this year. i met dave & dawn kinsman at the 2009 edition of catalyst. it was a blessing to meet them and our other catalyst friend nick person that year. nicks wife gave birth last year to their first child, so he couldnt make it last year. and now, its just me…and several thousand other folks from all over the country.
me and rick
i saw rick warren wandering around catalyst during the lunch break. he was taking photos and saying hi to lots of folks. so when he saw me he said “whats your name and have you hugged a pastor today?” i said “im brotherjoe and no…” he proceeded to hug me and came and sat down for a few minutes with some new friends i met.
eddie, rick and ron
eddie and ron are pastors from norwalk, and after being hugged by rick, we started talking and rick told them he used to pastor a small church in norwalk, and married his wife there. of course they were surprised.
rick went on to tell a story of how they started an outreach to the gangs in the neighborhood…he got the church to buy $18000 worth of olympic weights and they took an old house and turned it into a gym. the guys from the neighborhood would come, work out for 45 minutes then would sit and listen to a Bible study for 45 minutes, then work out for 45 minutes more. they had contests to see who could lift the most and it kept them from fighting each other. that year rick said they baptized over 200 guys!
ive had the opportunity to be around some high profile pastors over the years, but ive never met a pastor who was more personable than rick warren. i actually met rick last year at catalyst, and he gave me a hug then too!
im still soaking in what ive heard today…will share more later