Catalyst Atlanta Speaker Spotlight // Mark Batterson

We are so excited about Catalyst Atlanta 2012. If you haven't entered for a chance to win new kicks or a dream vacation do so NOW! You also get 35+ songs as a FREE download gift from us & a few of our favorite musical artist friends.

Continuing through to October we will be featuring a different speaker answering some questions about the MAKING of a leader. We are really pumped for YOU to get to know these leaders on a deeper level & have them answer some tough [and some fun] questions about leadership. We had such a great response from our speakers we are excited to be able to share two speaker spotlights with you each week, on Tuesday & Thursday.

Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. NCC was recognized as one of the Most Innovative and Most Influential Churches in America by Outreach Magazine in 2008. One church with 9 services in five locations, NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations. Approximately 70% of NCCers are single twenty-somethings. The vision of NCC is to meet in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the DC area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. In 2008, Ebenezers was recognized as the #1 coffeehouse in the metro DC area by AOL CityGuide. Mark has two Masters Degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of a best-selling book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and Wild Goose Chase. His latest release is Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity. And he blogs hereMark is married to Lora and they live on Capitol Hill with their three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah.

1. Who is someone that inspires you today to be a better leader?
I'm still inspired by the example set by my father-in-law, Bob Schmidgall. He passed away 14 years ago, but he's still the model for ministry. He planted and pastored one church for more than thirty years. That's what inspired me to pastor one church for life-if God would be so gracious. 

2. Looking back at the past 10 years what are some of your biggest mistakes that you learned from that you would share with others to not repeat the same thing?
I wanted everything to happen ASAP-as soon as possible. I have a new mindset: ALAT. As long as it takes. You've got to THINK LONG if you are going to DREAM BIG. I wanted everything to happen quickly, but I'm grateful now that I've taken a longer path. You've got to zoom out as a leader as see the big picture, the long future. You always overestimate what you can do in a year! You always underestimate what God can do in a decade! Also, I never want my gifts to take me where my character cannot sustain me. It's not about accomplishing a dream. It's about who you become in the process. It's not about church growth. It's about personal growth! 

3. What is one thing about you that "MAKES" you unique, that the Catalyst community probably doesn't know, but should?
I always write with my shoes off. Does that count? It's my way of remembering that writing is a sacred calling and I'm no holy ground as I write. I also hit my knees in prayer every morning. It's the first thing I do every day. 

4. How would you describe yourself as a leader?
I'm not trying to be a pastor. I'm trying to be myself. There's a difference. I think one key to authentic leadership is daring to be yourself. I want my leadership style and my preaching style to be an expression of the personality God has given me. It's hard not being someone else! You've got to strive to be yourself. I also think I'm trying to live a better life, not just preach a better sermon. I don't want to craft sermons in the study alone. I want to craft them with my life. The best sermon is a life well-lived. If our sermons are boring it's probably because our lives are boring! 

5. What are 3-4 keys in the "Making" of a Leader? As you look at the process for yourself of how you've been made into the leader you are now, what stands out?
Leaders are readers! The hunger for knowledge is huge. So is teachability. 
Stay Humble. Stay Hungry. If you aren't hungry for God it probably means you're full of yourself. 
Make Mistakes. I fear missed opportunities more than making mistakes. 
Everything is an experiment-keep trying new things. If you want God to do something new you can't keep doing the same old thing. Do something different.

6. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
I don't know if it's the best advice, but it's some of the most memorable. I had a professor in college say: catch people doing things right. That stuck with me. One of my spiritual gifts is the gift of encouragement. I think it comes out of that focus. 

7. Do you have a nickname? how did you get it?
My nickname when I played basketball in college was "the blackhole" because if you passed me the ball you weren't going to get it back. 

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