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Catt delivers challenge to change the world

KANSAS CITY, Mo., (BP)–The executive producer of the movie “Facing the Giants,” Michael Catt, noted three ways to do great things for the Lord in a chapel message at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.

Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. -– whose members produced last year’s popular football-theme film — compared several aspects of making Facing the Giants to the account of the Apostle Peter who attempted to walk on water as recorded in Matthew 14.

“Be aware of what God is doing,” said Catt, noting in his Oct. 17 message that Simon Peter caught what Jesus was doing and learned to trust God for impossible things.

Having surrendered to the ministry in 1970, Catt said most people in ministry -– including himself -– if not careful will spend their lives thinking, “If I were somewhere else –- if I had that church, that budget, that talent, that gift or lived in that city, I could do something great for God.”

“Finally, one day it was like the Lord just kind of sat down in the room with me,” Catt recounted. “And He didn’t speak in an audible voice, but it was like the Lord said to me, ‘Michael, I did a pretty great thing in Bethlehem and nobody knew about Bethlehem until I showed up.’

“We have to believe God for something bigger than ourselves.” Catt said, making his second point. If what Christians accomplish can be explained by personal talents, gifts, education or strength, then it’s not of God.

Catt said he and others involved in Facing the Giants expected the movie to go straight to video, but the movie ultimately was shown in about 1,000 theaters in 57 countries on every continent, and has been translated into 10 languages.

“Really, it’s a process of us of praying and God refining us and God giving us direction,” Catt said. “I believe that we can reach the world. Not just through CP [Cooperative Program] giving, not just through going on mission trips, but in how we get out of the box, how we do things differently, how we find out God’s design for us and then reach the world from where we are with what God’s given us.”

Christians should seek to hear God’s “voice in the storm,” Catt said, saying it’s important to trust the mystery of how God works in people’s lives to get them to the point where they can hear His call. In times of crisis, in a moment of stepping out in faith, God calls a person to do something that takes him out of his comfort zone, Catt said. God makes that person get out of the boat, although he has the option to stay there and be safe and secure.

“Until you’re willing to risk it all, you’ve never gotten with Jesus. You’ve never gotten out of the boat,” Catt said.

“I’ve been in the classrooms you sit in. I’ve sat in this chapel. I’ve eaten in the cafeteria,” said Catt, who attended Midwestern Seminary.

“And for 35 years, I’ve always had somebody whispering in my ear, ‘You can’t do it.’

“By the grace of God, for 35 years, I’ve lived by this right here,” said Catt, raising his Bible. “I want to be a man who sees the end results, who hears the inaudible, believes the unbelievable and thinks the unthinkable. If you will be that man or that woman, you can change the world.”
Amelia Hendra is Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s communications director.

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