I remember being in the car with my friend Jordan when he shared with me an idea. Jordan is a pretty crazy guy! Sometimes his ideas were so bizarre – not because they were bad or outlandish, but because they were inspired. He started talking about mock trials and how law students create situations to prepare themselves for when they actually appear in court. He explained how they just don’t go into court and expect to know everything. They just don’t sit and watch other cases. But they have a time when they are in a controlled environment where they actually practice and pretend like what they are doing is for real.
He then asked me why there aren’t any groups that do something similar at our bible school with preaching and worship. With this idea, Jordan grabbed a few of his friends and started writing up an idea for a ministry team that would function in that way. The original idea was that a team would come to church and practically take over. There would be one or two people who would preach. There would be a full worship team. There would be people to help teach Sunday School and just be happy to serve. This would give the pastoral staff a chance to have a week to relax, and it would also help prepare those on the team for their futures in ministry.
The group he founded was called, “Catalyst.” (not to be confused with Catalyst Conference)
I loved being at the ground level of Catalyst. I was sold on the mission and the vision of the group. I was invested in it, because I believed in it. Not only that, but since all of the first members were at the ground level, we got to put our DNA in the group. The group didn’t define us – it had no detailed definition. We got to define what Catalyst truly was. Our first year we went to Kansas several times, Illinois, Ohio, we did some stuff in the town where our college was, and that summer we took a full team to do a three week camp in the Bahamas.
There are so many popular Christian movements picking up in America. Whether it is IHOP, Bethel, or a myriad of others, it isn’t hard for someone to jump on a bandwagon if they want. And that isn’t a bad thing necessarily. Christianity itself is a movement I am happy to have joined. But too many people are just following what is already cool. They haven’t learned to invest and believe in something that doesn’t exist. They don’t know what it means to see something go from mundane to meaningful, because they’ve joined something that already had meaning.
To be a part of a movement you must believe in its mission, invest in its mission, and become a community united in its mission. The mission of my college ministry, The Abstract, is to reach the college students in my area. We believe also in the mission of our church, Harvest Time, and the Great Commission of the Gospel – to make disciples of all nations. To invest in any mission one has to put in time and energy. One has to show up to services. For Catalyst, we had to go to weekly practices and travel to other states on a lot of weekends. But by putting in time and energy and work, it helped reinforce our passion and belief for our team.
And within all of that, we became a community. A lot of people complained when our team started, because they thought Jordan picked only his friends to be a part of the team. It wasn’t true. He did have some friends, but he knew we were the ones who believed in the mission of the group. And the other half of the group were freshman we didn’t even know. But to this day, many of the people I was on Catalyst with have a special place in my heart. We have inside jokes and stories, and thinking of them always puts a warm feeling in my heart. We struggled through tough times together, we disagreed sometimes, but we knew that was just part of growing together.
This year at The Abstract our goal is to take mundane moments and make them meaningful. Just like one act of obedience of the servants to fill the water jugs at the wedding of Cana led to Christ’s first miracle, we are going to find something meaningful in the mundane. Within a few days of Christ’s ascension, he lost over 75% of his followers in the upper room (from 500 to 120), but on Pentecost the church grew to over 3000!
The Abstract isn’t what I want it to be right now. We are building. We are growing. But if we are obedient and are willing to believe and invest and become a community, we can turn our area upside-down. Christ changed the world with a group of twelve disciples. I am excited to see what we will do.
Catalyst was started over four years ago, and it is still around today. Jordan is now a youth pastor and had Catalyst come and minister at his church a few months ago. Even though Jordan hasn’t been a part of Catalyst for three years, it still has part of his DNA because of his vision and his investment to the group.
What are you investing in? Is it worth your investment? What are your goals for this year and how does your spiritual life line up with those goals? Is being part of a community and a movement of Christ a priority in your life? Take time and reflect… then act. Be a part of something that is bigger than you. Invest in a cause that will outlast your involvement. Be a visionary.
This is The Mundane to Meaningful Movement.