Catalyst is off to a fresh start this year with a whole new team of enthusiastic volunteers as the driving force behind the ministry. And behind all the volunteers is Joshua Gilmore, our pastoral intern, who has much excitement for this year of Catalyst. I had a moment to catch up with him and gather more of his thoughts for what this upcoming year will look like.
If you can sum it up in a few sentences, what’s your vision and hope for Catalyst this year? 1. I'd love to see students and their parents grow more and more in love with Jesus. 2. I'd love to see people who don't know Christ be born again. 3. I'd love to see the Spirit of God move in power in our various services and bring transformation to our community. 4. I'd love to see increased diversity in our group. 5. I'd love to see quality, Christ-honoring, relationships and friendships flourish in our midst.
6. I'd love to see youth, parents, and leaders join God in His creative work in and outside the church building. 7. I'd love to see us expand in missions and evangelism as a group. 8. I'd love to see us continue to move forward faithfully honoring God's word and God's Spirit. 9. I'd love for us to be known for our steadfastness and attention to sustainability during this chapter of Catalyst's history. 10. I'd love to see all of us fully rely on Christ in prayer for power, direction, and change.
How do you think Catalyst will be different from previous years? How will it remain the same? Fundamentally nothing is changing. We are still upholding the vision that Warren cast 20+ years ago - Parents and youth growing together in Christ. We are making some additions to the program - we are adding in a middle school community group. We are adding in a prayer time as a group. My added leadership will bring some differences, but we are trying our best to stick to the Catalyst philosophy and surrender to the Spirit's leadership.
If someone were visiting Catalyst for the first time, what could they expect out of a meeting? Once a month Catalyst holds their BIG meeting. Students & Parents / Leaders & Participants / Middle School & High School all join together on the 2nd Saturday of the month! This monthly meeting is called UNITED! During these times together we have so much fun! After students check in, we typically start off the night with group games of all kinds. You never know what to expect, but it's always a BLAST! Parents are addressed separately during this time to receive encouragement in a class we call "Parental Guidance." After this portion of the evening, we join together in the church sanctuary to participate in more group activities, get updated on what's happening in Catalyst, worship God together in song, and experience the dynamic, life-changing preaching of God's word. As the night comes to a close, we share a time of food and fellowship together. UNITED is our largest event, but it is in no way the only Catalyst offering. In addition to UNITED, we have both middle school and high school community groups that meet in members’ homes. We also join together for prayer on the 3rd Sunday of the month before the service. And, once a year we take a field trip to Camp High Point in Geigertown, PA for Youth Camp!
What are you excited about for this upcoming Catalyst year?
What excites me: Nothing in life matters as much as Jesus! Seeing young people and their parents grow deeper in love with their Savior makes every day in Catalyst vitally precious! On a practical note, I've been so grateful for and excited to see the EXPLOSIVE response of volunteers who are stepping up to serve Catalyst with food, activities, art, worship, donations, setup/teardown, and the rest. We truly are the body of Christ, and we need each part to serve effectively.