On your campus, you probably have a weekly meeting where everyone in Power to Change comes together. We recommend that it is not solely a Bible study, as that has certain connotations that we want to avoid (even though we value the Bible). We suggest calling it a “Catalyst Meeting”, as it can serve to catalyse movements on campus. The meat of the meetings will centre on
The minimum requirement to start running Catalyst is 2 Key Volunteers (KVs). Don’t try to run one yourself, without this minimum. The KVs do the work of running and organising the meeting. We wanted the group to “catalyse” students into action on their campus – connecting, building, and sending, both by the focus of the content of the meetings and in the running of the meeting itself.
Most meetings start with an icebreaker/game, with 1 or 2 people running it. These are get-to-know-you interactional activities are especially important at the start of the semester to welcome new people. The icebreaker will lead to the actual study or presentation. We suggest you use the online Core Group studies when starting off. After small group discussion and presentation of key points or summaries, the MC’s will finish with announcements of upcoming advents and activities.
As a Movement get larger, the group studies could take the form of a speaker, or video, or something else. If the group is large, break it into smaller groups of 3 to 5 for discussion and return to share summaries with the main group. But you can still have the intimate dynamics of a small group by breaking into small groups for discussion. It’s the best of both worlds and works fantastically if you can find one time that most people can attend, such as a common lunchtime, or perhaps a slot late in the afternoon or evening. Often you will only have one hour for the meeting, but if you can find 1½ hours, so much the better. As you can see, there is a great opportunity for Catalyst to be a “Team Sport” that really develops your movement – rather than just something that spectators turn up to.
When starting a new campus movement, Catalyst can simply be a small group, led by the missionary coach and KV. There has been a trend in our churches and to an extent on some Power to Change campuses, towards organising weekly gatherings with an increasing emphasis on slickness and being led by professional speakers or musicians. While this may result in a high-quality production, it does drastically limit the level of involvement of the average student (or church member). It lifts the production bar too high, leaving students with the feeling that they have nothing to offer. The Catalyst group deliberately bucks against this trend. The desire is that it is led as a team, with continuing space created for others to have roles in it and to develop student ownership and leadership. Further, we have removed the two most time-consuming activities in running a large group meeting: organising worship/singing, and finding a speaker or someone preparing a talk.
We desire to create a culture in which it is normal for someone who has been attending Catalyst for several weeks to then become part of running it as a “Mini-me”. This leadership is a bit wild, rough and ready, but it builds momentum, ownership and energy that is essential in Catalytic. So make it a team sport!