"Catalyst," that was the designation given me after taking a battery of tests during a board meeting of an international renewal organization. The test was designed to identify the leadership style of organizational leaders. Other possibilities were "entrepreneur," "implementer" and "maintainer." That was twenty five years ago and it was the first time I had heard the term "catalyst used in connection with leadership. Today "catalyst" is used extensively in leadership and business literature. Unfortunately it is often misused and misunderstood. Basically a catalyst is a substance added to a chemical reaction that speeds up the process of change. A catalytic leader is one who speeds up change in an organization. The opposite of a catalyst is called an "inhibitor."
In many organizations today there is a need for change, which requires the presence of a catalyst. Unfortunately, where change is required and it is not happening, there is a preponderance of inhibitors.
As one who encourages good change, I have learned five things about change.
1. Change is inevitable. You cannot stand still. If you are not moving ahead, you will be falling backwards. Things are always going to change. The question then becomes, "Will we change for the better or the worse?"
2. Change will cause conflict. Change means there will be movement. When there is movement there is friction. Friction brings heat. Where there is heat there is fire. There will always be conflict when change occurs, but conflict can be resolved.
3. Change requires courage. Bringing about positive change is not for the fainthearted. There will be inhibitors fighting you and inertia which must be overcome. You will want to give up when the going gets tough but you must carry it through to the finish.
4. True change cannot be imposed from the outside. True change does not come about by imposing someone's will upon another. Churches as well as business organizations have a specific culture and personality. Changing this does not come from changing programs or styles of worship. True change will only come about as core values and priorities are changed.
5 True change takes time and patience. When a catalyst is added to the process, the rate of change can be increased.
Aslan Ministries provides church leadership tools for assisting each organization or church that desires to become all that God created it to be.