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With so much at stake in ministry of the new millennium, it is not enough to create a mass following of onlookers who stare. We must develop a committed core of radical leaders who serve. Our goal must be the training of people to be catalytic. This is a critical step in the process of maturity and discipleship. After all, it’s when people become catalysts, not consumers, that they begin to own the ministry, internalize their faith, and spawn growth in others.
So what’s the difference between consumeristic followership and catalytic leadership? Between consumers and catalysts? Here are at least six.
- Consumers spectate; catalysts participate. Catalysts don’t just watch; they get involved. A consumer sees himself as the audience, but a catalyst views himself as a player.
- Consumers attend; catalysts invest. To simply show up is the trademark of a consumer. Catalysts, on the other hand, have their radar on. They’re looking out for needs and have their sights set on how to make a difference.
- Consumers get; catalysts give. Consumers ask, “What did I get out of this?” even when they put little or nothing in. Catalysts, though, know the surest way to receive is to give. Consequently, they’re constantly asking, “What can I do?”
- Consumers look around; catalysts look ahead. When the crowd starts shifting, or when public opinion begins to sway, consumers take their cue from those around them. Catalysts, however, stay focused on the goal, doing what is right not just what is always popular.
- Consumers blame; catalysts embrace. When things get a little tough (or a lot tough!), consumers blame shift and point fingers. Catalysts, though, own up to problems and accept responsibility, even when it’s not directly their fault. They’re not afraid to be “attached” to something that’s not “perfect” and might need a little work.
- Consumers criticize; catalysts analyze. Catalysts know that improvement comes through properly analyzing a situation and making necessary adjustments. Consumers only know how to pick out the worst, usually about someone else, and typically have few solutions.
What are some other differences between consumeristic followers and catalytic leaders?