(Photo: Catalyst Conferences)
IRVINE, Calif. – Brad Lomenick, who is the key visionary and president of one of America's most influential leadership movements, said it is time for Christian leaders to take responsibility for equipping the millennial generation to lead successfully.
Lomenick's recently released book, The Catalyst Leader, is about him sharing more than 20 years of leadership, including the last ten years at the helm of the 14-year-old Catalyst movement. The movement has found a community primarily inside a series of successful conferences throughout the year.
"Part of the whole premise of the book is that the next generation is called, but not equipped," Lomenick told The Christian Post recently at Catalyst West held at Mariner's Church in Irvine, Calif. "They are passionate. They want to change the world, but they have not been given tools because in many ways we have skipped a leadership handoff that my generation is responsible for.
"Thirty-somethings are stepping into roles that they are not ready for," he explained. The millennials need to be willing to listen, but there is more to it than that, he said.
"We are responsible for this. This is on our watch. The church is dropping the ball on this, especially the Christian leadership world," Lomenick said.
In his book, he reveals the eight essentials for becoming a "change maker" – someone who leverages his or her influence for the betterment of the world, the collective good of others and the greater glory of God. These key characteristics include being: called, authentic, passionate, capable, courageous, principled, hopeful and collaborative.
"Having led an event-driven movement of next-generation leaders for 10 years, I've discovered many men and women who are called-but-not-yet-equipped and are influencing churches, businesses and nonprofits across America," said Lomenick. "Innovative and passionate, they still need guidance if they are to reach their potential and not just lead now but also lead well."
The one- to three-day Catalyst events are aimed at creating an environment where Christian leaders grow through discussion and Bible studies given by some of the most influential pastors in the U.S.
"When it started in 2000, we were all in our twenties and we said let's go out and create something that we could invite our friends to that we would actually want to be a part of," Lomenick told CP. "It never was [purely] a conference. In the beginning, Catalyst was more of a mindset. 'Movement' is a really dangerous word to throw out there because I think movements are God-designed and made, so I am very careful not to call Catalyst a movement.
"We just wanted to create the conversation and the community, and the conference [format] seemed to be the best way to do that in the beginning," he continued. "We added some more fun and glitz and zaniness and experience. We never expected to see it where it is now."
Lomenick explained that keeping God in charge of their decisions and actions has been the key component.
"We are comfortable with the fact that if God were to say that Catalyst has served its generation well in its time and it's time to move on, we would all move-on," he said.
To support the leadership principles within the book, Lomenick partnered with The Barna Research Group in June 2012 to conduct a study of Christian adults ages 18 and older in an effort to get a fuller picture of what today's leaders look like. Through this study it was discovered that 82 percent of Christians today agree that "the nation is facing a crisis of leadership because there are not enough good leaders now." The full results of the study are included in the appendix of The Catalyst Leader.
"Our findings were surprising but informative about the future of leadership among those who follow Jesus," said Lomenick. "Like me, most understand the difficult challenges influencers in this century face and the need for more people who are able to lead better, longer. This book is to help the 82 percent become the answer to our current leadership crisis."
On the Web: http://catalystconference.com.