(Photo: Catalyst Conferences/Ryan Longnecker)
Catalyst West conference, an annual event that draws thousands of young Christian leaders, kicked off Wednesday for a three-day leadership gathering aimed to cultivate people as catalysts for change.
The conference taking place in Southern California is designed to be an immersive learning, worship and creative experience where several prominent leaders will take to the stage to share their knowledge and challenge participants to become better leaders.
"Catalyst West is a movement of influencers and world changers who love Jesus, see things differently, and feel a burden for our generation," according to a statement on CatalystConference.com. "We seek to learn, worship and create together with a momentous energy passionately pursuing God."
The event will feature leaders including Francis Chan, Christine Caine, and Kony 2012 filmmaker, Jason Russell. Worship music will be led by Phil Wickham, while spoken-word artist, Propaganda and other talented guests provide entertainment.
The conference is a "cutting-edge event," that promises to leave attendees "enlightened, rejuvenated, and ready to embrace the life to which you've been entrusted and the journey to which you've been called," according to Catalyst's website.
Part of the program includes lab sessions where ministry leaders such as Mike Erre, Sergio De La Mora, Rachel Cruze, and Tripp Lee will facilitate conversations with the purpose to engage the next generation of leaders on issues of importance to them.
This year's theme "Known," will focus on the concept that leaders can only know where they are headed when they know where they come from.
"Before you were a leader. Before you had a name. Before you had a voice, a face, or a form, you were known by God…," reads a statement on the site. "When you lead authentically, with an inner confidence birthed by your Creator, when you are willing to be true and vulnerable before God and others, you become a leader without pretense. A leader worth following."
Initially, Catalyst began as an idea in 1999 by a group of young Christian leaders to create a gathering of like-minded individuals because they felt church leadership was geared mainly toward a 40- to 60-year-old mindset. The conferences have become a movement that has grown into large proportions, offering three annual events on the East and West coasts and mid-America.
Catalyst West is taking place at Mariners Church in Irvine, Calif. through Friday. For more information, visit Catalystconference.com.