Catalyst: Kevin Carroll

Have you seen those yellow silicone wristbands that seemingly everyone wears? They say “Live Strong” on them and they were inspired by Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. Well, a Catalyst speaker came up with the Live Strong bands. That man is Kevin Carroll. Kevin was the head athletic trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers when Nike founder Phil Knight personally approached him to come work for the shoe giant to inspire creative change. In 2004, Kevin left Nike to found his own brand, the Katalyst Consultancy. He’s worked with The Discovery Channel, Capital One, Disney, the NHL, and Starbucks, to name a few. Kevin’s most satisfying work, however, is his role advising Right to Play, a global outreach organization that hosts events like the “Homeless World Cup,” where impoverished youth get the chance to indulge in a key human need: play.

Kevin spoke to us from a secular standpoint, but his ideas are one thing from the conference where I personally really need to apply myself. In general, we allow our genius and creative muscle to atrophy. When the message of the Gospel is on the line, how much more important is it for me to exercise the full creativity God has blessed me with? He had about ten major points, but what really stuck with me was Kevin’s optimism about human potential. Through the lens of our faith identity, my version of this principle is that we can bring glory to God by doing our best to maximize the creative potential built into us. One of the chief metaphors describing God throughout Scripture is that of a Master Gardener, a Flawless Cultivator, essentially the First Creator. And we ourselves are created with this image in mind!

A few questions that Kevin left us with: Do you play enough? Because your creativity will die if you don’t play. Do you dream things that realistically shouldn’t happen? Because those are the only things worth dreaming. What if every second of your day was worth a dollar? Because $86,400 is huge sum.

So, what if Christ-followers took that kind of brash creativity and applied it to dwelling on how God has uniquely positioned them to be catalysts for his purposes…

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