The Tale of the Wild--Err, Camp Fire...

posted by Jeffrey on Monday, January 23, 2006 at 9:04 PM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

Movements, revivals and waves of change. This is the longing (and tradition) of many who make up the Church in our world. There is a problem, however. As God brings about transformation in the structure of His church in this 21st century, it is the small and intimate that is rising into the foreground.

We are seeing less and less of the "wild fires" and an increasing number of camp fires throughout the world. The challenge in previous generations has been not to let the wild fire die out. Our challenge in this (and perhaps future) generation(s) is to connect those who gather around individual camp fires. For some of us, it is so far between camp fires that all we can see is darkness in every direction.

Previous and current "institutions of connection" (is that not an oxymoron of sorts?) such as denominations and associations seem to be dropping the ball in--maybe even totally incapable of--connecting those of us gathered around the camp fires of spiritual communities in search of intimacy with Jesus and the furthering of the Kingdom of God.

So, how is it possible then to connect what I shall here call inter-camp fire communities without programming and systematizing the, um, heck, out of the process? I don't know. But I know we need to be blazing trails between camp fires and get off the wildfire kick.

Thanks to a "fellow trail blazer" (pardon the slight cheesiness of the phrase) and the time he spent with my wife and I today at Panera in Hermitage for sparking these thoughts that generated this post. Oh yeah, and I'm pretty sure he mentioned that the "camp fire" illustration was a Leonard Sweet thing. Sorry to burst your bubble if you actually thought I was that quick and creative.


Blogger plantnman said...

Wow! What a novel idea. I wonder where you got such a profound thought : )

I think it may take more of a missionary mindset and less of a pastoral one to faciliate the connections you describe.

What I long to be is a missionary to the culture that seeks to find those "camp fires" where God is at work and connect the facilitators of these on-fire communities in order to create the conditions where God can "start more campfires."

At the moment I believe one of the problems we have is that the facilitators of the campfires are isolated, standing by their fire with little awareness of the larger opportunity.

What a blessing it is when these facilitators connect and share fuel for enlarging the fires.

January 26, 2006 11:20 AM


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