When You Set Yourself on Fire...

People Love to Come and See You Burn

This quote by John Wesley is of course, talking about the inner fire of passion, truth, beauty, goodness, glory, conviction, vision . . . there are many different words that can be used. The world is attracted to those people who have a fire burning within them.

Now, this fire may be a purifying, holy, glorious fire.
Or it may be a dangerous, destructive fire.
We are drawn to those who burn within and who can communicate that "burning" in words and actions. 

Hitler is one of the most recent unholy fires that burned and mesmerized a nation and traumatized a world. Not all fires are from heaven.

But others are!

Jesus said he came to "set the earth on fire" (Luke 12:49).

There are differnet ways this has been interpreted. One way that makes sense to me is: the fire of His own redeeming presence, unleashed by the cross and resurrection, sealed by the Holy Spirit Jesus would send in His name. That is the fire Jesus came to kindle in those who follow Him.

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movment had such a fire burning within him. So did his brother Charles who wrote an amazing number of hymns. And their Calvinist peer - George Whitefield. And North American pastor-theologian Jonathan Edwards.

These and others had such a fire of love, truth, goodness and courage burning within them, they attracted tens and tens of thousands and launched what was known as the First Great Awakening. That was a "revival and renewal" movement that affected England and the United States. Great number of conversions, old churches being filled, new ones being started, new mission societies being formed. It was a remarkable time. It was a beautiful movement of God.

All because a few men and women were set on Holy Fire. And people love to come and see such leaders burn.

To be a leader is to burn. To be a leader is to attract others to the burning. To be a leader is to set the same fires burning in others. If you aren't burning, then simply - you aren't leading. So I ask of myself and of leaders with whom I work:

Are you burning?
What is burning within you?
Who is coming to see you burn?
What is God doing through the burning that is your life surrendered to God as holy offering?

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

BrianRice@lcileaders.org