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The Fire Triangle of Church


A fire requires three ingredients, often called the “fire triangle”: oxygen, heat, and fuel. The fire triangle provides a helpful way to think about your church. Many years ago Leonard Ravenhill wrote:

“You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it.”

For the church, the fire triangle works like this:

OXYGEN = The living God. The living God loves to breathe on his people and blow fresh life into us.

HEAT = The love of God. The heat source of the church is the undeserved, unconditional love of God.

FUEL = Us. People increasingly alive and awake to the living, loving God are the fuel of this fire.

So, as fuel, what is our job? Well, think about the last campfire you were part of. What did the wood have to do to make the fire happen? All the wood had to do was be available. The wood didn’t do anything except be available to receive the heat and oxygen.

We are fuel. We are wood. Our job as followers of Jesus is to simply be available, asking our God to breathe fresh wind and bring fresh heat into our lives and churches. God does great things in his church when we recognize our complete dependance upon him.

I articulate this further at the end of my sermon from yesterday on Acts 14, The Living God.

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