I recently heard a provocative talk on yearning for the characteristics of fire in our daily life (haha, yes, it was at a Pentecostal Church). Fire spreads. Fire consumes. Fire unites. I began to think about this and found them to be similar to the characteristics of a world changer. Consider what it would like to be all that fire is, and to do all that fire does. Not simply fired up. You must be more than mere hype, you must be a person of life-giving character and action.

Photo Courtesy of DrPete (creative commons)

Photo Courtesy of DrPete (creative commons)

It is unfortunate that you and I can fall into the trap of being passionate, but never become agents of fierce renewal. The world needs less of our exuberant eloquence and more random acts of fiery kindness. I believe there are 3 ways that you can do what fire does in the world around you:

1. Fire spreads.

There is something about you that changes when you decide to stop living for yourself and begin living for others. It is out of the ordinary. It is heroic.

Consider the frustrated tutor at the local after-school program — her volunteering efforts will impact the future of a young teenager. Consider the lone college student passing out flyers on campus about sex trafficking — his passionate presence will no doubt inspire the imagination of his peers. Consider the quiet co-worker that encourages others with her sticky notes of “Have a good day” or “Keep it up!” — her random words of encouragement will light up the workplace.

Notice that it starts small, but when it hits the proper mixture of circumstances it will burn into a noble fire of world-changing power. It’s true. It is small. But every fire that you start will start small. Rest assured, fire will spread! Leaders do not only put out fires, but they also start them. Start one today!

2. Fire consumes.

Quite an amazing feat to see fire reduce entire buildings to nothing more than ash! It does not matter how respected, impressive, or complex the structure is – it can be consumed by fire! You must be the leader that believes that everything can be consumed by the fire of noble world changers. Nothing is too hard. Nothing is impossible.

I remember when a group of students at the University of North Texas were frustrated that no one on campus seemed to care about the plight of the trafficked, homeless, and spiritually lost. Therefore, they came together and believed that nothing would stop them.

They set up tables on campus every other week for an entire semester and explained various injustices in which fellow human beings were enduring all over the world. Every time they went out onto campus, it felt as if a looming, formidable foe would meet them to discourage and challenge them, yet they persevered. Two semesters later, 67 people decided to give their lives to Jesus and become fellow world changers!

Fire ignited in the hearts of these students, and it consumed every obstacle in their path. Fire does not quit. Fire burns until its last breath. Fired consumes every obstacle.

3. Fire unites.

It is well-known that when two metals are introduced to fire, they become soft enough to join together. The metals unite and become one. You have the capacity to ignite the fire that will join together people for causes greater than themselves. You can bring unity in places of dysfunction, indifference, or discouragement.

Consider your campus, your workplace, or your church — there are countless opportunities that you face every day that are ripe for the fire of unity. Your world changing influence could be the joining of two influential people that are at odds with one another! You are a leader when you take the cold-hearted and warm them with the fire of your character – simply put, you must be a leader that unites people. You are a world changer when you bring factions together. It is difficult, but fire unites!

You can do this. I know that you can. The fire that burns in you can spread, consume, and unite. Do not underestimate yourself. The Bible says, “Greater is He that is in me, than He that is in the world” and it states “Let your light shine before others, so when they see it, they will glorify our Father in heaven.”

You can initiate noble deeds around you such that fire begins to illuminate the hearts and minds of family and friends on your campus, your church, and in the marketplace. Take this one life that you have, and let it burn for something more than your own desires. Boldly do all that fire does. Burn bright. Start today.

Are there other characteristics of fire that can be used to describe world changers? How have you seen these principles expressed in your life? Do you have any stories that you can share? Please comment below.