Dry Kindling – The Wildfire Approach

Wildfire (n.) – A large, powerful fire that burns strongly and spreads quickly. It is unplanned, uncontrolled, and hard to extinguish.

Wildfire is already happening. Well, happening in the sense that the Lord is already at work to prepare hearts where this fire will take hold. There is a hunger and thirst already present among the people of God that has not been satisfied. Though many do not perceive this need within themselves the wood is already dry, so the slightest spark may set it ablaze.

Renewal begins to happen in individual hearts, but grows and spreads as a community. Like burning coals in a fire, we must bring people together so the intensity of our love and holiness can grow. In community we can fan these flames into a roaring wildfire of God’s love that moves across the entire Church.

Principally, this renewal spreads through and in the parish. With authentic fellowship (usually in small groups) this flame is passed from one person to another. They experience the radical newness of life lived by a man or woman of the Spirit. Any authentic growth in holiness produces the fruit of peace, joy, goodness, virtue, and a passionate love. People will be inspired by this entirely new mode of living and desire it for themselves.

Through others we experience God’s overwhelming love for us—His goodness, forgiveness, and healing. We come to see God’s call for our life. We have a mission and purpose that only we can fulfill. God’s plan from all eternity included us to play a part in His work of salvation for the world. He also calls us to personal transformation. Life in God leads to being remade in the image of Christ, as a new version of ourselves. The living of this vocation to do God’s work and become like Him fills life with meaning, passion, purpose, and fulfillment.

The fire of these convictions leads to questions and a need for support: What is it that I am supposed to do? How do I know God’s will for me? How can I begin this transformation and live it in my life? How do I share this with others? How can I accomplish something in myself and in the world that seems so far beyond my personal abilities? There is both an affective need of the heart and practical questions to be answered.

We propose that all the answers are found in a return to the richness of the Church. At its core, this is simply a rediscovery of the mission and vocation of lay people and the universal call to holiness. We understand and cultivate a genuine spiritual life (growth in holiness), discover and practice authentic prayer, learn discernment to love and follow God’s will in their life, and live out the apostolate of the parish.

The fruit of authentic growth in individuals and groups is necessarily marked by a lived transformation that is fundamentally supernatural. But this should NOT be understood as primarily ostentatious gifts the Holy Spirit may give to some, but the radical newness of life everyone is called to, where prayer and virtue go beyond anything we can accomplish by our own natural means. It is only through the wildfire of renewal in the lives of individuals that we can renew the parish and contribute to a renewal of the entire Church.

“I have come to set fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! – Luke 12:49

Author: Nathan Hadsall

Author: Nathan Hadsall

Nathan was a seminarian for 8 years before discerning the call to lay life. He is married with 3 kids and runs Sprout Studio, a full service marketing and IT agency with a dedicated department, Catholic Support Services, to support Catholic organizations and ministries. His passion is helping his employees and clients discern, grow into, and follow God's direction for their lives or organization.