The Campfire Principle: Ministry

I’m not really much of an outdoorsman, but I have sat around a campfire enough to know that,
if you don’t make an effort to keep a campfire going, it eventually dies out.

With a campfire, you have to consistently add wood and stoke the fire to keep it burning.

I think the same principle can be applied to a lot of different aspects of our life.

Ministry operates by the “campfire principle.”

If we are continuously burning and dedicating ourselves to ministry for others,
while failing to stoke our own fire, we’ll burn out.

If we are continuously pouring into others without allowing God to pour into us,
we’ll eventually dry up.

There’s no greater necessity for anyone in ministry than to spend personal time with the Father.

We can never replace preparation for teaching or ministry for our  own relationship with God.

If we do, we’ll eventually have nothing left.

Are you actively using the campfire principle?
Are you actively seeking a word from the Father?
Are your receiving the necessary fuel for your fire?

(If you need more help on the topic of burn out, Anne Jackson wrote a great book that you can find here)


  1. So true, but sometimes really guilt-producing to take time for yourself. I have a friend I see twice a week at a nursing home and I just couldn’t make myself go one day last week. I hate the way I felt making that decision, but so appreciated the time I had alone and for myself.

  2. Your post reminded me of this Scripture bro’

    His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” John 2:17

    Being with Him keeps us burning!


  3. The principle sounds good.
    Could you make it a bit clearer though.. especially on this point:

    “If we are continuously pouring into others without allowing God to pour into us,
    we’ll eventually dry up.”

    How does it translate for someone running a corporate/proffessional/secular blog?

    May I request you to use an illustration please?

    1. I think it translates the exact same way. If you’re a Christian leading in the secular world, biblical leadership still applies. As you lead a corporation, a business, a blog, or anything, you are constantly giving out biblical advice and leading in a Christ-like manner. You will eventually lose the passion for leading as Christ leads if you’re not coming to the Father for help and more to pour out. We have to operate out of the overflow of what God is doing IN us no matter what context it’s in.

      As far as an illustration,
      I guess it would be like driving your car. You’re using your car to get from place to place and transport stuff from place to place. If you never stop for a fill up, you’re going to eventually be left stranded. The same way in leadership. If you’re constantly moving people and building people, you have to get that spiritual strength and energy from God along the way. Otherwise, you’ll be left stranded with nothing but yourself to rely on…. for me, that’s not a good thing! :)

      That answer your question? Thanks for the reply and deep thought on this! Stop by anytime!

  4. One thing I learned about a camp fire, if you don’t add wood to it, you can’t keep it going. Seasoned wood burns better than green wood.
    And put out your fire completely when you are done with it. Because if it is not watched and tended to, it could consume and get so out of control that others will be harmed and lots destroyed if you don’t tend to the fire.

    Also if you build a fire to high, it is too bright, hard to look at and too hot to be around. You have to learn how to make a fire work for you and others. A campfire can be used to bring others around, cook a meal, keep warm, and turn away the dark as night comes on.

    Most churches do not do these things.


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