BRING THE FIRE: II EDITION
INTRO TO THE II EDITION
In high school, I interviewed 500 Christian leaders from across the world. It wasn’t my idea. My dad was the one who first suggested the idea to me, but it wasn’t his original idea, either. It was, in fact, King Solomon’s from 950 B.C.
For, as Solomon writes to his own son in Proverbs 24:5-6, “A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might, for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in the abundance of counselors there is victory.”
Reading that proverb, my dad decided to challenge me with the same: seek the counsel of many. I decided to take the challenge literally.
In the following two years I interviewed everyone from national icons shaping culture and wielding massive spheres of influence to missionaries on the frontlines of urban crime and the African water crisis. I asked a thousand different questions along the way. Questions about life, fear, relationships, leadership, and purpose. But one, single question blazed at the heart of it all: Why is Jesus worth living all in for?
In the end, the truth behind that question not only changed my life forever but formed the heart and spine of what soon became my first book, Bring the Fire: The Greatest Truths I Learned in High School by Interviewing 500 Christ-Driven Leaders.
That was three years ago.
In the time since then, God has, as some would say, “led me into the wilderness.” You know; typical post-high school graduation stuff like “What shall I do with my life?” I thought I was above such quandaries, but apparently not.
In the past three years, I’ve often found myself remembering something Christine Caine—an Australian evangelist and founder of the human-trafficking prevention organization A21—told me in our interview (#490): “Don’t try to bypass the process of becoming the man or woman God is calling you to be. There’s no immediate way to become that person. You’ve got to go into the wilderness and be crushed. You’ve got to be sure your gifts and talents don’t take you to a place your character won’t keep you. Because, if the spotlight on you is greater than the light within you, it will destroy you.”
Now I know what she meant.
So, why have I chosen to republish Bring the Fire now?
Because, in the past year, God has slowly led me back out of the wilderness and as I now step into the current mission he has set before me, I find that Bring the Fire will be a foundational piece in it. And, the fact is, as proud as I am of what I wrote at eighteen-years-old, I find that the book is in dire need of some basic improvements.
Among those improvements I’ve made are tighter language, faster-paced storytelling, greater depth in core themes, more purposeful outlining, and overall fluff-cutting to deliver this original battlecry with half the smoke and twice the gunpowder.
To my returning readers: If you have already read the 1st edition of “Bring the Fire”, I promise you will find this 2nd edition a thousand times worth reading even still. I do not say “again”, for while the scenery in this book is similar, the rollercoaster through it is far beyond compare.