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FIRE Institute

Equipping Student Leaders for the Cause of Jesus Christ

How it Works:

The original FIRE Institute, created in 1985, was a product of Rich Wilkerson and his desire to see students reach a greater degree of commitment in their walk with Christ. He had a strong conviction that students didn't need another fun activity night but deep down they wanted to be challenged with something that would change their lives forever. Thus, FIRE was born as a 13 week intense discipleship program divided into four individual "philosophies" - FOUNDATION, INSPIRATION, RESPONSIBILITY and EVANGELISM.

With Rich's gracious permission, national youth ministries' Student Discipleship Director, Rod Whitlock, has taken the core of FIRE and updated it into something today's students can relate with and still be challenged by. According to Whitlock, "FIRE Institute may very well be the best all around discipleship tool ever offered for leaders and students." This is not just another ordinary, mundane, run-of-the-mill resource for teens!

The four "philosophies" stretch students by taking them through in-depth Bible study, lessons in theology, a class project of their choice, sharing their faith, scripture memorization and more with every section growing in intensity. The program has been changed to four separate, eight week courses that will cause students to reach beyond themselves and experience a time with Christ like they never imagined. They will be asked to sacrifice things that have become all too familiar to their everyday lives with the reward being a life consumed by God's fire.

At nym, we recommend that a youth leader do no more than two sessions of FIRE Institute in any given year. We also recommend that freshmen and sophomores only go through FOUNDATION and INSPIRATION while juniors and seniors are free to start anywhere. The reason for both of these recommendations is the intensity of the program, not only for the students but for leaders as well. Should you, the leader, decide to train up another youth leader, you could potentially provide all four sessions in a year, each of you taking a group of students through two sessions.

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FIRE is designed for the next generation leader. The four-eight week sessions, (Foundation, Inspiration, Responsibility and Evangelism) are designed to:

FIRE Institute works in conjunction with the five commitments of a Campus Missionary. To read more about each commitment and get connected to resources, click the link for the area you want to learn about.


PRAY - A campus missionary spends time daily communicating with God, reading his Word and praying for friends, teachers, school administrators, family members, co-workers and others who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus.

LIVE - A campus missionary lives an authentic, consistent Christian life that demonstrates godly character, obedient faith and passionate love for God and his Word. These things should be evident in a lifestyle of worship to God and unselfish love for others.

SERVE - A campus missionary follows Jesus' example of servanthood by using his or her God-given abilities to serve the church and community. This involves demonstrating sincere humility and active compassion in a way that reflects Christ's love and influences others to consider Christ's claims for themselves.

TELL - A campus missionary actively pursues opportunities to talk about Jesus, particularly with those for whom the campus missionary has committed to pray. He or she is prepared to initiate conversations about spiritual matters, to respond to questions about God and faith, and to lead others into a personal relationship with Christ.

GIVE - A campus missionary honors God with his or her material and financial resources by giving generously of time and money to promote godly ministry and spread the message of Jesus around the world. The campus missionary also uses his or her talents and opportunities to serve God's purposes locally and globally. (See Speed-the-Light page.)

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