Dec 17, 2018


The Fuel and the Flame at 15 – Time for an update!

Paul Worcester interviews Steve Shadrach about The Fuel and the Flame at 15 years and asks for your help in updating a new edition of the college ministry classic.

When I ask college ministry leaders across the nation what book has the greatest impact on their ministry strategy Fuel and The Flame is one of the books that comes up the most. I know personally God used the book to help call me into college ministry. A few years ago I interviewed Steve about the book on it’s 10 year Anniversary which you can read here.

As the 15th anniversary approaches, Steve Shadrach and CMM Press have prayerfully decided to do a complete rewrite of the book with a laser focus on inspiring and equipping students to join God in His urgent mission to reach the campus and the world. Steve is enlisting me to coauthor this new edition also.

What you love about The Fuel and The Flame will still be there with more tools, shorter chapters, fresh stories, and a reproducible Bible study guide making it a helpful resource for discipling students.

We need YOUR feedback and inspirational stories. Let us know how you use The Fuel and The Flame and how we can make it a better tool for your ministry.

And take a few minutes to brag on God! Hit us with your favorite stories of students engaged in evangelism, disciple-making or missions. Your ministry story could be featured in the new edition!

Thank you for taking a few minutes to fill out this brief survey.

1. What inspired you to do such a extensive rewrite of the Fuel and The Flame? So many campus staff love the book as it is.

Certain references are definitely dated. There are 15 years of life change stories that need to be shared! I wanted to partner with a much younger “this generation” campus worker (Paul Worcester) to make it as helpful and relevant as possible. Plus, it needs shorter, more simple, more applicable chapters.

2. What about this rewrite do you believe will make it better? Is there concepts you will be focusing more on than the last edition?

I felt like I was trying to write to the staff person and the student last time. It was confusing at times. This edition will be strictly for the student—how to help him/her start walking with God, leading people to Christ, making disciples, and impacting their campus (and world!) for Christ. Staff will benefit greatly from it, but the focus will be students.

3. What trends are you seeing among college ministry student leaders and staff and how will this new edition address those trends?

As much as I love social justice and mercy causes let’s be careful not to pursue those exclusively and say we are fulfilling “The Great Commission.” I think many of these great causes are close to the heart of God, but whatever happened to the traditional/biblical Great Commission of: Evangelism, Disciplemaking, and Mission Mobilization? Some campus ministries/ministers think that the “EDM” focus is antiquated, or too narrow, or intolerant, or leaving out essential parts of the Christian life. Yes, I plead guilty. The Fuel and The Flame is NOT trying to cover everything in the Christian life. It is trying to raise up radical followers of Jesus Christ who will win and disciple the nations for Christ. So, we do not apologize for our “narrowness.” I admire students who embrace a cause or purpose. I just want to make sure it is tied to an eternal cause that has worldwide impact!

4. As we are using The Fuel and The Flame to train up students to become leaders what are some principles that we need to keep in mind?

I would try to take students through the book in the context of a one-on-one discipleship relationship or in a small group (3-8) where they have to at least read the assignment before they come. The meeting time needs to be a discussion format where the leader is a facilitator, not a teacher. The facilitator should come with great questions (either they made up or took from the list in the book), rather than bring profound answers! At the end of each session make sure there is an application time where they will SPAM (apps that are Specific, Practical, Achievable, and Measurable) themselves. The facilitator might use the meetings/discussion leading, etc…to train the members. He/she can do this by rotating the facilitator week to week and coaching them beforehand and debriefing with them afterwards. We hope the book will be used to take entire student leadership teams through as well as be a resource for summer discipleship projects.

5. What are some of the most important principles for moving a student from a growing believer to a laborer?

That is such an extensive answer, I’m not sure I could do it justice. You would have to read Fuel and the Flame!

6. What is going to happen with all the content that is targeted towards staff? Will that be lost forever in archives?

Much of the evangelism, disciple making and missions material that staff enjoyed and benefitted from will still be in the new version of Fuel and the Flame. It’s the technical elements staff need to deal with that will be cut out of this edition. There is talk about a book that will be written for staff so that those principles that specifically apply to them can be fleshed out also. The heart of the book will still be there, but a ton of new material from co-author Paul Worcester and another great contributor, Taylor Tollison with Campus Outreach. Plus, a lot of new stories from around the world of how college students lives have been transformed from lost to saved to laboring for Christ.

7. What advice would you give to a younger collegiate ministry worker who is just getting started? What would you encourage them to be focusing on?

  • Bathing that campus in prayer, and taking staff and student leaders with me for early morning prayer walks around the campus.
  • Understanding the campus thoroughly and how students have divided themselves up into various affinity groups. Strategically choose the affinity groups you are going to start building relationships in, starting small groups in, and sharing the gospel with. Develop a culture of “personal ministry targets” within your ministry.
  • Love and enjoy the students immensely. If they sense you really do enjoy them, it opens their heart to the gospel like nothing else. Discipleship should have direction and affection.
  • Start small. Don’t try to attract big numbers early with events or weekly meetings. Focus on building a core of key students that YOU or your staff have led to Christ. That will form the basis/DNA for an amazing “EDM” (Evangelism, Disciplemaking, Missions Mobilization) campus movement in the years to come that could very well become a launching pad/sending base to impact the world for Christ!

This is where you come in! Let us know how we can improve the new edition by filling out this survey. Thanks!

about the author

Paul Worcester

Paul and his wife Christy planted Christian Challenge at California State University, Chico from scratch. Since then hundreds of students have indicated decisions to become followers of Jesus, with many growing as disciples and learning to multiply their faith. Paul is the author of "Tips for Starting a College Ministry." He has a a passion for equipping and encouraging fellow collegiate leaders to make disciples on campus through his writing, speaking, consulting and social media. Paul and Christy have two children. Paul loves to surf and play other sports when possible.