Bonfire Conversations

Welcome to Bonfire Conversations!

NAB Bonfire Conversations are an ongoing movement that seeks to provide a renewed theological vision with the church on mission serving as a sign, servant, and foretaste of the Kingdom of God. The recorded conversations below will do two things

  1. Identify current disruptions within the Western Church.
  2. Invite followers of Jesus to a renewed practice of presence with God, with one another, and with our neighbors.

Join us as we learn the importance of practicing presence from Roy Searle, David Fitch, and Matt Canlis.

How to Get Started

  1. Download and print out the Bonfire Study Guide and read the “Facilitator Instructions” (see page 1).

  2. Gather a small group who will commit to meeting for seven sessions.
  3. Print out enough Bonfire Study Guides so each person has one.
  4. Use the seven videos for the seven sessions (see below).


Exposing Our Weaknesses

The pandemic of 2020 was a shock to everyone, particularly churches. Some have believed the pandemic made our practice of church weaker. However, what if the pandemic did not make churches weak, but, in reality, exposed the weaknesses already there?


Restocking the Reservoir

The weaknesses of churches in the Western world have been exposed, but what has caused them? Roy Searle suggests we have often neglected being present with God and instead have loved other things more than God.


Failing to Be Present

We have not only failed to be present to God, we have often failed to be present to one another. The current disruptions of church operations, political systems, and meaningful relationships show that we have neglected the practice of being present to one another.


Opening Up Space

When churches fail to be present, the solution is not to give up on church but to give a renewed vision of church. In this video, David Fitch provides a renewed vision of what it means to be the church that is good news for a society that is starving for presence.


Slowing Down to Catch Up

Our lack of presence can also be seen in how we relate to our neighbors. Rather than slowing down and opening up space to know and be known, we instead offer impersonal events, info, and projects. In Godspeed, Matt Canlis offer a different way.


Presence with Neighbors

One real barrier to being present to our neighbors is trying to be omnipresent. We cannot be present to everyone in every place. Matt Canlis offers five geographical allies that remind us who we are and where we are. Presence starts where we are.


Inviting Church to Our Neighbors

Often times we approach mission as sending our neighbors to church. However, Jesus sends his church to our neighbors. Matt Canlis shows us that being sent to our neighbors doesn’t always mean doing more, but it does involve re-envisioning what we are already doing.