Why is Catch The Fire a Church Planting Movement?

By Duncan Smith, President of Catch The Fire


18 years ago, I was standing in line to receive a prophetic word at a conference in Toronto. I was talking to two pastors in the lineup, probably talking about myself, when one turned to the other and said, “You know, I don’t think Duncan has never met his heavenly Daddy, do you?”

I was incensed! They called God “daddy”! It seemed incredibly irreverent. I had grown up referring to God as “Our gracious, loving heavenly Father” but I realized at that moment that even though I was offended, I knew they were right. God was inviting me to surrender to love for the first time, to know Him personally as my heavenly Daddy.

They prayed for me, and it was almost like a freight train hit me. At the same time, I was covered in the liquid golden honey of God’s love as the Father began to speak to the very deepest places of my orphan heart. He spoke His words of love and affection over me, and when I got up, I knew I was a different human being.

Since then, my heart has been continually transformed by the Father’s love. I’ve been set on fire with passion for Jesus like I never imagined, and I can’t help but want to share it. I want the world to be revolutionized by the love of God.

That’s core to the Catch The Fire movement too. We exist for the world to encounter God’s transforming presence.

I have become passionate about planting revival churches because I believe that it’s the best way to see the Kingdom of God manifested across the earth.

What a Revival Church Looks Like

We want to plant churches with revival at the core of their DNA. I picture these churches as groups of people who love to host God’s presence, people who worship with passion and live in friendship with God. People who persevere through challenges with prayer and faith, yet know the real value of having fun together!

Revival churches are places to encounter God, to live in the Father’s love and to experience oneness with Jesus Christ. Out of that encounter, we minister in the Holy Spirit, letting Him be in control. We must always highly honour both the Word and the Spirit.

We’ll see the Kingdom of God manifested because transformation always flows from encounter. The lost will be saved, people’s hearts will be healed. Together, believers learn to live openly, authentically, and generously with one another, just like the believers in the early church.

Revival churches become incubators for leaders, and healthy places to raise the next generation.

It’s More Than a Meeting

Our children learn in kids ministry that church isn’t a building, it’s a group of people. I’d like to add to that that revival isn't a meeting, a school or a conference. Those things are all great and important, but lasting reformation comes when a church that manifests revival is planted in a community.

You don’t know that a person has really encountered the Father’s love until they give it away. In the same way, revival has to be shared. Church gives us the opportunity to show the world what the Father’s love looks like, because it looks like a community of love that is loving their city. That community is strong, and it multiplies itself.

We’re intentional about where we plant

I come from a farming background, so I grew up learning that a farmer is very intentional about sowing seed in a particular field at the right time. Seeds are also designed to always multiply.

As a movement, we must be intentional about where we plant churches, the seeds that will multiply. We must follow the Holy Spirit. He is intentional and ordered about what he wants to achieve.

In 2008 He led Kate and I to plant a church in Raleigh. We couldn’t have guessed what a great place it would be to plant a church. We arrived to find people hungry for the presence of God, for a genuine Christianity that wasn’t stuck in the very religious culture of the southern US. Raleigh is also one of the fastest growing cities in North America. The nations are coming to us - the harvest is plentiful!

God has given Kate and I a vision for Catch The Fire to plant 1,000 churches in the next 30 years. It’s a huge assignment, and we need the leading and the power of the Holy Spirit.

It all comes down to love

You may think, “What’s all this got to do with me? I’m not a church planter.”

I want to encourage you to fall in love with church planting just as I have. It’s not about building our empire, it’s about partnering with God to build His Kingdom. Jesus calls us all to love the lost, to reach our cities and communities with the Kingdom. Let that love drive you to reach out to those around you, to take risks, to share the presence of God, and see it transform your community.