Welcome to the Barefoot Church Primer Blog where you’ll find additional thoughts, comments, questions, and answers from each day’s reading. There are at least two ways we hope this blog can serve you on your journey:
- As a primary resource hub for your community throughout the primer.
- As an occasional resource for you on your personal journey.
The thoughts posted are going to be my personal thoughts, lessons learned, or questions we might consider from each days reading. If you subscribe (which I highly recommend if you are a part of the original online collaboration), you will be notified by email each time I post. You will be given the opportunity to comment right from your email, so let’s get some discussion going in the comment section! We are literally on this journey together so now’s certainly not the time to by shy!
To get started, either click the corresponding “Week” listed in the category section (the main page will have the most current post from that days reading). If you’re following along a few days behind, you can simply do a word search in the column on the right. Each week will be titled (Week # Day #) so for whatever section you’re on you can search specifically for that week and day.
Feel free to ask questions and leave comments. Both on struggles and victories. Be a part of the conversation and let us know how we can serve one another as we learn from one another.
We hope that by now you’ve picked up some practical ideas for engaging need through incarnational/missional community as well as gaining a deeper understanding of God’s work of mercy and justice in the world. Additionally, you are hopefully learning to increasingly trust the Holy Spirit to guide and empower your efforts together.
As you close out your time together, be sure to do a few things:
- Review page 185 with “next steps”. Don’t let this pass by as just another learning experience that you’ve finished. Be intentional to create a structure to ensure you continue.
- Elect a “Service Coordinator” for your group. Their only job should be making sure you continue to set time aside to engage need around you. Empower this person. Give them time each time you get together. And give them the support they need.
- Read the “What’s Next?” section that starts on page 195. It’s a summary of my personal thoughts as I’ve taken the same journey you’ve been on, a prayer, a hope, and some insight to what you might be feeling. Feel free to leave me a note here on the comments section.. I’d love to hear what’s going on with you and/or your community.
The final reading for each week of the Barefoot Church Primer is called “ReCreate”. We deliberately keep Day 7 simple so you can save time for listening. Take this day to absorb the journey. It’s been pretty busy the last few weeks… be sure to intentionally re-center yourself around scripture and the mindset of Christ.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:23
Hopefully you’ve come to understand that this whole thing is about becoming more like Christ. It’s about a disciples journey. One that transforms our lives. And here’s the kicker, when we become true disciples of Jesus, who make disciples, who make disciples… whose lives are committed to mission… all that we hope for in the church will happen.
- The lost will be found.
- Lives will be restored.
- The Church will rise.
- Justice will be served.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Jesus
Over the past 15 years of ministry I’ve had the honor of being a part of just about every church paradigm you could imagine. Each come with different ways of thinking about discipleship. What I’ve observed is that the most effective efforts always seem to follow someone taking ownership. Those who are taught to study the bible on their own seem to learn the bible more thoroughly and apply it most effectively. Those who initiate accountability groups seem to be more committed than those recruited into a group. And likewise, those who take responsibility for engaging the needs of culture, seem to be most effective at actually engaging culture. It’s no coincidence that it’s those people who experience the most life change along the way.
As true followers of Jesus, it should be our goal to make mercy and justice an intuitive part of our life. While that will be the sole focus of next week’s reading of the Barefoot Church Primer, it’s critical that we take this week to focus on HOW we transition from a service project to a personal investment.
Today, take a moment to go back and read the questions from page 146 in the Primer. Then read Ephesians 4:14-26 again from today’s post on page 155. If you’re not familiar with the context of this passage, take a moment to read the few preceding verses (Ephesians. 4:11-13). Focus on verse 12. Take a moment to think. Pray. And be honest about this journey. Do you believe this? Most of us do… but few of us take ownership and experience the fruit of this plan. It’s time we did.
Tomorrow you’ll be challenged to think through your project from last week. The goal will be to consider how you can move beyond the event. Be sure to spend some extra time thinking about these. It’s a mental exercise that has the potential for a huge payout. If everyone from your group does it, discussion will be amazing on your community day.
I once heard that the greatest danger for the church is when we fail to see the crisis. While that might be a pretty tough thing to validate as the greatest danger… it certainly exposes a reality: It’s in times of crisis that we seem to flourish as the church… and it’s when things are going well that we tend to be the most lukewarm.
Something strange happens when the need is so great that people drop everything to help; we become more sacrificial, we intuitively pray more, the church becomes the church.
This is why EXPOSING spiritual, emotional, and physical need is so important. We can’t live in ignorance. But knowing about it or seeing it is not enough. It’s often when we rub up against the need that we finally understand it’s depth and identify our neglect. This is exactly why we must EXPERIENCE or ENCOUNTER the need first hand. That’s the best place to learn how to ENGAGE the need in real and effective ways.
At this point in our study it’s important that we continue to focus on two significantly important things: (1) The gospel that restores and (2) the gospel that transforms (discipleship). Take a moment to take inventory of both. How are you doing? What are thinking? Be honest with yourselves and keep pressing.
This is the week we take collective action. The plans of the last couple weeks should have prepared you for your first project together. While most of you won’t be doing your project on this exact day, it might be helpful to still take note today of any thoughts, questions, or ideas that come to mind (there’s a places for them on page 137) that might help you in the future.