Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture

Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture

4.3 8
by Brandon Hatmaker

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People are hungry to make a difference in their community, yet most don’t know where to start. In fact, “serving the least” is often one of the most neglected biblical mandates in the church.

Barefoot Church shows readers how today’s church can be a catalyst for individual, collective, and social renewal in any context. Whether pastors or

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People are hungry to make a difference in their community, yet most don’t know where to start. In fact, “serving the least” is often one of the most neglected biblical mandates in the church.

Barefoot Church shows readers how today’s church can be a catalyst for individual, collective, and social renewal in any context. Whether pastors or laypeople, readers will discover practical ideas that end up being as much about the Gospel and personal transformation as they are about serving the poor. Here they will see how the organizational structure of the church can be created or redesigned for mission in any context.

Drawing from his own journey, Brandon Hatmaker proves to readers that serving the least is not a trendy act of benevolence but a lifestyle of authentic community and spiritual transformation.

As Hatmaker writes, “My hope is that God would open our eyes more and more to the needs of our community. And that we would see it as the church’s responsibility to lead the charge.”

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Product Details

Publication date:
Exponential Series
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Barefoot Church 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Ehoup More than 1 year ago
Brandon challenges believers to take serious what Christ takes serious... serving the least. This book isn't about 10 easy steps to church growth and it's not a "recipe for success" in getting people through your doors. Rather, it is a challenge to substantiate the claims that we make as Christ-followers by living them. He shows us, through his own church's story (ANC), what community looks like when people are the biggest priority, not the offering plate or size of your lobby. My hope is that church leaders all over will read this book and implement it's principles. Brandon doesn't claim to have all the answers and his humble approach in challenging us to live differently is what gives this book it's appeal. Instead of another overly calculated strategic "catch-all" for ministry implementation we get a "barefoot" version of what Christ's church could and should look like in America. Buy this book, read it, and do it.
AnnetteOC More than 1 year ago
Our religious culture is a consumer culture. Whether through worship services or other church activities, most Christians are spectators rather than an integral part of the action. Brandon Hatmaker, senior pastor of the Austin New Church and co-founder of Missio, wants to change all that. In Barefoot Church: Servicing the Least in a Consumer Culture (Zondervan, 2011), he reminds us that, in the words of James, pure religion requires serving the poor and oppressed, not sitting on the sidelines a few times a week expecting to be entertained. Hatmaker wants to get every member of every church involved in community service projects, which unfortunately have taken a backseat to evangelism. There’s a backlash against this view primarily because church leaders tend to fear “social gospel,” the preaching and teaching that society can be saved through prohibition, soup kitchens, and improved sanitation, rather than through Jesus Christ. This isn’t what Hatmaker’s promoting. He’s calling Christians to return service to its rightful place beside the proclamation of the Gospel. He’s looking for barefoot Christians, those willing to give up their shoes for the homeless on the spot, regardless of whether or not there’s an opportunity to convert them. Right now, churches direct most of their resources to “getting people in the door.” This method has failed to produce the kind of growth expected. The “unchurched” don’t have their material needs met, and the “dechurched” have left because church, as church is usually done, appears irrelevant to the real world. The solution? Hatmaker advocates a major structural overhaul. His most controversial suggestion? Canceling morning worship service once a month so that the congregation can go out and actually meet the needs of the community. When a church’s priorities change, Hatmaker foresees real progress being made. Why obsess over attendance counts when there are orphans to adopt and sex trafficking victims to rehabilitate? And what about partnering with other organizations to give Christians an opportunity to connect with those demographics underrepresented in church, like college professors? The refusal to do so, he points out, is often connected with an unwillingness to set aside some church agenda to get a service job done. In addition, churches crave public recognition for their work, pitting them against nonprofit organizations as competition instead of allies with common goals. I enjoyed Barefoot Church largely because it got straight to the point. Yes, there were plenty of stories to illustrate the problem at hand along with Bible verses to convince the reader of the necessity of service, but Hatmaker focuses on the logistics of getting a program set up without burning out leaders or guilt tripping members who don’t have time. One area he doesn’t touch upon nearly enough is conflict within a congregation. Breaking away from the norm will likely cause division. Hatmaker sort of assumes that his readers are working within an autocratic system in which a senior pastor can create new projects and change church structure at whim. However, those coming from situations tightly controlled by the congregation, a team of elders, or a denominational authority need more advice on how to win over others. Yes, the church should make service a priority, but for small congregations especially, everyone needs to be on board with the idea. P.S. Hatmaker also has written the Barefoot Church Primer: An 8-week Guide to Serving through Community to help churches get started.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great ideas for any church. Bold theology.
gbautista72 More than 1 year ago
A challenging read. The author reminds us as followers of Jesus to DO, to ACT. Take your faith and be a light to the world around you. Show love and benevolence. This book gives some ideas and suggestions on how to do that in church as a group and individually.
HeidiOH More than 1 year ago
Honest look at what it means to be a church today. Not preachy. Understands how hard it is for an established church to move from tradition to meeting people where they are and helping in our communities. Lots of good ideas. So good, we bought extra copies for key people in our church.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seven page sample gets you partway thru the table of contents. Not too helpful in getting a taste of the book!