Friday, April 13, 2012

Book Review: Barefoot Church - Serving The Least In A Consumer Culture

Barefoot Church - Serving The Least In A Consumer Culture by Brandon Hatmaker

"Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." - Matthew 25

How many times have you heard someone say or maybe even you have thought to yourself, "The church ought to care for the poor and help the orphans and widows." But then ask yourself, "what am I doing?" Someone once said, "I want to ask God why he allows pain and suffering in the world, but I am afraid he will ask me the same question."

This book tells the story of how a young pastor quit a comfortable job in a mega church and worked to form a church that puts its focus on serving "the least of these." Brandon challenges the reader to be the living epitome of the good news to the lost, broken, hurting world. He challenges the reader with Micah 6:8, "act justly and to love mercy". Mercy offers relief and compassion without judgement to those in distress while justice offers action, awareness, advocacy, and right action.

The Bible calls us to love our neighbor and does not cut us any slack for the neighbor that is a pain to tolerate or does not smell good. If we call ourselves believers or disciples, then we should see poverty, hunger, homelessness, and injustice as wrong and we should be motivated to fight to make it right.

"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17

Are we doing that? Or are we walking past the homeless guy holding our breath and trying not to make eye contact?

For far too long we have talked a big talk. Its time to stop the talk and start doing. As another quote says, "nobody cares what you think until they think you care."

If this book doesn't make you stop and question what you are doing, I don't know what will.


Lady R (Di) said...

Thanks for sharing this. I've made some very surprising changes in myself over these last few weeks, and I find that giving of yourself really is very rewarding.

Something I've started doing when encountering different people in different scenarios, is this... what if the man you looked away from and ignored was Jesus, or the woman you pushed ahead of because she was moving to slow, was Jesus. Or how about the dirty smelly dude standing next to you, is Jesus.

Guess what... he or she IS! We are all his children and he just wants US to love and care for each other, just like a parent teaches their children to be good and loving siblings to one another.

This is not always easy, but when you start purposefully practicing "Prevenient Grace" toward others, it becomes automatic... without even trying.

Another good read is Joyce Meyer's "Battlefield of the Mind". I just finished the audio version. It's one I will listen to again and again! Attitude is big! I want to be sure mine stays in a good place!

I'll be looking for this book. Thanks again my friend.


Allen Madding said...

Dianna - I don't think I could sum it up any better.