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Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture (Exponential Series) by [Hatmaker, Brandon]
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Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture (Exponential Series) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Description

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.”

About the Author

Brandon Hatmaker is pastor of Austin New Church (ANC), co-founder of Restore Austin, and a missional strategist with Missio ( Together, ANC and Restore Austin have developed a unique network of churches and non-pro_ ts which serve in a collective effort to impact their city and world.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2983 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (Nov. 1 2011)
  • Sold by: Zondervan CA (CA SOR)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #179,628 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book that makes a ton of sense and still follows biblical principles.

My only issue is his constant reference to putting a good face to the world (caring what the world thinks). However, his major point is following what Jesus would have us do. I just think he's explaining it wrong, but then, I'm no pastor or theologian.

Btw, this is a readable book - you don't have to be over-schooled to read it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f8808b8) out of 5 stars 155 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9faf58d0) out of 5 stars A Great Combination Of Theory And Implementation Oct. 22 2011
By Vernon - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading through Barefoot Church, I was encouraged greatly, while also blown away by how Hatmaker weaves in the ability to call out issues AND give great answers. Here are some areas that I believe Barefoot Church offers a new contribution.

1. It was raw and hope filled, instead of pessimistic and deconstructing. Many guys are writing books and articles that address problems, but they have been incredibly lazy in working out answers. Hatmaker definitely talks about problems, but does not just keep the issue hanging. He gives some engaging answers.

2. Chapters 5 and 9 were incredible. The ideas that are brought up in talking through the "unchurched" and "dechurched" are solid (Chp. 5). Also, in chapter 9, the 6 ways on how to engage non profits are priceless. They are worth the price of the book in themselves.

3. A collision of theory and implementation. Many books are continually jumping in the deep water on either side, while not realizing that both make up the pool. Brandon does both very well.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f63e3d8) out of 5 stars Barefoot Church Review Nov. 7 2011
By Paul D. Stohler - Published on
Format: Paperback
Recently, Brandon Hatmaker has written a book called Barefoot Church to address the church's mission to serve the least in our culture. I am greatly appreciative to Brandon and Zondervan for the opportunity to read and review this book for free.

The book begins with a vision Brandon has one night during a church service where God asks him to give his new boots to a homeless man. Brandon's heart is truly exposed and thus begins his journey to find out what it means to be a barefoot church: a church that is not afraid to serve the least, even if it means giving away your shoes and winding up barefoot. He sums it up when he writes, "We engage the culture by engaging the needs of that culture. We have to do this on their turf, not ours (pg. 85)."

The book is full of serious, heartfelt Biblical discussion about social justice and the church's mission. It's why Brandon started Austin New Church in Austin, TX. Through his journey he has found what it means to serve the least and truly lead a barefoot church.

It is found by being different and there must be a different way to measure success. Today's churches in the US do not always have the reputation of being culture changers. We're not known for serving the hurting, needy, homeless, hungry, and orphaned. Yet, times are changing and Brandon and ANC are leading by example.

The most challenging chapter for me would be Chapter 8: Partnering With the Non-Profit World. Brandon gives great reasons why churches should partner with non-profs, but I believe there could be more problems than are described in the book. I do not believe that churches should not partner with non-profs, I just do not believe it is as cut and dry as made out in the book. It still seems like churches are the fat kid from Goonies that has to do the Truffle Shuffle to get in the house - we're still not the "cool kids." The church must be the trend setters. Hopefully there will be a day when non-profs want to help churches serve the least, not the other way around.

This book is convicting and moving. It is riddled with true, slice of life stories that cut to the heart and make you think. It helps you see the difference between a "come and see church" and a "go and do" church, a barefoot church obviously being the latter. The book is practical and thought-provoking, moving and passionate, convicting and challenging. The reader is even left with steps to becoming a barefoot church in the final chapter. This is worth a read, even if you may not agree with everything, as was the case with me. I recommend you pick it up.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f2c9a38) out of 5 stars One of my top 3 all-time favorite books! Jan. 16 2012
By erin4jc - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Barefoot Church
Wow. Another amazing, unashamedly Jesus-centered message by the Hatmaker family!
This one hit me right at the core. Jesus taught us over and over that the most important thing He wants from us is our love and service to those in need, to the least of these. And yet somehow, in today's church, we are compelled to think that as long as we are filling our "Biblical knowledge tank", we are fulfilling our life's mission. Fail. We think that if our schedules are filled with "church" things, we are somehow living up to our calling. Fail. We think that if our church is packed to the brim that somehow we've hit the target. Fail. And, we believe that if we are loving others, but we're not willing to sacrifice our own wealth to better their poverty-stricken life, we are still living as Christ asked. Epic Fail. Jesus isn't asking us to give out of our extras. He's asking us to give until it hurts. He's asking us to make sacrifices to Him. To lay our abundance on the altar and allow Him to dispense it to those He puts in our path. He wants this not only as our priority, but as a way of life. We need to prioritize and schedule time into our daily lives our to love those in need. Not to fill our calendar with "church events" and if there's any room left to squeeze in a little time at the homeless shelter.
Jesus is not asking here. He has demanded. He's demanded our time, our talents, and our treasures. He has said that what we do for the least of these, we do for Him. He has told us countless times that the only way to gain favor with God is to love the unlovable. And still, we sit in our big churches, listening to sermons and Bible studies, consuming more and more Biblical knowledge, and feel totally satisfied, even though we aren't being the church at all. We are doing church. Jesus never once mandated, commanded, or even asked us to "do church". He said to "BE" the church. How in the world did we get so off course?
Good news though. Brandon Hatmaker has put into our hands some basic "how tos" to get started. And even more importantly, he's completely compiled the "whys" for us! Why should we live a life of mission? Why did Jesus put such a high priority on this? Where are we (personally/corporately) steering off course? How can we get back to our calling?
Thank you so much for writing this book! I have had this book for 2 weeks. I read it once almost straight through. And I'm already on my second read through! My next step is to process as much as I can, and then start the real work of figuring out how to take our family from where it is (and where it's headed) and line it up with Jesus' command for us to live missionally, serving the least of these. I'm sure it won't be easy, but Brandon lays it all out there for wasn't meant to be easy...It was meant for us to be in full fellowship with God and with others, and it was meant as a way for us to need to cling to Him every second of every day.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f2a99a8) out of 5 stars If you have one book to read on BEING the church, it's this one Oct. 20 2011
By D. Gamble - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
One of the most practical books on leading a church to missional impact. Brandon reveals in an engaging and personal style his own journey to starting Austin New Church where they Gather to Go not just stay put. He puts flesh on all the theory out there for being a missional church and puts the "and" in AND of being both gathered and scattered. I first heard Brandon in person and then subsequently picked up the book and it has really helped my thinking in the kind of church I want to start. This is definitely a must read for any church planter or pastor wanting to lead their church to new kinds of effectiveness in reaching out and actually being the hands and feet of Jesus. Not a book for the feint of heart or those who are happy with the status quo. But if you have a holy discontent to see MORE from your church, pick this book up and read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f0c0618) out of 5 stars excellent, yes! Oct. 30 2011
By jay_sauser - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was not sure what to expect when I began to read Brandon Hatmaker's book. It was his first book, it was my first time really becoming acquainted with him, and also the first time I read some of the kinds of material/information/thoughts that are in a book like this.

Brandon doesn't hold back on what he believes should be at the core of the modern day New Testament church - serving the neglected. He lays out his belief through honest, written conviction and verses and stories straight out of scripture. I mean honestly, how can you argue with that? :)

I've been on a journey as of late redefining what scripture claims that "discipleship" really is. I was pleased and excited to see that Brandon touched on this - which only helped me think more on the subject. On page 109 he wrote, "The problem with our current forms of discipleship is not necessarily found in what we do well; its found in what we've neglected." I found that to be strikingly insightful because we, as a church culture, usually try and fix what we are already doing. We spend hours upon hours searching for a solution to something that might not even be a problem. Instead, it might behoove us to try and figure out what we may be lacking.

If the only thing that I read in the whole book was the first sentence on page 127, it still would have been worth it for me. The sentence is very short, but reads as follows: "It is risky to be different in the church." Many of us out there have have felt that prompting. We have wanted to step out, risk something, challenge the system, and just plain ask "Why?" However, we often fear what the response will be. This sentence along only encouraged and challenged me to live the life in response the Gospel that I feel God has always been, and always will, be calling me to.

One of the last things that I thoroughly enjoyed about the book was the Brandon did was that he encouraged you to seek the Spirit's help in figuring out what your family's, or church's, or your own next step might be. He gives examples of what you could do, or what Austin New Church did. But in the end he tells you that you need to figure it out.

I think many times we can read a conclusion in a book, and convince ourselves that "Oh, that will never work with me. I couldn't possibly do something as drastic as that." And that will ease our conscience until the Spirit brings that topic back up in front of us. But every Christian has the ability, and responsibility, to ask the question: "God, what do you want of me?"

Brandon, thank you for the challenging words, the stories, shedding light on scripture, and risking to bring a message that isn't very popular yet in the western church. I appreciate it more than you know.