Saturday, January 17, 2009


"Why" is an important question to ask. When the "why" is identified it serves as a motivational factor (yahoo for why we do it), a goal setting factor (what do we need to do, because of why we are doing it), and an evaluation factor (is why we are doing this being realized by what we are doing).

Yesterday Joan took down our Christmas tree. It has 1500 lights on it. (Horry Electric will notice a loss in draw on the power grid.) It is a tedious and time consuming job. Halfway through taking it down and packing up each part, she said, "Tell me again why we do this." (I am the wrong person to ask because I have no "why" for this one.)

We did come up with some "why's" that even helped me appreciate the inconvenience and clutter a tree produces. Our family gathers each year for Thanksgiving at our place. Our grandsons stay overnight and help put the tree up the next day. They love it. It is making memories and tradition that are important to our family. Joan loves the environment the tree produces. She can sit for hours just looking at the tree. (For me it is sort of like looking directly into the sun.) Once we discussed the "why" of the tree, we completed the task of putting it away and look forward to spending the day after Thanksgiving with our grandchildren.

Sometimes it is good to ask, "Why?" We are in the middle of asking that question at Barefoot Church right now. I anticipate that when we revisit why we do what we do that we will do it with more energy, excellence, excitement, and expectation.

Why do you do what you do?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fishers of Men/Keepers of Aquariums

Fishers of men (evangelists) and Keepers of the Aquarium (pastors) seem to be the classifications of two activities of the church on planet earth. One activity is to go into all the world preaching the Gospel. (Fishing for men) The other activity is to teach believers everything that the Lord has instructed. (Feeding the Fish) We often call this two-fold challenge the Great Commission.

The "work of the ministry" is to seek and to offer salvation to those who are lost, but the responsibility of leadership is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. An ideal church functions with both these gifts. Stretching to reach the lost and committed to training believers.

Evangelism is the first work of the church. Check out a church that stopped doing "the first work". The second work is to equip the saints to do the first work. The church often complicates what God has made very simple.

Are you intentional about sharing the Gospel and fishing for men and women? Are you intentional about teaching others everything you know about God and how to become great fishermen?

I'm pretty passionate about packing the aquarium full of fish before the Lord arrives. That means we must prepare a lot of people to go fishing.

Just Thinking.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Techno Outreach

****** Parker wants to be contacted. Here is the info:

Name: ****** Parker

E-mail: *******

Comment: I am on your website and want to know more information.

This is just one of many people who are being pointed to Christ by Barefoot Church and are located way outside our physical borders of ministry. Technology has knocked down the borders of ministry outreach.

There is a swelling number of organizations realizing that the geographic or distance barriers that once defined the limit of their impact are gone. We see: Doctors Without Borders, Teachers Without Borders, Engineers Without Borders, Lawyers Without Borders (oh, boy), and a host of others. There's even Mothers Without Borders who address the global orphan crisis.

Thinking outside the box has taken on a whole new meaning as we leverage new technology to become a church with no borders. Old technology allowed us to broadcast the Gospel via radio. New technology enables us to minister to people and expand the Body of Christ as never before.

Thinking outside the box means more than being creative in our communication and local outreach. We have to begin to think globally (outside the borders) and become a church without borders.

Hey, want to experience a global community environment? Join us at Barefoot Church on Saturday nights at 6:00pm, Sundays at 9:00am and 11:00am and Tuesday nights at 7:30pm.

I'm focusing more and more on riding this wave in my ministry responsibilites here at Barefoot. I have changed this site's address to be easier to find and use. It is now found at: Hey, I even have a MacBook on the way. (You've got to do what you've got to do.)

Remember, the earth is the Lord's and everything in it. THINK GLOBAL. LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Recruit and Train

I get very annoyed when I hear: "Churches like yours . . . (meaning churches where lots of people are coming to Christ, the music rocks, and the excitement is equivalent to the Super Bowl) . . . are very shallow in doctrine. I have to assume they mean that a large number of our people could not name all twelve tribes of Judah or quote the five tenets of Calvinism. This may be true, but in my experience as Care Ministry Pastor, I see people at their true life level. They are having dynamic life change and are exhibiting evidence of conversion that drives them to desire to know more and more about the God who loves them and gave them new life.

To set the record straight let me point out the environments we have intentionally designed for Christian growth. 1. We are very intentional about the main worship teaching. By intentional I mean that there are no less than 80 man hours put into every message. (much more most weeks) Every week people are challenged by God's Word in a way that impacts their daily lives.
2. We are very intentional about Community Groups. We have designed an environment that encourages people to do life together and seek to grow through fellowship and bible study. 3. We are very intentional about serving. We create environments that encourage and enable everyone in the church to serve. It is through serving that people grow, not merely through learning. 4. We are very intentional about encouraging our people to share their faith. We create an environment of invitation because you really haven't learned anything until you share it with someone else. Hundreds of people don't come to Christ unless hundreds of people are sharing Christ.

We are now adding an opportunity for our local and online people to attend an online Community Group called "Basic Training". Each Tuesday night at 7:30 we will be online, teaching bible study methods through Romans and Ephesians.

This Community Group has three purposes: 1. Excite people about God's Word and their need of it. 2. Excite people about doing life around God's Word with other people. (Thus feed into new Community Groups) 3. Declare the basis of our salvation (Romans) and what it means to be IN Christ. (Ephesians)

Basic Training is not a response to the accusation that "churches like ours" are shallow, but rather a demonstration that we do whatever we have to do to do what God instructs us to do. Basic Training is a response to all the new converts God has seen fit to give us. It is a way to channel people into the three environments of Barefoot Church: Worship/Community Groups/Service and Sharing.

Shallow? I think not. Maybe dynamic is a better word to describe "churches like ours."

Just thinking.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


"New" is a great word. I love to drive a new car. (It only happens when I rent one at an airport.) Someday, probably this year, I will have to get a new computer. I appreciate the one I have now, but am looking forward to some of the upgrades of a new one. (Probably fall prey to the Apple fad.)

On May 30th I will get a new family member when my daughter marries the guy who has been showing up at our house for the past couple years. I am glad that I have never had to get a new wife. Mine has stuck with me for 33 years. (Big reward in heaven for her.) We got married on New Year's Day in 1976. On our anniversary we are always focused on the new year ahead of us. More couples ought to live year by year, they soon mount up.

Today the word "new" got me a little more excited as I considered the new lives that the Lord gave many people at Barefoot Church over the past year. My new life in Christ never gets old. That is the cool thing about what God makes new. I can get a new car, but it will become old. As a matter of fact, every new thing I get in this life becomes old. But, when Christ gives new life, it is eternal and never becomes old. Someday we will be given a new heaven and new earth that will never become old. (The environmentalists will be out of work.)

Last year we did a lot of new stuff at Barefoot, but the only thing that we did that won't become old is introducing people to a new life in Christ. I am sure God will lead Clay to a lot of new things in 2009 also, but the one thing that will never get old is sharing the life giving, life changing Gospel of Jesus Christ.

There is a part of me that really gets excited about new stuff, (I know, that sounds very carnal, but you know it is true about you, too.) but the most exciting new thing ever is the new life God gives to those who put their trust in Christ. What new thing will you get excited about in 2009?

Hey, want to start out the new year with some Basic Training? Check us out on Tuesday nights at 7:30pm on the Internet.