One of the most difficult parts in serving the least is getting started. We muster up the energy and willpower, but too often get stalled out with the details, easily forgetting a critical step of preparation. The Barefoot Church Primer is designed in such a way to walk you through each phase of the journey one step at a time. Everyone’s talking about social action and justice in the world. At the same time, there is a rise of intentionally missional and incarnational communities in the church. For the first time in a long while, a major emphasis of the Western church is on something designed to collectively point people outward and to give them a platform to do so together.
The Barefoot Church Primer is designed to be your guide on the journey of “learning to do right.” It’s designed to put mission back into your small group or faith community. It’s designed to help existing churches begin or continue their journey toward being missional, to relearn a posture required to become missionaries to our context, and to equip us to engage culture through engaging the needs of culture. While doing so, we believe you will be changed. You will find community like you’ve never seen before. And the church will become good news again both to you and to our onlookers.
As we said in The Tangible Kingdom Primer, God’s ways are natural, but they aren’t always easy—especially at first. New ways of life must be formed in us through hours, days, and years of intentional practice. The future of your faith and the incarnational presence of your community are ultimately about letting the Spirit of God re-orient everything about you. This is why we’ve called these resources “primers” (which can be defined as a book of elementary principles). While we know a workbook alone won’t get the job done, we do think it can provide a good place to start. God’s Kingdom doesn’t usually unfold in a nice, neat package or linear progression. In fact, he is much more likely to surprise us, to show up in unexpected places and in unique experiences that only he can orchestrate.
Our hope for this book is that it will help you be ready when he does show up. This includes listening and being willing to be changed. It also includes learning to take personal responsibility for your own calling and dealing with those parts of your flesh that keep you from following Jesus as he leads you out into the world.