"We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing" Romans 6:6
This mini-home comes equipped with a ladder for the loft; also a bathroom, but its bucket with sawdust does require a compost pile nearby.
A minimalist lifestyle is often associated with ecologically conscious folks who work at leaving as small a footprint as possible. In other words, they study ways in which to reduce the drain on our planet's resources generated by their own presence. That may include trying to build living spaces with less material, less waste, with a net result of significantly reduced CO² emissions. "Small footprint living" intersects at times with Zen Buddhist concepts of simple living, clarity of mind and an uncluttered life.
My uneasiness about this comes from Jesus' own lifestyle and teaching. He said:
We are to be examples of the same principles: simple living, clarity of mind and an uncluttered life.
But, no... like most humans, we seem to be devouring finite land and resources as if they were not finite. We treat our planet like a cheap Christmas toy... when it breaks, somebody somehow will just have to get us a new one. 21st Century demographics compel us to seek responsible, equitable, and sustainable life styles that offer us at least a glimmer of hope for our great grandchildren. Stoking consumerism to fire up our economies feels like a quick-fix approach that serves to protect the bottom line of a few at the top of the pile, but with no eye to the future of humanity as a whole.
I am to be a steward of my own body as the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). How do I not think about the need for a healthy planet in order to maintain that healthy body?
We need the will power to leave a much smaller footprint... sort of like we see on the sign at the local park: "Leave it cleaner than you found it!"
In the computer world, the term SMALL FOOTPRINT is "used to describe micro-components that take less space inside a computer and software that occupies less space in memory..."
Small footprint software always gets my attention: programs that function rapidly and efficiently without compromising the entire system's performance. It took me a few tries early on, for example, to find a good antivirus software that really did run unnoticed in the background.
If a significant percentage of the people in our churches represents a high maintenance drain on the emotional and spiritual resources of the body, our outreach and capacity to attain broader goals will be restricted.
We need people who end up contributing to our churches' ministries more than what they take away; people who serve meaningfully and effectively without the need for supervision or recognition… people who make wise decisions on their own within the context of their particular ministries; people who are not competing or protecting their own turf; people who cheerfully do everything as to the Lord and not to men. (Col 3:23)
"Small footprint" disciples work in such a way that you end up thinking more about Jesus than about them.
We can't just conjure up "small footprint" servants when we suddenly realize how much we need them. That caliber of disciple must be purposely prayed for, sought out and mentored. Yes, mentored... and guess who needs to do the mentoring? The alternative is to merely serve out our time and hope that we can continue putting out the fires set by the high maintenance people as they gradually take over the whole show. Pity the poor guy that has to wade into that mess after we are gone.
We should pray… first for one another... I don't think your obligation to prepare leaders for the next generation is any less or different than mine. If we are not training "small footprint" disciples, where will we find one when we need one?
Once again, less is more: programs, facilities, marketing? No. Better to pray, "Lord, we need people with true servant hearts who love you more than anything…and others more than themselves.”
When I think of my own life and ministry, I picture the Gospel, but with my muddy footprints smeared all over it.
Can you imagine leaving such a small footprint on the Gospel that there would not even be enough kindling to start a fire at the Judgment Seat of Christ? (1 Cor 3:11-15)
"He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30)
The purpose of my ministry is to point men to him. When that is done my work is done. I came not to form a party of my own, nor to set up a religion of my own; and my teaching must cease when he is fully established, as the light of the morning star fades away and is lost in the beams of the rising sun. (from Albert Barnes' Notes, Jn 3:30)
Yes...! As of July 5, 2020, my book is now available on Amazon.com.
It's a new book about an old problem: the cross and the crown… the Gospel and politics… do they mix? Should they mix?
If my words generate some reflection and healthy conversation—as in more light and less heat—I will be satisfied.
For feedback or questions, feel free to use the email link below.
Greg grew up in Menomonee Falls, WI. His ministry began in 1976: 5 years in Central America, 37 in Mexico. Church planting and discipleship have been his passion.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." -Matthew 13:44
GREG'S other BLOG
Concise devotions in Spanish and English, along with some lengthier essays… Designed for personal spiritual growth and to help anyone studying English or Spanish as a second language to improve their skills… Rev 14:6