When James Barnett became disillusioned with the church, he knew he needed to go find Jesus elsewhere — by living in the margins. After having chosen to live homeless for two years, James founded Neighborly, a relationship-based poverty relief organization advocating for biblical justice. Their mission is to deinstitutionalize charity by helping you become friends with those at a disadvantage. He defines it as simply becoming friends with people needing help!
In this episode, you’ll hear James’ personal story of intentionally living without a home for 2 years, why he chose to do so, and how that lead him to found Neighborly. You’ll also learn what he’s discovered through it all — which is how to lovingly engage with those living in homelessness.
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In this conversation James helps us answer a lot of our burning questions about helping those living in the margins.
- What is their perspective? Where are they coming from? What is it like to be them?
- Did you make friends? What were they like?
- Do you still happen to be friends with anyone you met during that time? Do you keep in touch in any way?
- What did it feel like to be homeless? Were you treated differently?
- Did you ever feel unsafe?
- What would be your advice to people who want to engage with the homeless in an appropriate way? How should we talk to them? How can we help them?
- What do you think people who are homeless wish we all knew or understood?
- What’s one thing you’d like us to understand about those living in the margins?
Topics discussed in this episode:
- James’ personal story of intentionally living without a home for 2 years
- Why he chose to do so and how he actually took steps to do it
- What it was like to live a day in James’ shoes when he was homeless
- How he and others were treated when he was homeless
- How his experiences lead him to found Neighborly
I met James about 5 years ago and I can honestly say he is one of my favorite people! The way he follows Christ and applies the Bible to everyday experiences is inspiring. This is one of my favorite conversations so far, and I absolutely can’t wait for you to hear it! Oh and you might want to grab a pen and paper for this one!
After having chosen to live homeless for two years, James Barnett founded Neighborly, a relationship-based poverty relief organization advocating for biblical justice. Their mission is to deinstitutionalize charity by helping you become friends with those at a disadvantage.
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