Empty Pizza boxes, crushed Dunkin Donut boxes, a tray of pills and a few empty liquor bottles tossed around on the floor might seem more like a college dorm room than the stage of a church on Easter Sunday, but that is exactly what you would have found and been confused by if you happened to walk into the end of service at Barefoot church. Talking about being confused, if you read the huge sign in front of Barefoot Churches main campus and were not privy to what the latest teaching series is about you might find yourself in shock.
EVICTED – GET THE HELL OUT! Are not exactly the words you expect to find in front of a church or plastered all over the t-shirts of its members, but that is exactly what you will find at the Main street campus of Barefoot Church in North Myrtle Beach, the Whiteville NC campus and its newest campus at the Lakeside Conference center located in Barefoot resort.
If you prefer your church low-key and your pastor quiet and stoic, this may not be the place for you, but if you desire to be challenged on a weekly basis to be the best you can be then you can count on Lead Pastor Clay Nesmith to deliver exactly what you are after. If you have ever attended Barefoot Church then you most likely encountered things you did not expect to find at your typical church. Depending on what series you came for you may have found a bed hanging from the ceiling, or a set of huge battered windows suspended over the stage, or a Christmas tree made of mason jars, you may even have found a full-size wooden train on the stage. The truth is while you may never be able to anticipate what you will find as a stage set you can count on a dynamic spirit driven message, a congregation of spirit filled members anxious to make you feel at home and you are likely to be overwhelmed by the love and generosity that emanates from everyone of the over 2000 members that call this unique place their home.
In fact for those that attend Barefoot Church Home is a much more fitting word than Church for the large building they gather in. This large theater that once belonged to Disney is much more than the conventional church that you might expect. While you won’t find large stained glass windows or be hard pressed to find a crucifix you will find intimacy and hospitality.
The staff of pastors and volunteers (or servant leaders, as they prefer to be called) integrates every element of contemporary music, high-tech presentation and modern vernacular to bring a very traditional message in a very contemporary way to thousands each week.
Pastor Clay does not mince his words or leave anything uncertain, which brings us back to the large sign that has gotten lots of attention by the press. EVICTED-GET THE HELL OUT! This also explains the scattering of pizza boxes, pill bottles and liquor across the stage. This banner that appears in huge print in front of the Main street campus and on the backs of the t-shirts worn by many of the members is the title of the newest series.
EVICTED-GET THE HELL OUT is all about cleaning up our lives and realizing that we all have our vices and devices that consume our lives and separate us from living a wholesome and Christ centered life. The series which began on Easter shows in graphic ways how we manage to continue to crucify the one that came to set us free, and how we lean on the very designs of Satan to find fulfillment. Pastor Clay clearly expresses and displays how these elements clutter and pollute our lives. He goes on to explain that by getting control of the very things that control us we can live more productive and healthier lives. It is the removal of these elements of distraction that need to be evicted. By removing these items we clean up our lives and get THE HELL out of our lives.
The following segments of this series that will be taught over the next few weeks will explain how we can and must get THE HELL out of our homes, schools and community. These lessons will aim to teach you important lessons and are aimed at you regardless of your age, life-style, or economic standing. While everyone is entitled to their personal taste in terms of the worship they enjoy, chances are you will find Barefoot’s flavor is pure, unmitigated Bible 101 packaged in a 21st-century way that attracts tattooed twenty-something’s alongside grandparents. This is evident from the moment you enter the campus and see teens next to grandparents all greeting you and welcoming you like you are a long lost relative.
While some find things a bit intense, chances are they will be challenged by the thoroughly traditional messages delivered each week. Pastor Clay Nesmith delivers in grand style a “God said it, you need to believe it, and that settles it” message. It is this ultra-modern style of delivering an ageless message that has triggered the ripple of controversy that has emanated from these walls of worship lately.
There is great beauty in the centuries-old sights and sounds of ancient masses and traditional worship unchanged through the ages. But if a church wants to step it up in a way that fills seats with people who might not otherwise see the inside of a house of worship, I would suggest that is exactly what Christianity is about, and exactly what Barefoot Church is doing. So I invite you to witness firsthand how to GET THE HELL OUT of your lives. This message is available at all three physical campuses and online.
Barefoot Church meets at 701 Main St., North Myrtle Beach Saturday 6:00 pm, Sunday 9:30 & 11:15 am also at 28 Whiteville Plaza Whiteville, NC Sunday 9:30 & 11:15 am and now at 2250 Premier Resorts Blvd. North Myrtle Beach Sunday 8:00, 9:30 am & 5:00 pm.