When you read the word RED what comes to your mind? A rose . . . a valentine’s heart . . . a MAGA hat . . . your favorite sports team?
For me, the word RED brings to mind the red letters in my Bible, the words Jesus spoke over two thousand years ago; words that still ring true with power and purpose. The words of Jesus comfort me when life gets out of whack and they make me uncomfortable when I get complacent about mercy and justice.
The color RED didn’t always make me think about the words of Jesus. It started a few years ago when our church decided to spend a whole year reading and reflecting on the red letters in the Bible. A whole year focused on the words of Jesus will make you rethink the way you’re living. It will challenge a faith community to rethink what it means to follow Jesus.
Shortly after the year–long Red Letter Challenge I started writing a book about our experience. The book is called, Think Red: Imagine Your Community Living and Loving Like Jesus. If all goes as planned, the book will be published later this year. When it’s released I hope you buy two copies, one for you and one to share with a friend.
Writing the book made me uncomfortable and curious: uncomfortable with the disparity between the typical expressions of our North American Church and the words of Jesus; curious to see if our local church could do something different and re-imagine a community that looked more like Jesus.
Most of my Christian friends are bored of playing church and equally bored of books bent on deconstructing the Church. Instead, we’re on the hunt for communities that are chasing after the red letters in the Bible. In an effort to find ordinary people who dream about building community around the words and ways of Jesus I will be writing blogs throughout the year and sharing post that invite people to Think Red Together.
If you want to be a part of the conversation here are two ways to connect:
Here’s a warning from personal experience: If you dare to think red for a year it might change more than the way you think.
Larry Stoess is an author, public speaker, and urban church planter. He loves telling stories about how dreaming with God will empower people to make old and broken things new again. Larry and a band of friends founded the Church of the Promise in Louisville's Portland neighborhood; The Table, a pay-what-you-can community café; and Promise Housing Plus, a non-profit construction company. He has written about their experience of dreaming with God in his new book: Think Red.