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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
144 pages
Oct 2010
YWAM Publishing

The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places: The Joy of Serving God in the Ordinary

by Ken Barnes

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Ken Barnes probably did not want the credit for The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places, a book about dying to self. In a world full of megachurches and big-name televangelists, the temptation to seek recognition is more seductive than ever. Barnes, however, reminds readers that a Christian’s goal is to give God alone the glory.

Barnes begins his journey at a church-run chicken farm in Hawaii. He wanted to start in the pulpit but found himself in a coop. Here he learns that each part of the body is equally important, and continues from there, guided by Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He concludes if God could serve, so must His followers.

He passes from the farm to the church kitchen, where he again faces his pride, and then on to the mission field at last. But even there he struggles to remain humble, and he finally realizes that he will never completely triumph, at least, not in this lifetime. It sounds discouraging, but Barnes points out that God uses people through their weaknesses and turns their failures into victories.

Barnes, in this day of contrived cleverness, is refreshingly simple in his explanations, stating plainly that a servant should not mind being treated like one. He does not boast of all the trials he endured. He just presents the ongoing story of an ordinary man trying to obey God. His words may seem too simple at times, but they are nonetheless true and should be taken to heart. Those wrestling with pride will do so, and those who feel as though their calling is insignificant will find hope. – Mark T. Glenchur,

Book Jacket:

What does real Christian service look like?

  • Working in a church or teaching Sunday school?
  • Serving the poor in the neediest parts of the world?
  • Studying the Bible in a quiet place?
  • Traveling around the globe to evangelize?

Maybe. But what if it looks a lot more like everyday life?

Here is good news for everyone who feels unexceptional and overlooked. God sees every act of service, no matter how dull and insignificant it may seem. His view of success is drastically different from the world’s. It is often in ordinary situations and places—not extraordinary ones—that God teaches us lessons with eternal consequences.

With humor and honesty, teacher Ken Barnes takes us on his journey from tending chickens to assisting in a kitchen to sweating in a steel mill and more. Stories of frustration, joy, and every emotion in between reveal the true direction of being a disciple of Christ: the way up is always down. Joy in serving comes not from excitement or recognition. It comes from following the example of Christ, the ultimate servant.