A leader in the New Monasticism movement, he believes in living his faith by taking Jesus’ words to heart and meeting the needs of the poor and being merciful in ways that go deeper than simply writing a check or passing out food.
Living what he preaches, Claiborne resides with a group of like-minded friends called The Simple Way in an impoverished community in North Philadelphia. Most members work part time and pool resources to cover the cost of living, and they spend their days helping people in the neighborhood – with homework, taking people to appointments or sharing food.
His desire to live as Jesus did has led him to work with Mother Teresa in Calcutta and to serve at the megachurch Willow Creek. He believes in living simply and has a passion for peace and helping the poor.
On Aug. 17, he will bring his inspirational message to the youth at Wesley United Methodist Church.
“Whatever he talks about in his books, he really lives out,” said Director of Youth Patty Gilbert.
She has seen him speak a couple of times in the past.
The speaking fee the church pays Claiborne goes back to his mission field, setting him apart from many other speakers.
“It’s just really neat how he lives his life. He lives very minimal,” Gilbert said.
At Wesley, Claiborne will speak about his book, The Irresistible Revolution, in which he shares his experiences in living out his radical faith in his every day life.
Gilbert said she hopes his talk instills a passion for helping others in the young people who attend.
“It’s hard not to want to make a difference in someone else’s life after hearing him speak,” she said.