The Surprising Benefits of Minimalism with Joshua Becker

This week on TV, Joshua Becker, founder of Becoming Minimalist, joins Dean Sweetman and Frank Barry to talk about the surprising benefits of minimalism.

This week on TV, Joshua Becker, founder of Becoming Minimalist, joins Dean Sweetman and Frank Barry to talk about the surprising benefits of minimalism. Joshua has inspired millions of people to live a more purposeful life by owning fewer things.

During their conversation, they talk about:

  • Why Joshua left the pastoral ministry to pursue minimalism
  • How minimalism can help you to live a purposeful life for Jesus
  • Joshua’s latest book “The Minimalist Home"
  • How minimalism supports living a generous life
  • What church leaders can learn from minimalism


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

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The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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The Surprising Benefits of Minimalism with Joshua Becker

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The Surprising Benefits of Minimalism with Joshua Becker

This week on TV, Joshua Becker, founder of Becoming Minimalist, joins Dean Sweetman and Frank Barry to talk about the surprising benefits of minimalism.

Show notes

This week on TV, Joshua Becker, founder of Becoming Minimalist, joins Dean Sweetman and Frank Barry to talk about the surprising benefits of minimalism. Joshua has inspired millions of people to live a more purposeful life by owning fewer things.

During their conversation, they talk about:

  • Why Joshua left the pastoral ministry to pursue minimalism
  • How minimalism can help you to live a purposeful life for Jesus
  • Joshua’s latest book “The Minimalist Home"
  • How minimalism supports living a generous life
  • What church leaders can learn from minimalism


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

video transcript

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Dean Sweetman:  Hi everybody, Dean Sweetman here. Along with Frank Barry. Mate it's good to be back in the new year.

Frank Barry:  Oh, man, it's so good to be back. It's beautiful in San Diego. Enjoying a little rain. The holidays were amazing. Christmas was awesome. We traveled a bit with the family. I don't know about you. Getting back home settling in is also awesome. Great time all around.

Dean Sweetman:  We did a little trip down to Austrailer which was incredible. Saw the parents and friends and stuff. Then came home. I couldn't wait to get back into it. We had such a great year last year all around on so many fronts. I was pretty excited to get started this year. It's good to be back in the saddle.

Frank Barry:  Wrapped up the year with just over 9,000 churches and ministries using the platform in a bunch of different countries. Super exciting and feel super blessed. It's amazing to jump into 2019.

Dean Sweetman:  We got a great show today kicking off the new year. We've got Joshua Becker. We're gonna introduce him in a moment. He's written a book all about minimalism. The benefits thereof. I'm excited to have Joshua with us today.

Frank Barry:  We'll jump in here in a sec. It's a great way to start off the new year. Season two of TV. We had the first not full year of getting it going. Did a bunch of shows and now we're jumping into season two. Joshua, of course, is gonna be really fun to talk to. We got a bunch of other great guests lined up. It's gonna be a fun year. Without any further adieu, Joshua Becker. Hey, mate. How you doing?

Joshua Becker:  Hey. I'm doing wonderful. How are you guys? I'm feeling a little pressured now with some of those kind words. It's good to be here. It's good to be here guys.

Frank Barry:  First guest of season two. We gotta make sure it's a home run.

Joshua Becker:  Even more pressure. Even more pressure.

Dean Sweetman:  Mate, let's dive in because I gotta confess something. I did not know about your book until-

Frank Barry:  Sinner.

Dean Sweetman:  I know 100%. I'm gonna repent.

Frank Barry:  Everybody on Facebook-

Dean Sweetman:  Then I went and-

Frank Barry:  Wait, we're live on Facebook so everyone on Facebook please shame Dean right now automatically in the comments.

Dean Sweetman:  I did not know about it.

Joshua Becker:  I should've named it the purpose driven minimalist home apparently. Then you would've known it?

Dean Sweetman:  Probably. Then I went and looked at it. Give me some credit here, Frank. Then I went and had a little peek. Then I knew Joshua was gonna be on the show. Man, I mean, the more I read the more impressed I became. I think probably what would be great first off if you just start talking about your journey from ministry and into this whole subject of the minimalist life.

Joshua Becker:  Sure. I was a pastor for 15 years. Did both youth ministry and associate pastor at a church plant here just outside Phoenix, Arizona. My grandfathers 97 and he's a full-time pastor. He's been in ministry for 70-

Frank Barry:  At 97?

Joshua Becker:  Yes. 77 years he's been pastoring. He used to tell me number one he would say, “Josh, if I had 100 lives I would give every single one of them to the ministry.” Then he also said, “Joshua, if God has called you to be a pastor don't stoop to be a king.” I took it to heart. I loved it. I loved being in ministry. I loved pastoring. I loved doing what I was doing. Little over 10 years ago I was introduced to minimalism by my neighbor. It was just a short conversation. It was a Saturday morning.

Joshua Becker:  I was cleaning out my garage while my five-year-old son was playing alone in the backyard all morning long. She introduced me to the term. She said, “You know my daughters a minimalist. Maybe you don't need to own all this stuff.” As I was complaining that I had to spend my day taking care of stuff rather than playing with my son. I made the decision that day that we would become a minimalist family or at least more of a minimalist family.

Joshua Becker:  I started blogging. I started a website which is just a diary, a journal what I was writing what I was doing, what we were getting rid of, what we were learning. About five years into it continued to grow and grow and grow to the point where I couldn't do both. I couldn't pastor full-time and I couldn't tend to the writing and the opportunities and requests that were coming in over there. About a three and a half year period of wrestling with God. What should I do? Do I go write or do I pastor? Went full-time writing about minimalism. I've been doing that for five and a half years. We have over a million people that come to the website. They come to the website every single month. The Minimalist Home just came out in late December. I speak U.S., Sweden, Canada, Poland, Brazil. Been all over the world talking about minimalism. Something I'm very passionate about. Something I feel called to talk about and spread the message.

Frank Barry:  It's interesting maybe a side tangent. You started off just by blogging online. This is 15 years ago?

Joshua Becker:  10 years ago.

Frank Barry:  10 years ago. Okay. How did you see it picking up steam? It's you viewer of one right and then how did you see that grow or where did the growth come from now that you look back over 10 years.

Joshua Becker:  A couple of different things that I would look back and point to. I never went into blogging to become a blogger right. I mean, I think there's a lot of people who blog and their dream is to become a full-time blogger. That was never me. I was just writing. It was growing and growing and little different things a mention here an interview there. I self-published a book. A few different key periods I think that spurred some growth. For the most part, honestly I just say that people will email me and they're like, “ Tell me how do you grow a blog like you did?” I just say, "I have written two or three times a week on the same topic for the last 10 years."

Joshua Becker:  Over that length of time, I think people have come to find it and get to know me and appreciate the views that I bring on some of these things. I mean, let's face it we just live in a world where we're constantly told to buy more and more stuff. I think when we find a voice encouraging us to own less we tend to be ... We're so oversaturated with stuff we tend to be drawn to the idea of it.

Frank Barry:  I mean, totally makes sense. Could you describe the journey a little bit? You had this conversation with a neighbor. I can relate to it's Christmas right it's the post-Christmas cleanup of the house and the stuff right. We're cleaning out the garage. Everything goes from the house to the garage and you're packing things up. I'm in that mode a little bit. I might be a little behind. You had this conversation and then that lead you on a journey. From there all the way to now what did that look like? Maybe part of that you can describe what minimalism really is for our audience. There might be some people that don't totally understand.

Joshua Becker:  Sure. Sure. If I were to go back to that very original conversation. I remember the moment to this day. I pulled everything out of the driveway. It's just spring cleaning in Vermont. I pulled everything out of the driveway. My neighbor says the word minimalism. I remember looking at the pile of stuff in my driveway knowing that my things weren't making me happy. Or, at least I would say that my possessions weren't making me happy.

Joshua Becker:  Out of the corner of my eye, there's my son swinging alone on the swing set in the backyard. This further realization that not only were my things not making my happy but my things, everything I owned was actually taking me away from the thing that brings me happiness. It was distracting me from fulfillment and purpose and joy and light. That was the light bulb moment of I get it now. I understand minimalism. I understand why people would adopt this as a lifestyle.

Joshua Becker:  We began going through our home. Took us about nine months to get through it. I say about two or three months to get through most of the lived in areas. Another four to five to six months to basement and the shed, the garage right. Some of those other spaces. It took us about nine months to get through our four bedroom, three bathroom house. Three and a half years later we moved into a smaller home. When we made that change we got rid of even more stuff along the way. I look at it in phases. A three-month phase, then a nine-month and then even three years later there's even more things that we parting with. That's what it looked like for us.

Joshua Becker:  There are a number of people that write about minimalism online. Everyone does it a little bit differently depending on family. Depending where they live. Depending what jobs that have right. A minimalist farmer is gonna own something different than a minimalist writer. It's very different from one person to another. Mostly what it is is when people know what they want their life to be about or what their values are or what their purpose is then minimalism aligns to that.

Joshua Becker:  Anyway, you asked for my definition. The definition of minimalism for me is minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things I most value by removing anything in my life that distracts me from it. That's how I embrace the idea. How that looks for me is gonna look different than anyone else.

Frank Barry:  Right. Right. 10 years ago you mentioned other people writing about it talking about it. I've seen some of that myself. 10 years ago did you see much of that?

Joshua Becker:  No. There were some people writing about it. Leo, Tammy, Collin. Some names I can even picture. There was no blog dedicated specifically to minimalism. I don't remember any books coming about minimalism. People were doing it but I don't know if anyone was really dedicating their life to promoting it and promoting it and helping others do it as well.

Frank Barry:  What was one of the biggest challenges of it for you? You're giving up things that don't help you focus on the things you wanna focus on. What were some of the spots you had to struggle through that?

Joshua Becker:  For me, there were honestly, well, two things. Any of the large spaces that just housed a lot of stuff. The basement like I mentioned it just took a lot of time and a lot of effort. Same with the garage. I go back and I try to think of was it hard to part with clothes or sporting equipment? Not really. I didn't really struggle with those things just some of the effort that needed to go into it.

Joshua Becker:  I'll say this may be for in terms of what was really difficult was or something that surprised me as well was the I think the inward journeying that this process forced upon me. We took two van loads of stuff to Goodwill and it felt great. The third van load of things to Goodwill I started asking myself some pretty difficult questions starting with why did I have three van loads of things in my house that I didn't need. What prompted me? What was the motivation to go buy stuff that I didn't need to have to live my life? It wasn't a lot of healthy motivations I found.

Joshua Becker:  I think I saw jealousy and selfishness and greed in trying to impress other people. Advertisements had more of an effect on me. I don't know I think I was more tied to the world than I ever thought I would've been. That was difficult. That process of trying to sort some of that stuff out in my own heart.

Frank Barry:  I think it's amazing, obviously, a tithe that we serve churches and ministries in a bunch of different countries around the world. You were a pastor for a long time. You went from being a pastor serving in the youth ministry and some churches into minimalism. There's definitely an intersection right. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the intersection of not loving the world right because that's a biblical concept right. We're not supposed to love the world and worldly possessions. Our treasures somewhere else. This journey you're going on is I don't wanna call it the extreme way but it definitely it sounds like it's making you really think and really dig in your heart right with your family. What's the intersection for you? How do you connect that to the church and the biblical teachings around not loving the world?

Joshua Becker:  I mean, I don't think it's extreme. Personally, we still live in a house and it has three bedrooms. I mean, it's not like ... It's very interesting there are I mean, when you look in the bible there are some people that Jesus calls to leave everything right. I mean, he tells his disciples leave your nets and leave your boats and let's go. A demon-possessed man is cured by Jesus and he comes running to him. He's like, "I'm ready. Where are we going?" Jesus says, "No, no you go back into your city and you live in your home. You be your witness there." We do find Jesus calling different people I think to different lifestyles.

Joshua Becker:  For me, it was very interesting because as I began owning less stuff I found that I had more time available to me because I was just doing less cleaning and organizing and less shopping. I had more time. I had more money. I had more focus in my life. I had less stress. Randy Alcorn says, "Every increased possession adds increased anxiety unto our lives." I was living a life that was a better example for my kids, better for the environment. A life that I think brought a whisper of more gratitude and more generosity and more contentment.

Joshua Becker:  All these incredible life-giving benefits were coming to me as I began owning fewer and fewer things. I remember telling my wife one time I'm like, "Where's this been my whole life? How come no one told me about minimalism before?" I, of course, caught myself mid-sentence because this isn't new. I mean, Jesus was saying the exact same thing thousands of years ago right. Sell your possessions and come follow me. John the Baptist is talking about giving up your extra coats and giving up your extra food. Don't build these big storehouses that you don't need. Life isn't found in abundance of possessions.

Joshua Becker:  All these things that Jesus said about money and possessions. I knew them my entire life. For some reason, whenever I heard Jesus talking about giving up possessions I'm like, "Either he's really testing my faith or he really wants me to live this miserable life." He wants me to give up everything now but at least I'll have treasures when I get to heaven. That's the tradeoff. Until I actually started doing it and I began noticing as I owned fewer possessions I was freed up to live a more purposeful passion filled life following Jesus. I was able to do more of the things in my life that I thought that he was calling me to do rather than just accumulating a bunch of things that I didn't need. I mean, that's as big of a light bulb moment for how ... Certainly, my faith impacted my view of minimalism but then I started to see how when I actually began doing what Jesus invited us to do it wasn't a sacrifice at all. It was just like anything else he said. It was a better way to live life now and forever.

Frank Barry:  Interesting. As you were speaking the thing that went off was when you set your mind on I want this new car or I want this other thing you start to see it everywhere. You know what I'm saying. It's almost like you started going through that and getting rid of the things that you didn't need and shrinking down. Then you started seeing in the scriptures how that was very much aligned with Jesus teachings. More and more it came to life. That's pretty cool. I wanna jump back to the topic of generosity and the impact on generosity. Before we go there I'd love to know why'd you write the book? You started on the blog that progressed and then you decided to write the book. Talk to me about why the book? What have you seen from writing the book?

Joshua Becker:  The book is called The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life. I've been writing about minimalism for 10 years right and I have seen ... There are some people who say, "Why would you need to write a book about owning less? Just tell people to own less there's nothing more to it than that."

Frank Barry:  One sentence, own less. Here's all the scriptures.

Joshua Becker:  How's your book more than one sentence long? Honestly, I go back and for me, it was just one conversation with my neighbor. It was not much more than a sentence where I'm like, "You're right. I'm in. How do I work this out in my life?" After 10 years of writing about it and helping people do it, I've seen that there are a lot of common obstacles and hurdles and roadblocks and burdens. There are a lot of people who are drawn to this idea of owning less but can't quite seem to get there or don't know how to get there. Other people who they want to declutter their home but they haven't seen some of the deeper motivations behind it. How does this spur generosity and how does this change family? Some of those really deeper level things to it. Anyway, the book is great. It goes through 18 spaces in the home. Very practical step by step-

Frank Barry:  Chapter by chapter so can people can go, "Okay, doing the bedroom." Let's do the bedroom.

Joshua Becker:  How to do it but I think it goes beyond that in a way I'm pretty of that not just how to declutter but it really forces us to rethink the meaning of home and the purpose of home. That on one level it is about rest and acceptance and security and stability. It should be a place where we can go to to find those things. It's also a launching pad right. It's a place where we find rest. Not so we just rest there forever but so that we can be refreshed to go make the biggest difference in the world that we can. I think that the book strikes that conversation in a way that's pretty helpful for people. I like it. I like it.

Frank Barry:  Absolutely. Since we're here I'm assuming they can jump on Amazon to find the book. Is there a website just for the book that people should go to? Or, should they go to your blog?

Joshua Becker:  There's not a website for it. is my home. Certainly, the Minimalist Home can be found anywhere. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian book-

Frank Barry:  I mean, we're on Facebook Live so I know Jesse's on Facebook popping the links in there. We'll put it in a shoutouts and all that stuff and help get the word out. I guess circling back you wrote the book. It sounds like it's having a really great impact. It's been a long journey for you. Maybe not circling back yet but my wife is obsessed with the show Tidying Up right now on Netflix. I feel that thing might be ... Maybe we're late to the game but all of a sudden I'm seeing even friends and family reference that show. How do you see those connect I guess? Tidying Up, minimalism for the audience that maybe even seeing that show now for the first time.

Joshua Becker:  I think it's great. You're not late to the game. I think it debuted end of December or something. That's why everybody's talk about.

Frank Barry:  Sometimes I don't know.

Joshua Becker:  It's up there. No, it's great. Marie takes a little different approach than I do to decluttering. Look, I'm for any voice in the world that is helping people own less stuff. We see 5,000 advertisements every single day, and they all tell us that we're not as happy as we could be. Our life isn't as luxurious or as convenient as if we're buying whatever they're selling. I am all for any voice coming in and let's rethink this a little bit. Are more possessions really making us any happier? Is it just adding to our worries?

Frank Barry:  More stuff, totally. Well, circling back so we're tithing folks on helping churches and ministries increase giving by making it simple with digital tools. There's definitely a connection between minimalism and that lifestyle and really understanding even the scripture the biblical impact. How that impacts your ability to be generous. What have you seen as you've gone on your journey? What kind of stories have you seen around minimalism leading to increased generosity in peoples lives?

Joshua Becker:  Number one minimalism makes generosity possible as we're owning less stuff. We find opportunity to be more generous with the things that we have. Number two I find that generosity is not just the product of minimalism but generosity actually spurs on minimalism. This was a story. A lady, we were actually talking online, and she told me this story how she'd gone through her house and got rid of all of her husband's stuff and it was great. She said, "No, no I've done a good job of getting rid of a lot of things but I've always loved clothes. I've always loved fashion. I knew my closet was always gonna be difficult for me to get rid of things."

Frank Barry:  The husband first and then the closet second.

Joshua Becker:  I knew that was gonna be my hard spot. Everyone has a couple hard spots. She said, "Just the other day I was driving by downtown and I happened to pass our cities battered women's shelter." She said, "I don't know if I ever noticed it before or never gave it any thought but I started thinking of all the women inside maybe left in the middle of the night with nothing but their children in their arms and the clothes on their back. I started thinking of my closet full of clothes collecting dust and how much beauty and dignity and honor that those clothes which are doing me no good could genuinely provide to those women." She said, "It changed everything. I went home and I started filling up bags and bags of stuff to give to that." It was the moment for her to help her city.

Joshua Becker:  Minimalism not just spurs generosity, generosity motivates minimalism. I'll say this, "Probably the thing that I've learned more than anything else through this process about generosity is this. That most people, 99.9% of people want to be generous. We want to be able to give and to solve problems and to donate to causes we believe in." This is something that we want to be true of us. So many people just can't seem to find the margin in their life to do so right. I can't seem to have the extra money or the extra time. Money, in this case, to be able to give.

Joshua Becker:  Number one I'm the church treasurer at our church and whenever I talk about money it's always like, I know that you want to give. You want to be supporting what we're doing. Let me encourage you to do it and here's some simple ways to get involved doing that. I mean, I also just know that the world we live in right it hijacks our passions and causes us to spend money on things that we looking back we regret spending money on. There's that piece of it as well. That last thing is probably one thing that I've learned maybe more about generosity than anything else. You probably seen it as well right? I mean, this is something that we ... I mean, people want to be able to give to support churches.

Frank Barry:  Absolutely. I mean, I think we see it. It's, obviously, the business we're in. Our whole company is built on the fact that every employee loves serving in their local church and loves giving to the church to the people. Obviously, the money is only one aspect. I mean, the church needs it to run and to build mission and vision that the leadership has in that local community. Obviously, generosity is not just money it's our whole life right. Having less or all the worries that can come with worldly possessions and to your point drags you down. We can get rid of some of that stuff that's unnecessary frees you up to give more. It's totally in line with Jesus's teachings.

Frank Barry:  I think it so there's a question from a viewer, and I also you said you're the treasurer, and I feel there's something to unpack there. Question from one of the viewers. If you're watching live on Facebook please ask any questions you have we'll try to weave them in here in the next give or take 10 minutes. How about disagreeing with your spouse on this issue? You referenced the person who got rid of all her husband's stuff first. How do you deal with conflict in the family whether its spouses, kids whatever it may be? What helps people get through some of those hurdles?

Joshua Becker:  Sure. Well, first of all, conflict in the family is not rare. It's not I think outside usual conversations that we have in relationships. I was in for minimalism and owning less and my wife was in for owning less. If I wanted to get rid of 80% of our stuff she wanted to get rid of 50% of our stuff. At the beginning, it felt pretty good. Then we had to reach a point where we're like, okay, how does this look for us going forward where I'm hoping for this and she's hoping for that? I think that's probably the case in most relationships. In almost every area right. We generally agree that this is the right direction that we should be going as a family but one wants to go this far, one wants to discipline this much. The other one just wants to discipline the child this much. Okay, how do we sort that out?

Frank Barry:  How are we gonna align it?

Joshua Becker:  Probably the most important thing honestly for people to remember is that it is always easier to see everyone else's clutter then it is to see your own. I had a husband come up to one time at an event and say, "Look, I'm the minimalist in my family. I've loved everything you've said. I can't get my wife on board what should I tell her?" We talked it over for a little bit. Five minutes later the wife came up to me after not talking to the husband and the wife said the exact same thing. "Look, I'm the minimalist in my family. I can't get my husband on board. What do I say?"

Joshua Becker:  It's just because we ... There are different things that are important to different people. Everything my wife has looks like clutter. The wife everything the husband has looks like clutter. Starting with your own things right. You can get rid of your own stuff first and foremost you can have this conversation in a way that would resonate with them. You may be drawn to owning less because it would free you up to do this and this and this. Your husband or wife might be drawn to minimalism for a different reason. What would motivate them to own less? Have the conversation in that way.

Joshua Becker:  Then the right time to have these conversations is not when we're frustrated we can't find the umbrella or the drawer doesn't close because there's too much stuff in it. That's when we're, oh, I'm sick of all your stuff. Over coffee or dinner. Hey, let's talk about our lives and what we're seeing. What if we had more money? What if we had more time? What if we moved into a smaller house? What if we cleaned out our closets? How would that impact our life and changes for the benefit? That's the way to have that conversation.

Frank Barry:  Baby steps. Lead the way. Don't force it. All those kinds of things sounds like. It's amazing. I guess you mentioned being the treasurer. I guess wrapping it back on our audience is largely pastors, church leadership from churches of all shapes and sizes around the world. How do you help church leadership with this concept which we said is not new Jesus taught it throughout the Bible in many ways maybe not calling it minimalism. What could church leadership do when it comes to I don't know using this concept or teaching it to the church in all ways that lead to generosity whether it financial or in other ways? What have you seen in your church?

Joshua Becker:  Well, I know a book that would have a positive effect.

Frank Barry:  Read it.

Joshua Becker:  The Bible and The Minimalist Home. They would both be very helpful. No. Okay. I've given a lot of thought to this. I was 33 when I was introduced to minimalism. I had van loads. We got rid of 60, 70% of our stuff that we just didn't need. I grew up in the church. I grew up in a Christian home. I was a pastor for 15 years. I knew everything Jesus had to say about money and still, I had accumulated way more possessions than I needed. To the point where they were keeping me from living the life that I wanted to be living right? I wished I was in the backyard not cleaning out the garage. I thought to myself why? What did I miss? Maybe the time just wasn't right. God just needed me in this one moment to really challenge me in this way.

Joshua Becker:  What I most remember is that most of the conversations that I heard in church about materialism, about consumerism were negative in their presentation right. Don't be materialistic because this and this and this. Don't be over consumeristic because this and this and this. Don't waste your money on this and this and this. It was always why I shouldn't do something. I don't remember any conversation. I don't remember any pastor standing up and saying, "Look, I have begun owning fewer possessions. I've begun doing these things that Jesus said and here are all the positive impacts the positive benefits that have come to me" right. It's the same conversation but it's a different side of the coin. Maybe that's the one thing that was missing I think as I was growing up. Thinking about these things that when you have the conversation of let's just talk about how minimalism would improve all of our lives. Improve our church. That resonates far more then don't do this don't do that don't do this because of all these negative things.

Frank Barry:  Right. Right. Focus on the positive. Focus on the blessing and the increase that you're gonna receive and other people are gonna receive. Share those stories along the way.

Joshua Becker:  Can I mention one other?

Frank Barry:  Yeah.

Joshua Becker:  In Luke chapter eight is this the parable of the sower and the four soils. You have the soil that gets eaten by the birds and one that starts to sprout but doesn't grow any roots. The third one grows roots but doesn't bear any fruit. Then the fourth one is the fruitful soil. It's one of the rare parables where Jesus explains what he means. In the third soil, it grew roots but didn't bear any fruit. It was choked out by the thorns and the weeds. Jesus goes on to explain what he means by the thorns and the weeds. He said, "The fruit of this faith. The fruit of the soil of the plant is choked out by worries, riches, and pleasures."

Joshua Becker:  I have spent my whole life reading that parable and being thankful that I was the fourth soil. How prideful is that right? Well, at least I'm glad I'm the fourth soil. As I look back on my life and I think as I look back on as certainly the American church as a whole and other developed nations I think for the most part we're the third soil right. That we have faith and we have roots and we have resources and we know Christ but the fact of the matter is that the worries and the riches and the pleasures and the possessions and the fact that our homes are bigger than ever and we have more stuff in our homes than ever before. I think we're probably the third soil far more than [crosstalk 00:35:43].

Frank Barry:  It chokes it out right. Financial worries. That's a massive one. There's plenty of other stuff that comes along. Those things choke it out. They get us focused on those things and we start spinning out because of all that worry and stress and things that come with it.

Joshua Becker:  All the money and time and energy that just goes into not just taking care of the things that we have and taking care of the house that we have but constantly pursuing and chasing and desiring more and more. Bringing more and more stuff into our lives. Just wanted to mention that.

Frank Barry:  I'm gonna do one last question from the audience. Then we'll wrap things up. They said, "How do you deal with sentimental stuff like your kid's artwork?" Just sentimental things, kids artwork, family heirlooms. Things like that. How would you recommend people deal with those kind of things?

Joshua Becker:  Sure. Well, first of all, it's important to remember that less is different than none. I talk about owning fewer things not owning no things. Even in terms of sentimental items I find that fewer tends to be better than more. If you go into a museum what makes a museum great isn't that every piece of artwork ever created that every heirloom ever passed down is on the walls or on the shelves or in display cases. What makes a museum great and enjoyable is that just the few the most important the ones that were really representative of that artist or that period of life or art or whatever it is. Those are the things that we hold onto. It's a little bit like flipping through a photo album right. Can you imagine going through a photo album where every photo ever taken was in the album?

Frank Barry:  It's like on your phone right. Flipping through your phone photos. You're never gonna look at all those.

Joshua Becker:  That's no fun right. It's enjoyable when someone has curated those things. Okay, what pieces of artwork from my child's life are the ones that he's most proud of. That I'm most proud of. If there just so many that they're shoved in a box in the basement then they're not doing much good anyway. Family heirlooms from your grandparents or parents that passed on. Sure, hold onto some of those things that really remind you of that relationship and some of those values. If you're holding onto so much stuff that it's burdening your life.

Joshua Becker:  It's keeping you from walking forward into the next season of life. I don't think your grandparents even wanted to burden you with all of their possessions. Do you want your grandkids to carry around everything you left them? No. Sure, grab two or three things that remind you of me that would be nice but I want you to go live your life. I want you to live fully. That's how my grandchildren most honor me. That's how I most honor my parents and my grandparents is by living my best life going forward. Not by feeling that I need to carry those things forward or even carry things from previous seasons of life that I'm no longer in. Some is good but you don't have to hold onto everything.

Frank Barry:  It's all of it. It's amazing we could talk forever. This is awesome stuff. Maybe let's end on one thing. What's one thing you would tell the Christian person, or the church leader about getting started with minimalism or just the impact it can have on your life?

Joshua Becker:  That's good you asked me that because there's normally one other thing that I mention about sentimental things. It's this. You don't start by getting rid of the sentimental stuff right. You don't start with the hard things. You start easy, and you start simple. When you talk about what's one last thing. I would leave people with go take one small step today. Go clear out your car. Go take everything out of your car that you don't need. Or, the living room. For most people, they can accomplish this is their living room. Make the change. Get rid of the things you don't need. Then see how it makes you feel. How much calmer and peaceful? How much you enjoy being in your car? How more focused you are on the day? How much having a decluttered living room just allows you to enjoy the people inside the living room? Make that one small change. Then enjoy it. You'll like it. You're where else can I ... Let's do this in the bedroom and in the bathroom and in the kitchen. You work your way up to some of those harder spaces as you go.

Frank Barry:  Great tips. Well, everybody watching, you guys should check out The Minimalist Home. Go check it out on Amazon. Go to Joshua's website. We'll link it in the show notes. It'll be on Facebook Live here as well. Joshua, it's great to have you, man. This is a great conversation. It's good to get to know you a little bit and just learn about your passions and share with the audience. Thanks for joining us today.

Joshua Becker:  I appreciate it. Thank you.

Frank Barry: fam we'll be back next week. Dean, obviously, dropped out I think there was some tech issues. Apologize for that. We'll be back next week with a great show. We'll put this recording up online as soon as we can. Thanks, everybody.