What if poverty isn’t about a lack of food, money, or clothing?
What if our attempts to help the poor can actually hurt them?
Good intentions aren’t enough.
Brian Fikkert—co-author of When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself 1, and founder and executive director of the Chalmers Center (whose vision is for “local churches to declare and demonstrate to people who are poor that Jesus Christ is making all things new”)—looks at the deeper meaning of poverty [video]:
We were created for a relationship with God, self, others, and the rest of creation.
It’s a beautiful mess.
Let us commit to learning together how we can walk with the poor in humble relationships, rather than only providing temporary handouts to them. We cannot “fix” them. Only Jesus can.
I too am poor.
You are too.
Read more on poverty and helping empower people for the good of the world in an interview Brian Fikkert had with World Vision.
Also, it’s timely that Christian Audio’s free book for the month of February is When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.
Here’s a description:
With more than 225,000 copies sold, When Helping Hurts is a paradigm-forming contemporary classic on the subject of poverty alleviation and ministry to those in need. Emphasizing the poverty of both heart and society, this book exposes the need that every person has and how it can be filled. The reader is brought to understand that poverty is much more than simply a lack of financial or material resources and that it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve the problem of poverty.
While this book exposes past and current development efforts that churches have engaged in which unintentionally undermine the people they’re trying to help, its central point is to provide proven strategies that challenge Christians to help the poor empower themselves. Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts catalyzes the idea that sustainable change for people living in poverty comes not from the outside-in, but from the inside-out.