When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor... and Ourselvesby Steve Corbett, Brian Fikkert
Pub. Date: 06/24/2009
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm to poor people and themselves. Don't let this happen to you, your ministry or ministries you help fund! A must read for anyone who works with the poor or in missions, When/b>/i>
Churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm to poor people and themselves. Don't let this happen to you, your ministry or ministries you help fund! A must read for anyone who works with the poor or in missions, When Helping Hurts provides foundational concepts, clearly articulated general principles and relevant applications. The result is an effective and holistic ministry to the poor, not a truncated gospel.
"Initial thoughts" at the beginning of chapters and "reflection questions and excercises" at the end of chapters assist greatly in learning and applying the material. A situation is assessed for whether relief, rehabilitation, or development is the best response to a situation. Efforts are characterized by an "asset based" approach rather than a "needs based" approach. Short term mission efforts are addressed and economic development strategies appropriate for North American and international contexts are presented, including microenterprise development.
Now with a new preface, a new foreword, and a new chapter to assist in the next steps of applying the book's principles to your situation, When Helping Hurts is a new classic!
STEVE CORBETT is the Community Development Specialist for the Chalmers Center for Economic Development and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College. Previously, Steve worked for Food for the Hungry International as the Regional Director for Central And South America and as Director of Staff Training. Steve has a B.A. from covenant College and a M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia.
DR. BRIAN FIKKERT is a Professor of Economics and the founder and Executive Director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College. Dr. Fikkert earned a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University, specializing in international economics and economic development. He has been a consultant to the World Bank and is the author of numerous articles in both academic and popular journals. Prior to coming to Covenant College, he was a professor at the University of Maryland--College Park and a research fellow at the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector.
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Table of Contents
Opening Exercise 19
Part 1 Foundational Concepts for Helping Without Hurting
1 Why Did Jesus Come to Earth? 31
2 What's the Problem? 51
3 Are We There Yet? 75
Part 2 General Principles for Helping Without Hurting
4 Not All Poverty Is Created Equal 103
5 Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, and Their Assets 125
6 McDevelopment: Over 2.5 Billion People NOT Served 141
Part 3 Practical Strategies for Helping Without Hurting
7 Doing Short - Term Missions Without Doing Long - Term Harm 161
8 Yes, in Your Backyard 183
9 And to the Ends of the Earth 201
Concluding Remarks 219
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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There are two tragedies in the attitude and actions of Christ-Followers towards the world's physically and spiritually poor. The first is not to care...or act. Fortunately, we seem to be moving beyond that. Believers in Jesus are demonstrating hearts of compassion at levels that I've never personally seen...and are actually DOING something to heal hurting people all over the world. Unfortunately, however, we've not yet licked the "second tragedy" - of acting inappropriately and ineffectively. It's great to have good intentions, but when our actions are ineffective or even HURT the ones we're trying to help, something's wrong. This book will help us, as none ever before, address the second tragedy. Read it once, twice, several times. Discuss it with others. Reflect on its messages - weigh them against your own personal experience and past and present actions to help the materially and physically poor. Prayerfully internalize what they are saying, and then start your own revolution in how you, your church, and others in your sphere of influence seek to heal our world. This Is Big. To say this is the best book ever on the subject would be, believe it or not, an UNDERstatement. That's partly because it's not only a book - it also has fabulous accompanying materials (website learning and discussion aids, courses, speakers, trainers, etc.) that will significantly help us to put these ideas into practice. All of these add up literally to an unbelievable Gift from God - for the church and the world. Dave Larson Economic Development Consultant Portland, Oregon
"When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself" is a combination of sound theology, extensive research, including foundational principles, and proven strategies for determining a ministry to "the least of these." We all have a Biblical responsibility to help the poor, however, authors Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert point out that there is a great deal of diversity in how this may carried out. We can all become involved in the outreach ministry of our local church body. This book is written to help us understand that "we need the person of Jesus Christ to transform not only the poor but ourselves" as well. Each chapter includes: Pre-Chapter Questions guiding the reader in establishing their initial thoughts, compelling true stories that illustrate the material being considered in the text, and post-Chapter Questions: Reflection Questions and Exercises that direct the reader in their analysis as they consider personal application and decisive action steps that might be taken. Completing these questions and exercises are an integral part of getting the most from the book. The authors discuss the current renewed interest on the part of evangelical Christians in helping low income people. Even in today's environment of materialism, self-centeredness and complacency there us an influx of involvement in the short term mission movement, often with an emphasis on ministering to the poor at home and abroad in the interest of alleviating poverty. The chapter end-notes are rich in suggested tools and resources for further reading and study. "When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself" reveals how churches and individual often unintentionally misdirect their efforts, funds in an effort to help those in poverty. Their analysis is written with conviction, is well organized, authoritative, and convincing. The book is ideal for group or personal study, assimilation, and application. This is a book that should compulsory reading by every member on a church's mission committee. It should be on the required reading list of for every candidate considering missionary service. I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own. As reviewed for Midest Book Review.