Book of the Quarter — Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence

Interim Ministry Workshop, Tuesday-Thursday March 14–16, 2023, Heritage Christian University, Florence, Alabama

Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence: A Practical Guide to Walking with Low-Income People, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert with Katie Casselberry; Moody Publishers, Chicago, © 2015 by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.

Excellent follow-up to When Helping Hurts. This book focuses more on suggestions about working with people to experience mutual development as we learn from each other.

On the fifth Tuesday of each quarter, I share a book I’ve read recently. I highlighted “mustard seeds,” which impressed me. I hope you find one or two that will be helpful to you.

To find more information or buy this book on Amazon, click the link or the picture below:

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Here are my “mustard seeds”.

At its core, poverty alleviation is the process of broken people in a broken world being restored to the hope and dignity God intends for human beings as His image-bearers. And the people who are broken—the people who need this restoration—are both the low-income people and those who are seeking to help them. Both parties are broken, and both need to be transformed (page 9, Kindle Edition).

Relief doesn’t ask people to take actions to improve their situation; development does. Relief is done to people or for people; development is done with people (page 27, Kindle Edition).

One of the most common and detrimental mistakes that North American churches make in their benevolence work is using a relief approach when the situation calls for development (page 27, Kindle Edition).

A needs-based approach often exacerbates the very dynamic we need to get out of in poverty alleviation: handing out material resources to people rather than helping them steward and grow their own resources (page 30, Kindle Edition).

An asset-based approach does not ignore his needs, but it seeks to identify, celebrate, and mobilize his own gifts, abilities, and resources as much as possible to address those needs (page 30, Kindle Edition).

One of the key roles your church can play in walking with low-income people is to initiate a trigger for change by gently asking probing questions, introducing new ideas, or helping people see a new set of possibilities (page 32, Kindle Edition).

One word of caution: do not visit the person’s home alone. Take at least one other person with you in order to avoid the appearance of a compromising situation, and reduce the exposure of the church member to any harm (page 101, Kindle Edition).

To shop for Helping Without Hurting in Chruch Benevolence on Amazon, click: Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence

What have you seen work well in benevolence?

Please leave a comment below:

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Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

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