When Helping Hurts
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With more than 300,000 copies in print, When Helping Hurts is a paradigm-forming contemporary classic on the subject of poverty alleviation. Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. When Helping Hurts shows how some alleviation efforts, failing to consider the complexities of poverty, have actually (and unintentionally) done more harm than good. But it looks ahead. It encourages us to see the dignity in everyone, to empower the materially poor, and to know that we are all uniquely needy—and that God in the gospel is reconciling all things to himself. Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts provides proven strategies for effective poverty alleviation, catalyzing the idea that sustainable change comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out.
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!
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. 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. 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.
When a low-income person asks your church for help, what do you do next? God is extraordinarily generous, and our churches should be, too. Because poverty is complex, however, helping low-income people often requires going beyond meeting their material needs to holistically addressing the roots of their poverty. But on a practical level, how do you move forward in walking with someone who approaches your church for financial help? From the authors of When Helping Hurts comes Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence, a guidebook for church staff, deacons, or volunteers who work with low-income people. Short and to the point, this tool provides foundational principles for poverty alleviation and then addresses practical matters, like: How to structure and focus your benevolence work How to respond to immediate needs while pursuing long-term solutions How to mobilize your church to walk with low-income people With practical stories, forms, and tools for churches to use, Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence is an all-in-one guide for church leaders and laypeople who want to help the poor in ways that lead to lasting change.
Co-dependency—of which enabling is a major element—can and does exist in families where there is no chemical dependency. Angelyn Miller’s own experience is a dramatic example: neither she nor her husband drank, yet her family was floundering in that same dynamic. In spite of her best efforts to fix everything (and everyone), the turmoil continued until she discovered that helping wasn’t helping. Miller recounts how she learned to alter the way she responded to family crises and general neediness, forever breaking the cycle of co-dependency. Offering insights, practical techniques, and hope, she shows us how we can transform enabling relationships into healthy ones.
When Helping Hurts is a paradigm-forming contemporary classic on the subject of poverty alleviation with over 300,000 copies in print. This stand-alone resource applies the principles of that book specifically to short-term missions. Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions: Participant’s Guide aims to train and debrief team members, preparing them to do short-term missions as effectively as possible. To do this, it provides practical examples and guidelines for team members, and it creates interaction and reflection opportunities through questions and journaling. With eight units, six of which are built around free online video content, this book equips teams to avoid harming materially poor communities and to translate their experience into lasting and mutual engagement with missions and poverty alleviation. In conjunction with the separately available Leader’s Guide, it is an ideal resource for churches, Christian colleges, mission agencies, and missionaries.
Any and all proceeds from this book are used to support the work of Christian Health Service Corps missionaries serving in hospitals and health programs around the world.
Public service is a way of life for Americans; giving is a part of our national character. But compassionate instincts and generous spirits aren’t enough, says veteran urban activist Robert D. Lupton. In this groundbreaking guide, he reveals the disturbing truth about charity: all too much of it has become toxic, devastating to the very people it’s meant to help. In his four decades of urban ministry, Lupton has experienced firsthand how our good intentions can have unintended, dire consequences. Our free food and clothing distribution encourages ever-growing handout lines, diminishing the dignity of the poor while increasing their dependency. We converge on inner-city neighborhoods to plant flowers and pick up trash, battering the pride of residents who have the capacity (and responsibility) to beautify their own environment. We fly off on mission trips to poverty-stricken villages, hearts full of pity and suitcases bulging with giveaways—trips that one Nicaraguan leader describes as effective only in “turning my people into beggars.” In Toxic Charity, Lupton urges individuals, churches, and organizations to step away from these spontaneous, often destructive acts of compassion toward thoughtful paths to community development. He delivers proven strategies for moving from toxic charity to transformative charity. Proposing a powerful “Oath for Compassionate Service” and spotlighting real-life examples of people serving not just with their hearts but with proven strategies and tested tactics, Lupton offers all the tools and inspiration we need to develop healthy, community-driven programs that produce deep, measurable, and lasting change. Everyone who volunteers or donates to charity needs to wrestle with this book.
This is not a how-to manual… (it’s a field guide) We all want to know, "How can I help without hurting in this specific situation?" But there’s no one answer, and there’s definitely no short cuts, but there are key principles—or ministry design principles. Think of these like the rules an improvising actor learns—the principles are crucial—but the actor must decide how to put them into practice based on the complexities of the situation. This book contains and explicates 20 ministry design principles developed over decades of observing, studying, and experimenting. They’re in no way perfect, but they represent the very best ideas we have to date for how to do effective poverty alleviation in the kingdom of God.