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When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself

Moody Publishers / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

With millions living on $2.00 a day, American Christians are answering God's call to serve the poor. But are we doing more harm than good? Corbett and Fikkert discuss why all poverty isn't created equal; expose the problem of cultural bias; and show how to do short-term missions without doing long-term damage. 240 pages, softcover from Moody.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 0.63 (inches)
ISBN: 0802457061
ISBN-13: 9780802457066
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's 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. 

 

Author Bio

STEVE CORBETT is the Community Development Specialist for the Chalmers Center at Covenant College and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College.

DR. BRIAN FIKKERT is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chalmers Center at Covenant College, as well as a Professor of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College.

Product Reviews

4.6 Stars Out Of 5
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  1. Harrison, AR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    New ways of thinking about helping the poor
    March 20, 2014
    Debbie from ChristFocus
    Harrison, AR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "When Helping Hurts" explores how current methods of helping the poor might do more harm than good to everyone involved. They also explore methods that can be more helpful long-term.

    The authors believe the Bible's explanation of what's wrong with this world. They recognize and explain how a person's worldview can be a part of what is keeping them in poverty, so it's essential to teach a correct worldview based on the Bible for lasting change. (For example, if you worship rats and therefore won't stop them from eating your stored grain, then teaching you ways to grow more grain won't really help.)

    I came to some of their same conclusions long ago. They explain how poverty is not solely a lack of possessions or money, though that is a result of the problem. You need to take the time to understand the culture and the situation rather than assuming you know what they need. It's about listening--about building lasting relationships and changing mindsets. It's not something you can fix with a handful of money and a few hours of your time.

    They talk about the problems with current methods of poverty alleviation and how other approaches work better. They explain how to apply these principles in various situations, though they give the most detail in their American poor outreach examples. They talk about what we've done wrong--the authors, too--but how not getting things perfect shouldn't stop us from trying. They do talk about the problems with short-term mission trips and similar methods, but they also explain how these methods might be modified to create more positive, long-term impact for everyone involved.

    Overall, I'd recommend that everyone read this book just so that they can get be exposed to other ways of thinking. I'd especially recommend it to those involved with missions and outreaches who are open to trying new approaches or to considering that there might be better ways to help the poor.
  2. Missourl
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Must Read For Anyone Ministering To Poor
    November 10, 2013
    Mrs. C
    Missourl
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What is your ministry to the poor? Are you doing for the poor what, with mentoring and guidance, they could do for themselves? Are you providing material things without providing tools to overcome their present situation? What is your ministry doing to form relationships with the poor you assist?

    If you are involved in any ministry, domestic or foreign, assisting the poor, When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, is a must read for you. It is a thought provoking, eye opening guide book, study book, walking you through examination of your ministry and placing new effective tools in your hands to best utilize all you do with and for the poor.
  3. Murfreesboro, TN
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Gives valuable perspective
    October 18, 2013
    dutchboy
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    We have made several short term mission trips to Nicaragua and have struggled to find the best way to help. Material poverty is not the worst condition and STM will not resolve it. There are great suggestions in the book for helping develop self reliance within the context of great material poverty. I highly recommend the book for planning missions and setting goals, which should be done well in advance of the actual trip
  4. Indiana
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    August 2, 2013
    Rod b
    Indiana
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I have yet to complete the book; however, I find it very challenging. This book was recommended reading by one of the presenters at ICOM, missionary convention, last November
  5. Hilton Head, SC
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Identifies problems and gives solutions
    June 7, 2013
    trp2dmd
    Hilton Head, SC
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I recommend this book to anyone with any interest in church missions. The author identifies the problems with many well meaning missions, and give detail explinations of how to resolve them. It will be eye opening to most Christians
Displaying items 1-5 of 8
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