The church and the concept of poverty
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The Church and the Concept of Poverty. By Steve Corbett And Brian Fikkert Co-authors of when Helping hurts: How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor…and yourself Wednesday, September 23, 2009 www.whenhelpinghurts.org www.chalmers.org. I John 3:17-18.

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The Church and the Concept of Poverty

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The church and the concept of poverty

The Church and the Concept of Poverty

By

Steve Corbett

And

Brian Fikkert

Co-authors of

when Helping hurts: How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor…and yourself

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

www.whenhelpinghurts.org

www.chalmers.org


I john 3 17 18

I John 3:17-18

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.


Some implications of i john 3 17 18

Some Implications of I John 3:17-18

  • Christians need to be doing more, not less.

  • There are two kinds of responses people make to this biblical teaching:

    • Group #1: “I just don’t care about the poor. My life is all about me and I like that way.”

    • Group#2: “I can’t wait to help poor people! The love of God is in me!”


Some implications of i john 3 17 181

Some Implications of I John 3:17-18

  • People in Group 2 need to be careful that they are not deceiving themselves. There can be mixed motivations behind our actions:

    • A need for meaning and purpose in our lives.

    • A desire to feel like we are “the answer.”

    • I can’t seem to get away from “me.”

    • “When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” (Romans 7:21)

    • See page 65 of When Helping Hurts


What s the answer for both groups 1 and 2

What’s the Answer for Both Groups 1 and 2?

  • We Need to Preach the Gospel to Ourselves Every Day!:

    • We are all broken

    • Jesus paid it all and covers all our sins

  • Go walk/work with the poor with confidence—not in ourselves—but in our Redeemer.


Q1 can t all of this emphasis on the kingdom lead us down the slippery slope of the social gospel

Q1: Can’t all of this emphasis on the kingdom lead us down the slippery slope of the social gospel?

  • It’s a slippery slope on both sides of the hill! (See James 2:18)

  • While the kingdom is cosmic in scope, we fully believe that humans only experience the full benefits of the kingdom if they come to faith in Jesus Christ.


Q1 can t all of this emphasis on the kingdom lead us down the slippery slope of the social gospel1

Q1: Can’t all of this emphasis on the kingdom lead us down the slippery slope of the social gospel?

  • The Implications of this are enormous:

    • Verbal Proclamation of the gospel is non-negotiable in poverty alleviation, because “faith comes by hearing” (Romans 10:14)

    • It is essential that frontline staff are Christians.

    • The church has a central role to play, because the gospel has been committed to the church.


The church and the concept of poverty

Q2: Do you believe—as many argue--that the parachurch is taking away the role of the local church and is therefore bad?

  • Sometimes “yes” and sometimes “no.”

  • We do NOT believe the parachurch is inherently a bad thing. See p. 46 of book.

  • It takes wisdom to know when particular ministries should be housed directly under the authority of the local church.

  • We do believe that parachurch agencies must be very intentional about building and empowering the local church.

  • Some parachurch ministries—and some churches too—are really doing some lousy things with respect to poverty alleviation.


Q3 must we really all agree on just one definition of poverty

Q3: Must we really all agree on just one definition of poverty?

  • No, there are different ways of stating the same concepts.

  • However, its not all up for grabs. The framework used in our book is consistent with the following key teachings of scripture:

    • The multifacted nature of poverty: spiritual and relational not just material

    • The basic nature of human beings and of the world

    • Individual AND Structural causes of poverty

    • God’s grand plan: Creation-Fall-Redemption-Final Restoration


The church and the concept of poverty

Q4: How are churches in the U.S. responding to the message that poverty is about broken relationshipswe are all poor?

  • Very positively: “Of course!” is the most common response.

  • It’s the gospel, so they have to respond positively!

  • But it’s a process. We need to:

    • Keep preaching the gospel to ourselves every day.

    • Keep on working out the implications in practical ways.


The church and the concept of poverty

Q5: Since poverty is about relationships, does this mean I need to stop giving of my money and just give of my time?

  • NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • If you have relational giving opportunities , seize them.

  • If you have material giving opportunities, seize them:

    • There is a material component to poverty!

    • Use money to support those on the frontlines of relational ministry

      More money is desperately needed, but the issues are:

      --How should it be used?

      --When should it be used?


The church and the concept of poverty

Q6: Doesn’t your book (p. 42) fail to take into account the vastly differences in costs of living around the world?

  • Our book takes cost of living differences into account using a methodology called “purchasing power parity” (PPP).

  • PPP values all foreign goods in U.S. prices. So when we say a person is living on $1/day in India, it means their income in Indian rupees is sufficient to buy what you could purchase with a dollar in the U.S.


The church and the concept of poverty

Q6: Doesn’t your book (p. 42) fail to take into account the vastly differences in costs of living around the world?

  • This does raise the important issue of “absolute” vs. “relative” poverty:

    • You are “absolutely” poor if your income falls below some dollar amount.

    • You are “relatively” poor if your income is low relative to others in your community.

    • Both concepts have merit, particularly from a relational framework.


Q7 are there any programs trying to harness combat gentrification

Q7: Are there any programs trying to harness/combat “gentrification”?

  • “Gentrification”: the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.

    FCS Urban Ministries in Atlanta Founded by Bob Lupton

    www.fcsministries.org


Q8 how can we help the chalmers center

Q8: How can we help the Chalmers Center?

Join Prayer Support Team:

-Click on the PRAY button on the front of www.chalmers.org

  • Refer churches and missionaries to us from around the world

  • Give!!

    - Click on the DONATE button on the front of www.chalmers.org

    - Choose to have your donation matched 1 for 1 by checking the “Maclellan Foundation Matching Grant” box.


Special request for today

Special Request for Today:

Christian Economic Development Institute in Ivory Coast, West Africa

November 30-December 4, 2009

-Training 100-150 pastors/denominational leaders

-Training them to implement holistic/church-centered microfinance and microenterprise development

-Content is Chapter 1-6 plus the “how-tos” of Chapter 9

-Training of Trainers: Global Fellowship of Trainers.

-Total Cost is $65,000. We’ve raised $50,000


Special request for today1

Special Request for Today:

If everyone on the air today would give just $25 and check the “Maclellan Matching Grant” box on the DONATE portion of our website, we could raise the remaining $15,000 we need to put on this training event.


Next webinar

Next Webinar

Distinguishing Amongst Relief, Rehabilitation, and Development

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

12:00-1:00 EST

www.whenhelpinghurts.org


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