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Five causes of poverty demonic forces

The Five Causes of Poverty—Part 5: Demonic Forces

Adapted from Becoming Whole, 181-182; A Field Guide to Becoming Whole, 135-39. Throughout this series on the five causes of poverty, the underlying connection between them all is the Fall. Because sin entered the world, our stories and practices are twisted by its effects, and both individuals and groups are broken and can do evil….

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5 Causes of Poverty - Broken Systems

The Five Causes of Poverty—Part 4: Broken Systems

Adapted from A Field Guide to Becoming Whole, 119-124. In this series, our most recent post focused on addressing individual brokenness—the factors within a person, including personal choices and beliefs, that can contribute to material poverty. But as we’ve been saying throughout the series, there are both internal and external causes of relational and material…

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The Five Causes of Poverty: Individual Brokenness

The Five Causes of Poverty—Part 3: Individual Brokenness

Adapted from A Field Guide to Becoming Whole, 125-134. We’ve been exploring the five causes of poverty in this series of posts, and it’s important to remember that any one of us can be impacted by all five causes—false stories, destructive practices, individual brokenness, systemic brokenness, and demonic forces. These factors are so intertwined it’s…

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The Five Causes of Poverty–Practices

The Five Causes of Poverty—Part 2: Practices

Last week we talked about how God’s story of change focuses on restoring us to our role as priests and rulers. Living faithfully as the royal priesthood and holy nation means that we call on King Jesus to overcome all the effects of the Fall, including all five causes of poverty. Today we’ll look at…

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The Five Causes of Poverty Part 1 Stories

The Five Causes of Poverty—Part 1: Stories

Adapted from A Field Guide to Becoming Whole, 17-19, 50-52. Poverty alleviation is fundamentally about transformation—about walking alongside people and communities who are materially poor as they move to a better situation than their present one.  Doing this effectively requires us to know where we are trying to go and how we can get there….

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Partnership Highlight: STCH Ministries

Watch now for an inside look at how God is restoring marginalized communities in San Antonio, TX and beyond.     “Our partnership with The Chalmers Center is a match made in heaven. We have much in common—certainly expanding God’s Kingdom.” –Jimmy Rodriguez, STCH Ministries   With Chalmers’ Faith & Finances curriculum, STCH Ministries is putting…

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Short-Term Missions that Avoid Long-Term Harm—Part 2

Short-Term Missions that Avoid Long-Term Harm—Part 2

Adapted from Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions: Leaders’ Guide, 7-11. Last week, we shared some cautions about the real harm that poorly-thought-through short-term mission efforts can cause. This is a real issue with real-world consequences.  We can’t emphasize enough that churches and ministries from wealthy countries need to work hard to ensure that they…

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Short-Term Missions that Avoid Long-Term Harm—Part 1

Short-Term Missions that Avoid Long-Term Harm—Part 1

Adapted from Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions: Leaders’ Guide, 29-31. Much international travel, particularly to and from countries with limited healthcare infrastructure, has been on hold for the past 2 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As short-term trips begin to become a possibility again, it’s important to remember some best practices for short-term…

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Skin in the Game

Skin in the Game

Adapted from A Field Guide to Becoming Whole, 113-115. One of the most challenging elements of any poverty alleviation effort is identifying people who are truly ready to change.  If the goal of poverty alleviation is spirit-led transformation—seeing people restored to who God created them to be—it’s important for us to recognize that sustainable, long-term…

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A Long Walk in the Same Direction

A Long Walk in the Same Direction

Adapted from A Field Guide to Becoming Whole, 107-112. When followers of Jesus describe our relationship with God, we often use the language of a “walk with God” or “Christian walk.” That’s because spiritual growth is not a sudden jolt into greater maturity. Instead, it’s the patient outworking of the Spirit of God in our…

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The Finish Line Podcast When Helping Hurts in How We Give

Helping Without Hurting in Financial Partnership

The Chalmers Center’s Founder and President Brian Fikkert was recently interviewed on the Finish Line Podcast on the topic “When Helping Hurts in How We Give.”  The Conversation covered many themes from When Helping Hurts and Becoming Whole—including understanding when to apply relief, rehabilitation, and development in poverty alleviation as well as how to flip…

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Love Your Church Within Its Limits

Love Your Church Within Its Limits: Why accepting a congregation’s shortcomings is key to developing its strengths

By Kelly M. Kapic Church can be so disappointing. We want it to be healthy and vibrant, growing and missional, faithful and generous, but we often see more problems than triumphs, more fear than courage, and more weakness than strength in our local congregations. We are not always an attractive lot. When we look outside…

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Art of Conversation

The Art of Conversation in Poverty Alleviation

Listening is different from simply hearing. We can all think of times when we heard someone tell us something, but because we weren’t listening, we didn’t really process what the speaker was saying in such a way that we were able to respond well or act on it. 

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People Icons-Large

Discovering Care for Community Partnership

Often, doing the work of finding out what people care about is “success” in and of itself, because it demonstrates commitment to people and places and focuses on mobilizing existing resources rather than bringing in just one more outside program.

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group of people talking around a table

Listening and Learning

When you prioritize listening to people you hope to serve, you’ll discover that there is a lot going on in every community already. You’ll see that God really is at work, and people really do have good ideas of what they want for their families and their future.

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Prayer and Poverty Alleviation—Part 2

Jesus Christ is the only one who can enable true poverty alleviation. Among the many implications of this truth is that we should be praying—a lot!

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Henry Ossawa Tanner—Study for "The Thankful Poor" 1894

Prayer and Poverty Alleviation—Part 1

As we go forth to work in Christ’s kingdom, we must recognize that because Jesus is King, His story of change, not the deceptive stories of false gods, is the only one that actually works in His realm.

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Audio: Brian Fikkert Plenary Talk at ETS

On November 18, 2021, the Chalmers Center’s Founder and President Brian Fikkert was invited to deliver a plenary address at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Fort Worth, Texas. His talk was recorded and is now made available here.

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