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Crossing socioecomic lines

Building Empathy Across Socioeconomic Lines

God made the world out of love, and redeems us through His love expressed in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. He made us to enjoy loving relationships with Him, with ourselves, with others, and with the rest of His creation. Because of this, our work to walk with people in material poverty needs to be relational and participatory in nature, working together with people out of love, not merely doing things for them. True relationships are a two-way street. We give and receive.

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Building a Network of Poverty Alleviation Ministry Leaders in North America

Chalmers is opening enrollment for our next Ambassador cohort. Anyone with strong experience in relational poverty alleviation ministry and a solid background in the core principles of When Helping Hurts is welcome to apply to get certified and join our network!

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using your social capital to benefit others

Using Your Social Capital To Benefit Others

One of the key messages of our book When Helping Hurts and the rest of our trainings and resources at the Chalmers Center is that how we give matters most. This means that we often need to give more, but not just money. Long-term, transformative ministry is highly relational, and that means giving of our time, energy, and networks—in short, our social capital.

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Training to Help Your Church or Nonprofit Help without Hurting

During the past 22 years, in addition to publishing books about poverty alleviation, Chalmers has been creating training for use in both the U.S. and the Majority World (of Africa, Asia, and Latin America). These field-tested programs are built on God’s story of change and community development best practices to help you put a biblical framework for addressing poverty into practice.

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How When Helping Hurts Influenced Water Mission

How When Helping Hurts Influenced Water Mission

When Helping Hurts has had a lasting influence on Water Mission. In fact, the organization requires all new staff to read it, from their leadership team to those working directly in the field. It’s critical that every team member, not just program staff, understand these principles and recognize that they do not have all of the answers to “solve” poverty.  

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Pastor Marty

How Pastor Marty Stayed in Ministry

When Pastor Marty transitioned from a bi-vocational pastor to full-time ministry, he wasn’t confident he could live in a financially sustainable way. He wanted to live a life pleasing to God, but he didn’t know how to provide for his family and his church.

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God’s Story of Change: The Fitch Family

From the doctor’s office to the dinner table.

See how Chalmers principles have become woven into the fabric of the Fitch family’s everyday life.

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Complexities of unemployment and underemployment

The Complexities of Unemployment and Underemployment

What happens when someone wants work but can’t find it? What happens when “the one who has been stealing” wants to do “something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need” (Eph. 4:28), but can’t get a job? What happens when they find work, but it is so temporary, unsteady, or poorly paid that they can’t even get off government assistance, much less have something left over to share?

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Why being pro work is an economic development best practice

Why Being “Pro Work” Is An Economic Development Best Practice

But how does work, work, when it comes to poverty alleviation? What makes helping people find and keep good jobs such a crucial piece of long-term economic development efforts?

Let’s start with a question: Why do you work? What difference does work make in your life? In your family? What would you do without work?

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Work and Poverty Alleviation

Work and Poverty Alleviation

Enabling people in material poverty to engage in work that pays a living wage is the most sustainable way for them to no longer be materially poor. But work is so much more than just a means to gaining income that provides for our material needs. It lies close to the heart of what it means to be human.

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Ministry of writing checks

The Ministry of Writing Checks

There’s an idea out there that giving money to a poverty alleviation ministry is a cop out to being personally engaged in the ministry. But those directly involved in on-the-ground development ministries have a different view—that the most relational thing many people can do to help end poverty is actually writing checks to organizations that do effective, asset based, participatory development.

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Now that you're home: building on a short-term mission trip

Now that You’re Home: Building on a Short-Term Mission Trip

What we do when we return home from a short-term mission trip is an important part of healthy short-term ministry.

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effective benevolence ministry

Putting Policy into Practice: A Case Study

The past couple of weeks, we’ve shared some of the keys to starting an effective benevolence ministry through your church or ministry. Often, however, the process of creating or redeveloping a benevolence ministry isn’t linear.

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Building a Transformational Benevolence Ministry

Building a Transformational Benevolence Ministry

One of the most important factors in a sustainable ministry model is creating a system for how you handle new requests. We call this an intake process. Having a plan that everyone follows takes the stress out of benevolence, for deacons or staff, for volunteers, and for applicants.

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A Framework for Effective Benevolence

A Framework for Effective Benevolence

One of the most important questions that we should ask as we engage in any kind of poverty alleviation work is “What is poverty?” Because the way that we diagnose the problem determines the solutions that we used to alleviate the problem.

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Economics in Jesus’ Kingdom

Economics in Jesus’ Kingdom

God is bringing a kingdom far more real than any earthly power or authority we experience today. That kingdom calls Christians to embrace a whole life of economic discipleship by which we learn to live as economic citizens of God’s kingdom.

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Equipping faithful volunteers

Equipping Faithful Volunteers

If you’re involved in outreach or mercy ministry, you might wonder how to go about finding, equipping, encouraging and retaining volunteers to assist in this long term ministry.

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The Role of Story in Poverty Alleviation

What Story Is Your Ministry Telling?

Unfortunately, several common but misguided stories of change are shaping our lives, including our approaches to poverty alleviation. Our poverty alleviation efforts often do harm because we have unknowingly and unconsciously—yet deeply and destructively—absorbed misguided stories of change from our culture.

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