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People and Processes Over Projects and Products

The goal of poverty alleviation is to see people restored to being who God created them to be. We want to see people understand that they are created in the image of God with the gifts, abilities, and capacity to make decisions and to effect change in the world around them. We want to see people steward their lives, communities, resources, and relationships in order to bring glory to God. In short, we want to see them become people who enjoy flourishing in their relationships with God, self, others, and creation. These changes tend to happen in highly relational, process-focused ministries more than in impersonal, product-focused ministries.

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Praying for Transformation Together

Because all of us are suffering from brokenness in our foundational relationships with God, self, others, and creation, we all need “poverty alleviation,”—just in different ways. As men and women engaged in the work of poverty alleviation, our relationship to those in material poverty should be one in which we recognize that all of us are broken and that all of us need the blessing of reconciliation. Our perspective should be less about how we are going to “fix” those in material poverty and more about how we can walk together, asking God to bring healing to us all.

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Five Ways To Empower Older Workers & Volunteers

Five Ways To Empower Older Workers & Volunteers In The Modern Workplace

I became an “older” woman overnight. Let me explain: for fifteen years, I lived in a community with a median age of 65—Naples, Florida. I celebrated my 40th birthday just weeks after moving there.

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Ukranian churches Innovate

Ukrainian Churches Utilize Innovation Tools To Love Their Communities

When two Chalmers staff members connected with two churches in Ukraine over Zoom, they began by telling us: “First you need to know that the war has been going on since 2014, not since 2022. (2022 was significant as it was when the war moved into Ukrainian territory).” 

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Social Media Guidelines for Short-Term Missions

Social Media Guidelines for Short-Term Missions

Many Western Christians’ first engagement with cross-cultural ministry is through a short-term mission trip. But short-term missions can do more harm than good. We have to carefully consider why we might go and how best to conduct a trip that honors and supports the work God is already doing among and through His people.

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Chalmers new president_ceo

Chalmers Center Appoints Coy Buckley as President/CEO

The Chalmers Center, a leading Christian poverty alleviation organization known for its best-selling book, When Helping Hurts, proudly announces the appointment of Coy Buckley as its new President/CEO.

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Feasting Together: The Potluck Party of God

Scripture calls us as the people of God to care for those who are struggling economically. But so often, the metaphor for our compassion becomes the soup kitchen—we line up on one side of the serving line and scoop hot resources into the bowls of hungry people standing on the other side—instead of a potluck—where everyone has a place and everyone brings a plate.

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Seeking the Welfare of Augusta

How do we reach the whole of our city? Jesus is redeeming all things, so how do we lean into that and build relationships in every sector? 

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You’re Not the Hero: Avoiding Paternalism in Short-Term Missions

Healthy, effective approaches to addressing material poverty start by recognizing and celebrating the gifts and resources God has already placed in a community. This can include natural resources, people, families, neighborhood associations, schools, businesses, governments, or individual skills.

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Featured image

Before You Go: Defining Success in Short-Term Missions

As the summer season approaches, many church groups in the U.S. are preparing for short-term mission trips, whether inside or outside the country. They may be thinking through the details of their plans, making travel arrangements and packing lists and prayer sheets, and raising funds.

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Why Work Matters

God’s passion for work is a theme found throughout Scripture. One example found in the Old Testament is gleaning laws, which we explored in previous posts (HERE and HERE). In addition, Scripture also has a lot to say about why work matters, why justice for workers matters, and why we should care for those who are vulnerable.

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Living As People of the Resurrection

The work of fighting poverty is a long and difficult road. For every joy and story of transformation, we can all think of sorrows and stories of loss and failure. Walking alongside people through the brokenness of the world is often a one-step-forward-three-steps-back process. It is easy for ministry practitioners and volunteers to grow weary and ministry participants to grow discouraged. Real hope for people and systems in a fallen world seems elusive, and anxiety is poor fuel for sustainable ministry.

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From Knowing to Doing

From Knowing To Doing: How Chalmers Ambassadors Are Helping Ministries Incorporate Helping Without Hurting Principles

Earlier this week Justin Lonas, Director of Foundational Products at the Chalmers Center, hosted a webinar with two of our Ambassadors and two ministries they recently served. During the conversation, Justin shared that the basic premise of the Ambassador program is discipleship. Our purpose in training and sending out Ambassadors is to support churches and organizations as they walk alongside and empower people in their community who are facing the challenges of material poverty.

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Building Your A-Team

Building Your A-Team: How to Recruit, Equip, and Support a Core Team for Your Work Readiness Ministry

Last week, Shay Bassett, Director of the Work Life program at the Chalmers Center hosted a webinar on Building Your A-Team: How to Recruit, Equip, and Support a Core Team for Your Work Readiness Ministry. She shared about why work matters, the barriers people face to finding and keeping sustaining work, and why we need a new story about work.

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agents of reconciliation

Agents of Reconciliation

The New Testament consistently describes Jesus’ work on the cross as “reconciliation” (Col. 1:20. etc.), which means putting things back into right relationship again. The Apostle Paul also teaches that we also have a role in reconciliation.

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Restore savings groups

Stories of Transformation from our Partners in West Africa

For over a decade, Chalmers has worked in West Africa to launch RESTORE savings group ministries that have helped people living in extreme poverty to experience healing, peace, and freedom through restored relationships with God, self, others, and creation. This work allows us to speak from a place of experience and authenticity as we partner…

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Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Learning From Others in Ministry Design

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Learning From Others in Ministry Design

Over the years, I’ve had conversations with hundreds of ministry leaders who reflect on how, in the early years of their work with the materially poor, they did as much harm as good.

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Understanding our vision for poverty alleviation

Understanding Our Vision for Poverty Alleviation

If we want to see an end to material poverty, we need a clear vision of what this looks like. Just as our diagnosis of the causes of poverty shapes the remedies we pursue, so too does our idea of the ultimate goal of poverty alleviation.

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