Posts by The Chalmers Center

Chess, Hope, and Poverty in Rural South Africa

Hope, Restoration, and Chess in Rural South Africa

Over a decade ago, Ruan and his family moved from Cape Town to the village of Zithulele in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, just miles away from the place Nelson Mandela was raised. His wife had secured a job as a physician at a local hospital and he was looking forward to working in youth ministry.

He read When Helping Hurts soon after his arrival, but over the next five years, he made many of the mistakes he read about. Despite hosting many Bible studies, outreach teams, and events – all of the things he brought with him from westernized Cape Town – they still weren’t seeing transformation in their rural village.

Worship and Fighting Poverty

Worship and Fighting Poverty

We don’t often connect our work in fighting poverty (and economic life more generally) with our worship of the living God. But we should. When the collection plate is passed around in a church service, pastors often try to connect the dots to how our giving is part of worship. But it doesn’t always register with us.


What Does Trauma Have To Do with Financial Health?

How a relational and biblical approach to financial education transforms more than just budgets.

Epiphany and poverty alleviation

Epiphany and Poverty Alleviation

Epiphany also reminds us that our gifts (assets, skills, experiences, and callings) are rightly offered up as worship to the King of Kings. All the ministry efforts we undertake will fall flat if we seek to serve others for our own sake. We can truly love our neighbors as ourselves when we connect our love and service for others with our worship of the God who created us both and who sustains us all.

Advent and Poverty Alleviation

The Connections between Advent and Poverty Alleviation

The longing of Advent infuses our work at the Chalmers Center. Our mission is to help God’s people rethink poverty and respond with practical biblical principles so that all are restored to flourishing.


Copy of About

About the Chalmers Center We’re passionate about helping you go beyond band-aid solutions to address the roots of poverty. We believe real change is possible. Do you ever feel like no matter what you do, you can’t help people escape the cycle of poverty? You’re not alone! We know Jesus wants us to help people…

Savings group in Ghana

Four Lives Transformed through One Savings Group’s Generosity

In many Ghanaian communities, families living in material poverty find themselves forced to send their children to the city to work menial jobs to make ends meet.


Benevolence Ministry

Helping without Hurting in Benevolence Ministry Help your church make a real difference in your community.Get trained to develop a benevolence ministry that helps people in material poverty experience lasting change. Get Trained Equip your church with a biblical foundation for responding to requests for financial help. Gain skills and confidence to develop a holistic,…

Watermark Health and Chalmers

Flourishing through Holistic Healthcare

Inspired by our book, When Helping Hurts, Watermark Health, a nonprofit affiliated with Watermark Church, has designed its three clinics to instill value and promote dignity among their patients. The majority of their patients are uninsured and from marginalized communities who otherwise lack access to adequate medical resources. Located near a large refugee resettlement area, their original clinic has had patients from 123 countries.


Helping without Hurting in Holiday Giving: Moving Beyond Handouts

As the holidays approach, many churches and nonprofits undertake large-scale food and resource drives, attempting to tap into the spirit of abundance and generosity that characterizes Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations in North America.

Tearfund and Chalmers Partner

Tearfund and Chalmers Partner to Ignite Transformation in Burkina Faso

Tearfund first partnered with Chalmers in Burkina Faso in 2018, and since then our partnership has expanded to Côte d’Ivoire and Chad, reaching over 18,500 people.


Understanding Poverty: A Brokenness That Affects Us All

Have you ever stopped to ponder the question, “What does it mean to be poor?” If poverty is rooted in the brokenness of the four key relationships, then the answer becomes clear: we are all affected by poverty. Because of the comprehensive nature of the fall, every human being experiences a form of poverty, a lack of fulfillment in the four key relationships—with God, ourselves, others, and creation. We’re unable to be what we were created to be and miss out on the joy that God intended for these connections. We’re like “square pegs in a round hole,” not quite fitting because we were shaped for something else.


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Implications of the four key relationships

Implications of the Four Key Relationships

In a previous post, we explored the significance of the four key relationships human beings are created to enjoy—with God, self, others, and creation. These relationships shed light on the complexity of human beings and help us unlock pathways toward effective poverty alleviation.

biblical framework four key relationships

A Biblical Framework for Poverty: The Four Key Relationships

Bryant Myers, a leading Christian development thinker, argues in Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development that in order to effectively address material poverty, we need to consider the fundamental nature of reality, starting with our triune God as the Creator of that reality. God, eternally existing as three-in-one, is inherently relational, and as beings made in His image, we too are inherently relational.

Medford Gospel Mission

Restored Ministries Restore People: The Story of Medford Gospel Mission

Fourteen years ago, when Jason Bull accepted a position as an Associate Director of Medford Gospel Mission, he realized he needed to learn how to faithfully operate a nonprofit ministry. He remembers, “I didn’t know anything about nonprofit management or working with a board of directors. I had to educate myself!” He began reading various books to sharpen his ability to lead the organization and to faithfully serve the homeless community of Medford, Oregon.

Doing benevolence ministry in your unique context

Doing Benevolence Ministry in Your Unique Context

In our Helping without Hurting in Benevolence Ministry training, we share principles and tools to help you build a ministry that leads to real change. But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every church. In order to create a benevolence program that works for your specific church context, you may need to make adjustments to fit your church’s specific capacity.