A (Re)orientation to Chalmers Resources

If you’re just connecting with the Chalmers Center for the first time, welcome! You’re joining a community of people who want to help the poor in biblical, effective ways—with over 20 years of research and experience that goes into every tool we provide. We’re here to help you and your church or ministry think differently about poverty and then do something about it.

Perhaps you’ve been part of this community for a long time already, but haven’t re-engaged in a while. We’ve created a lot of new books and training resources recently, so there may be new ways to connect with us and put principles into practice in your ministry that you haven’t seen yet.

Whether you’re new to Chalmers or not, sometimes it can be helpful to know where to start when you’re looking for tools for your ministry. Let us take a moment to walk you through our resources, just like we would if you were to call us or visit the office.

If you’re interested in understanding the causes of poverty and how you can help the materially poor…

…you’ve come to the right place! Most people find out about the Chalmers Center first through the best-selling book When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself.

To get started with the basics, we’d recommend that you check out:

  • Our blog, which is updated weekly. This is a great place to get introduced to some of our key principles, ideas for how to apply them, and stories of transformation from around the world (and get on our e-mail list, if you’re not already!).
  • video library with over 65 free videos on topics from theology of poverty alleviation to ministry best practices and helpful information on more specific issues.
  • The online study Helping without Hurting: the Basics, where you can (by yourself or with a group) explore our principles and practices with activities and reflection questions and discover how to walk with the materially poor in humble relationships instead of providing temporary handouts.
  • Becoming Whole: Why the Opposite of Poverty Isn’t the American Dream. When we try to help the poor, we often invite them into the same broken story that’s left us anxious, alone, and dissatisfied. Through this book, you’ll discover a better story—God’s story of change!
  • Are You a Good Neighbor? This online training will help you apply the principles of helping without hurting in everyday life—and take the first steps toward building personal relationships with people in poverty.

If you’re already working alongside people in material poverty, and want to be more effective…

…we’re ready to help you go deeper into the good work you’re doing!

If this sounds like you, you might want to check out:

  • The book or online study Practicing the King’s Economy: Honoring Jesus in How We Work, Earn, Spend, Save, and Give. You’ll discover new ways to live out the kingdom of God and impact your community in your everyday habits at home, work, and church.
  • The book or online training Helping without Hurting in Church Benevolence. You’ll discover practical ways to apply the principles of When Helping Hurts when someone asks your church for financial help.
  • A Field Guide to Becoming Whole: Principles for Poverty Alleviation Ministries, which unpacks the ideas of Becoming Whole to show you a simple framework of ministry design principles for lasting change—for yourself, and the people you seek to help.

If you’re interested in starting a new ministry to serve the materially poor through your church or organization…

…and you’re working in the U.S. you might want to check out:

  • Faith & Finances. Get trained to start a financial education ministry tailored to the unique challenges faced by low-income people in the United States.
  • Work Life. Get trained to start a jobs-preparedness ministry that helps people in poverty overcome obstacles to finding—and keeping—work.
  • Mobilize My Church, an online training providing tools to help you guide a handful of passionate leaders through a process to energize your entire church for effective poverty alleviation ministry.
  • Innovate. Integrating the best practices of design thinking and God’s biblical story of change, Innovate helps motivated teams develop Kingdom-centered solutions that allow communities to truly flourish. Suitable for ministry teams in the U.S. and beyond.

…and you’re working in the Majority World, start here:

  • From Dependence to Dignity: How to Alleviate Poverty through Church-Centered Microfinance.  Learn how local churches in the Majority World can use their own gifts and abilities to foster lasting spiritual, social, and economic transformation in the lives of people in extreme poverty.
  • Helping Without Hurting in Africa. For ministry leaders working with the poor in various African countries, based on the principles of When Helping Hurts to provide readers with the foundational concepts and tools in Christ-centered poverty alleviation and doubles as a ready-to-use facilitator manual.
  • Restore: Savings. Designed for use in the Majority World, this curriculum helps people in extreme poverty weather the storms of life through church-based savings group ministries.
  • Business, Home and Health. A biblical framework for the everyday issues of life in the Majority World, designed to help people living in extreme poverty improve their businesses using biblical principles, better manage household and business income, address basic health issues in their community, and strengthen their biblical worldview related to issues in their everyday lives

Our team is here to help, too. If you have questions about any of these resources or other aspects of our ministry, don’t hesitate to reach out. We love hearing from you!

All the work we do is made possible through the generous support of our financial partners, and we need support from partners like you to keep creating tools and sharing them with others. Will you join us by making a gift today?

The Chalmers Center

The Chalmers Center

The Chalmers Center helps God’s people rethink poverty and respond with practical biblical principles so that all are restored to flourishing.