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Posts in “Helping without Hurting”

Beyond Food Distribution: Daily Bread’s Holistic Approach to Ministry

In 1996, Seth Kuehn owned a food vending business at the same time that he was building relationships with pastors from low-income communities around San Antonio, Texas. Seth was struck by how food vendors were regularly disposing of food while these pastors were serving under resourced communities that were hungry.

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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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helping_end_the_orphanage_era

Helping End the Orphanage Era

“30,000 Haitian kids live in private orphanages. Officials want to shutter them and reunite families.” This was the headline of an Associated Press article published this summer in over 600 media outlets around the U.S.. It shares how Haiti’s orphanages and children’s homes have long served as a band-aid to more complex problems, such as extreme poverty and lack of access to quality education.

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Investing_in_change

Investing in Change: Helping that Helps

Poverty is a complex issue affecting billions of people around the world. In 2023, the World Bank estimated 3.6 billion people worldwide were living on less than $6.85 per day and over 650 million were living in extreme poverty on less than $2.15 per day 1 If God’s people want to follow the heart of our gracious and compassionate God and take seriously His commands to care for those in poverty (Ex. 23:6, 11; Lev. 19:10, 23:10, 25:35-39; Deut. 15:4-7; Gal. 2:10; James 2:1-7; etc.), we should not let staggering numbers like this pass us by.

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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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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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Taking the First Step in Poverty Alleviation

Taking the First Step in Poverty Alleviation

As followers of Jesus, when we see material poverty in the world around us, our first instinct is often to do something about it. But where should we start? What’s the first step in poverty alleviation?

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Designing innovative solutions to problems

Designing Innovative Solutions to Problems

Have you ever been working on solving a complex problem and felt stuck? You knew there had to be a way forward but you just couldn’t see it? That’s how designing a poverty alleviation ministry can feel. Take the issue of food insecurity as an example. Most people are familiar with a “soup kitchen” model…

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Designing Ministries That Help without Hurting

Since publishing the book, When Helping Hurts in 2009, the Chalmers Center has received countless questions from people who want to know how to create a ministry that helps without hurting.

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The Widespread Impact of Chalmers and ABCD Principles

The Widespread Impact of Chalmers and ABCD Principles

One of Angie’s primary takeaways from When Helping Hurts was the concept of Asset-Based Community Development. For the first time, they started to look for the assets in their community before looking for what was missing.

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