Posts by Brian Fikkert

Someone writing a check

Collaborating for the Kingdom

By Austin Humbles June 8, 2021

Donors, ministries, and materially poor people are often very different and may live thousands of miles apart. It sure doesn’t feel like much of a community, and sadly, it often doesn’t function like one. How can we better practice kingdom community in the space of poverty alleviation?

Stewarding the King's Gifts

Stewarding the King’s Gifts to Advance His Kingdom

By Austin Humbles June 1, 2021

Every poverty alleviation effort includes three groups of stakeholders: donors, ministry staff and volunteers, and the materially poor people the initiative hopes to serve. How can these three very different groups of people manage their differences and work together for God’s kingdom?

Illustration of people on a teeter-totter

From Needs to Assets—Shifting the Dynamic of Ministry

By Austin Humbles September 21, 2020

When we try to help people, we often start by trying to identify what’s wrong with the low-income individual or community, and then we try to bring in outside resources to fix what’s wrong. What if we started with what’s right with the people and communities we serve?

Illustration of a man playing with his child

What is Normal?

By Austin Humbles April 28, 2020

Many of the certainties of our daily lives have been upended. We all just want to get back to normal! But what is “normal”? What are we eager to get back to?

Help in a crisis

What’s the Best Way to Provide Help in a Crisis?

By Austin Humbles April 14, 2020

The best approach to helping someone depends on the situation. In a time of crisis, we should definitely err on the side of generosity. What does this generosity look like during a global pandemic?

Our hope is in the resurrection

The Easter Epidemic

By Austin Humbles April 9, 2020

It’s Easter weekend—the pinnacle of the Christian calendar. It’s supposed to be a weekend full of joy and celebration. How are we to experience joy and celebrate in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis?

Illustration of people standing in line

We’re All Poor

By Austin Humbles April 1, 2020

People in a middle-class community often see the materially poor as people we need to “fix.” But what if everyone is affected by the same underlying brokenness that contributes to material poverty?

A man sitting on a bench in a church in West Africa

Banking on the Church

By Austin Humbles March 25, 2020

Why bother with churches? Because the Bible teaches us that the church is guaranteed to pay huge dividends forever!

First Step in Poverty Alleviation

The First Step in Poverty Alleviation

By Austin Humbles March 10, 2020

When we see material poverty in the world around us, our first instinct is to do something about it. Where should we start? What’s the first step in poverty alleviation?

Light streaming through windows in a ruined building

Broken Systems, Broken People

By Austin Humbles February 4, 2020

Is poverty due to individual brokenness? Or is it caused by systemic injustice? The Bible teaches that the Fall really happened—and it affects both individuals and systems!

Smiling Faith & Finances participant

Helping that Helps: Principles for Ministry

By Austin Humbles September 6, 2019

How do we build ministries that address the five root causes of poverty? Here’s an introduction to some key principles that you can apply where you are.

Busy inner-city intersection

Addressing the Five Causes of Poverty

By Austin Humbles August 6, 2019

There are five big things that create material poverty and keep people trapped in it. Learn the five causes of poverty—and how you can begin to address them.

Group of people listening to a lecture

Living into the Story

By Austin Humbles July 8, 2019

God is working out His reconciling story in this broken world. The Bible doesn’t provide us with a detailed script for this story—but it does give us the overall direction of God’s unfolding plan. What does this mean for our efforts to help people who are poor?

Woman sitting and reading in a church

Why Bother with the Local Church?

By Austin Humbles May 31, 2019

Your local church is a place where God dwells with His people in a special way. Is your church welcoming people who are poor back into the dwelling place of God?

Someone flipping through the pages of a book

Getting Our Story Straight

By Austin Humbles May 7, 2019

When we try to help people in poverty, we incorporate faulty ideas into our efforts without even realizing it. What are these false stories—and why do they matter?

Congregation worshipping in a church

We Become What We Worship: Why False Stories Hurt Us—And the Poor

By Austin Humbles April 2, 2019

Every human is worshiping something—and what we worship shapes our entire lives, including our work with people in poverty. When people encounter our poverty alleviation efforts, what will they find us worshiping?

Woman looking out over a city

We Need a Better Story

By Austin Humbles March 5, 2019

We often build poverty alleviation initiatives that are designed to help poor people pursue the American Dream. But what if all of us—poor and non-poor alike—need a different story?

Woman serving a homeless person soup

Why the Kingdom of God Matters if We Want to Help the Poor

By Austin Humbles February 6, 2019

The way that we work with people who are poor reflects the stories we tell ourselves about what it means to live the “good life.” If we get the story wrong, our efforts to help the poor can do more harm than good.