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Posts by The Chalmers Center

The Five Causes of Poverty Part 1 Stories

The Five Causes of Poverty—Part 1: Stories

Adapted from A Field Guide to Becoming Whole, 17-19, 50-52. Poverty alleviation is fundamentally about transformation—about walking alongside people and communities who are materially poor as they move to a better situation than their present one.  Doing this effectively requires us to know where we are trying to go and how we can get there….

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Partnership Highlight: STCH Ministries

Watch now for an inside look at how God is restoring marginalized communities in San Antonio, TX and beyond.     “Our partnership with The Chalmers Center is a match made in heaven. We have much in common—certainly expanding God’s Kingdom.” –Jimmy Rodriguez, STCH Ministries   With Chalmers’ Faith & Finances curriculum, STCH Ministries is putting…

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Short-Term Missions that Avoid Long-Term Harm—Part 2

Short-Term Missions that Avoid Long-Term Harm—Part 2

Adapted from Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions: Leaders’ Guide, 7-11. Last week, we shared some cautions about the real harm that poorly-thought-through short-term mission efforts can cause. This is a real issue with real-world consequences.  We can’t emphasize enough that churches and ministries from wealthy countries need to work hard to ensure that they…

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Short-Term Missions that Avoid Long-Term Harm—Part 1

Short-Term Missions that Avoid Long-Term Harm—Part 1

Adapted from Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions: Leaders’ Guide, 29-31. Much international travel, particularly to and from countries with limited healthcare infrastructure, has been on hold for the past 2 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As short-term trips begin to become a possibility again, it’s important to remember some best practices for short-term…

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Skin in the Game

Skin in the Game

Adapted from A Field Guide to Becoming Whole, 113-115. One of the most challenging elements of any poverty alleviation effort is identifying people who are truly ready to change.  If the goal of poverty alleviation is spirit-led transformation—seeing people restored to who God created them to be—it’s important for us to recognize that sustainable, long-term…

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A Long Walk in the Same Direction

A Long Walk in the Same Direction

Adapted from A Field Guide to Becoming Whole, 107-112. When followers of Jesus describe our relationship with God, we often use the language of a “walk with God” or “Christian walk.” That’s because spiritual growth is not a sudden jolt into greater maturity. Instead, it’s the patient outworking of the Spirit of God in our…

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The Finish Line Podcast When Helping Hurts in How We Give

Helping Without Hurting in Financial Partnership

The Chalmers Center’s Founder and President Brian Fikkert was recently interviewed on the Finish Line Podcast on the topic “When Helping Hurts in How We Give.”  The Conversation covered many themes from When Helping Hurts and Becoming Whole—including understanding when to apply relief, rehabilitation, and development in poverty alleviation as well as how to flip…

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Love Your Church Within Its Limits

Love Your Church Within Its Limits: Why accepting a congregation’s shortcomings is key to developing its strengths

By Kelly M. Kapic Church can be so disappointing. We want it to be healthy and vibrant, growing and missional, faithful and generous, but we often see more problems than triumphs, more fear than courage, and more weakness than strength in our local congregations. We are not always an attractive lot. When we look outside…

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Art of Conversation

The Art of Conversation in Poverty Alleviation

Listening is different from simply hearing. We can all think of times when we heard someone tell us something, but because we weren’t listening, we didn’t really process what the speaker was saying in such a way that we were able to respond well or act on it. 

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People Icons-Large

Discovering Care for Community Partnership

Often, doing the work of finding out what people care about is “success” in and of itself, because it demonstrates commitment to people and places and focuses on mobilizing existing resources rather than bringing in just one more outside program.

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group of people talking around a table

Listening and Learning

When you prioritize listening to people you hope to serve, you’ll discover that there is a lot going on in every community already. You’ll see that God really is at work, and people really do have good ideas of what they want for their families and their future.

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Prayer and Poverty Alleviation—Part 2

Jesus Christ is the only one who can enable true poverty alleviation. Among the many implications of this truth is that we should be praying—a lot!

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Henry Ossawa Tanner—Study for "The Thankful Poor" 1894

Prayer and Poverty Alleviation—Part 1

As we go forth to work in Christ’s kingdom, we must recognize that because Jesus is King, His story of change, not the deceptive stories of false gods, is the only one that actually works in His realm.

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Audio: Brian Fikkert Plenary Talk at ETS

On November 18, 2021, the Chalmers Center’s Founder and President Brian Fikkert was invited to deliver a plenary address at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Fort Worth, Texas. His talk was recorded and is now made available here.

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Ambassador Training

Help your ministry network transform their ministries as a Chalmers Ambassador. Get certified to talk about Chalmers’ foundational principles, practices, and tools for poverty alleviation. Get Certified Equip churches and ministries to think differently about poverty Gain skills and confidence through our online training Practice tools to address poverty in biblical, effective ways Churches and…

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Innovation-Webinar-Graphic

Watch Now: Improvising the Kingdom

  Chalmers’ Founder and President Brian Fikkert and Director of Innovation Tabitha Kapic hosted a conversation on February 16 around how to apply a biblical framework for poverty alleviation to improvise God’s kingdom and foster real change in your community. — Want to learn more? Unleash your church or nonprofit to create a new or…

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The Incarnation and Poverty Alleviation

Poverty is complex and multi-faceted. Individual sin, systemic oppression, and even demonic forces can all contribute to poverty. Indeed, the problems are so large that only God can solve them, not a distant God but an incarnate God. The only solution to poverty once lay in a manger.

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Screenshot from Participation is Development

Video: Participation *Is* Development

Getting everyone involved in a ministry initiative isn’t just a means to sustainability, but the heart of healthy, transformational development. Researchers and practitioners have found that meaningful inclusion of materially poor people in the selection, design, implementation, and evaluation of any poverty alleviation effort increases the likelihood of its success. Unfortunately, we often pursue approaches…

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