Tuesday, January 18, 2011

thoughts on: When Helping Hurts

When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and OurselvesWhen Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves by Steve Corbett

I'd recently read The Hole in our Gospel, and thought it a compelling call to action.  This book, recommended to me by a friend, is a plan of action.  Well, not a plan perhaps, but a set of guidelines and considerations on how to help effectively.  Basically, it about how not to make things worse by throwing money around and attempting to rescue those who do not need *you* to rescue them.  It focuses on the need of both rich and poor for the true Savior to rescue them, and how to effectively minister to the poor in ways that do not rob them of their dignity and continue patterns of paternalism which lead to further feelings of hopelessness.

The book is written so that it can easily be used for group studies, with the questions preceding and following each chapter for discussion and thought.  It addresses issues of poverty in both third world nations and those living in poverty in America, pointing out both similarities and differences in their assets and needs.  Asset Based Community Development was one of the areas of focus which was new to me, and one which I will continue to think about and use in my approach to helping others.

I liked this so much, I recommended it to my pastor.


The Reader said...

I am, (a) - glad you liked it, and (b) - ashamed I've not read it yet! Putting both books in my Amazon cart today!

Missus Wookie said...

I've been hearing about this and wishing our local library had it in. Might try the local church bookshop.