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Beyond Charity: The Call to Christian Community Development Paperback


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Beyond Charity: The Call to Christian Community Development + Restoring At-Risk Communities: Doing It Together and Doing It Right + Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, And How to Reverse It
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (July 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801071224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801071225
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Not every Christian is called to move into close community with the poor and hurting in our country's inner cities, but neither are we permitted to stand at arm's length and allow their struggles to continue through our own inaction. John Perkins has committed his life to bringing reconciliation and development to these broken communities and seeks to expose the root issues at play in these communities in Beyond Charity.

About the Author

John M. Perkins is cofounder of the Christian Community Development Association and director of the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of nine books, including Let Justice Roll Down.

More About the Author


John M. Perkins is a sharecropper's son who grew up in New Hebron, Mississippi amidst dire poverty. Fleeing to California at age 17 after his older brother's murder at the hands of a town marshal, he vowed never to return. However after converting to Christianity in 1960 he returned to Mendenhall, Mississippi to share the gospel of Christ. While in Mississippi, his outspoken nature and support and leadership in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, beatings and imprisonment. He again was arrested in 2005 year while protesting in Washington D.C. against U. S. Government defunding of programs aiding the poor.

In Mendenhall, Perkins and his wife, Vera Mae, founded Voice of Calvary Ministries. This Christian community development ministry started a church, health center, leadership development program, thrift store, low-income housing development, and training center. From this ministry, other development projects started in the neighboring towns of Canton, New Hebron and Edwards. Philip K. Reed, the previous pastor of Voice of Calvary Fellowship, has assumed the leadership of this dynamic ministry.

In 1982, the Perkins family returned to California and lived in the city of Pasadena where Perkins and his wife founded Harambee Christian Family Center in Northwest Pasadena, a neighborhood that had one of the highest daytime crime rates in California. Harambee is yet standing, running numerous programs including after school tutoring, Good News Bible Clubs, an award-winning technology center, summer day camp, youth internship programs, and a college scholarship program.

In 1983, while yet in California, Perkins and his wife, along with a few friends and other major supporters, established the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development, Inc for the sole purpose of supporting their mission of advancing the principles of Christian community development and racial reconciliation throughout the world.

His many books include the memiors "Love is the Final Fight", "Follow Me to Freedom," "Welcoming Justice," the autobiography "Let Justice Roll Down", "With Justice for All", "A Quiet Revolution" and "Linking Arms, Linking Lives".

Visit www.jmpf.org for more information


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a must-read book for all the church.
Suzette C. Bates
I found this book easy to read, well organized, full of helpful examples and stories, and very practical.
A. Min.
The subtitle of this John M. Perkins classic is 'The Call to Christian Community Development.'
Linda Leigh Hargrove

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By ANDREW MCHENRY on April 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a philosophy and outline for ministry among the American poor, emphasizing the role of God's people in moving beyond charity to uplifting ministry based on building relationships and program development within communities. The book is divided into three sections consisting of vision (for ministry that goes beyond charity), gospel (bridging theology with specific practices of ministry), and messenger (directed towards those considering a role in these types of ministry).
Good: The book is founded on Perkins' years of personal experience and knowledge of social ministry in helping at-risk populations and improving neighborhoods. The stories he shares of ministry successes in Pasadena, CA and Mendenhall, MS are powerful and compelling, as are the numerous people he cites that have had similar successes. Also particularly useful are his six marks of an authentic church, his eight factors that create an environment of hope in communities, and his chapter on discerning God's will.
Bad: Perkins has a definite anti-welfare and conservative political perspective, which is noticable in a few places. This is coupled with the fact that he is writing primarily to church-folk who are interested in church ministries, and leads to a total neglect of prescription for government involvement in the fight to reduce poverty and produce justice. Perkins needs to be more biblically-based in this regard - see Psalm 72. Lobbying for governmental involvement is important for impacting the structural base of poverty.
Opinion: In spite of the one significant area of disagreement mentioned above, this is an invaluable handbook for Christian social ministry. I recommend it without reservation.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Arnold on June 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
My story about how I read this book is very interesting. I remember asking Rev. Lockhart for donations to go on a 'missions' trip which would last for 10 days. He answered my request instead by asking me for money. Little did I know that he was a missionary in Atchison, KS. He and his small congregation were sprawling out their lives for the realization of the Christian community in Atchison. For the past five years of my Christian walk, my picture of missions work has been radically transformed from an American version to that of true obedience like Jesus had. Peter was called by Jesus to feed his sheep. The question is this: How can I feed sheep if I am not interacting with the sheep on a daily basis? True shepherds step in the mess on the sheep and continue to work. John Perkins writes from a truly selfless sacrifice for the sake of Christ. He has actually lived out that which he has written - for that reason my ears perk up. As a teacher, I told my high school class that if they want to participate in missions, they MUST READ Beyond Charity by John Perkins.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
Perkins causes his readers to question their motives for giving to the poor, including calling them to the important task of relocation. A deep committment is required for community development and Perkins thoughtfully discusses development from a biblical basis.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Min. on August 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found this book easy to read, well organized, full of helpful examples and stories, and very practical. I recommend it to anyone interested in getting more involved in city/urban ministry. It would be a helpful book to also give students or newcomers to a ministry/church organization. Perkins does a great job giving a broad outline and 'plan' of sorts with specifics to flesh out his points. I have been challenged and have learned a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthony M. Johnson on December 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is a great introduction into pursuing christian community development. It says some tough things and i wish more african american churches would engage their communities in this way.
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