Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself Paperback – April 20, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
I can honestly report that When Helping Hurts is the single best book I've seen on this topic. Although this book will make many readers uncomfortable, it quickly offers hope in the form of understandable, feasible new strategies that better grasp the dignity and promise of the materially poor. It deserves a #1 spot on the reading list of every Christian who wants to follow Jesus in a genuine, mutually transforming love of neighbor.
-Amy L. Sherman, PhD, senior fellow and director, Sagamore Institute Center on Faith in Communities, author, Restorers of Hope
What an opportunity evangelicals have to make a difference in our world through the church. Corbett and Fikkert build on the growing momentum of holistic witness that's sweeping our country and globe and are eminently qualified and positioned to take motivated kingdom citizens on a Christ-centered and comprehensive journey that will pay huge dividends for impoverished people and for Christians in our broken world.
-Dr. Ronald J. Sider, president, Evangelicals for Social Action, author, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger
How can a local church make a difference, and how do individual Christians meaningfully reflect Christ's grace, when the disparities of wealth and power in our world are so great? When Helping Hurts explores biblical principles in terms of real-life situations to offer real help and grace-filled answers for such questions.
-Bryan Chappell, president, Covenant Theological Seminary
When Helping Hurts wonderfully combines heavy-duty thinking with practical tools. I appreciate their zeal to root all strategies in the institution God has ordained to bring about His goals. No donor should invest another dollar in any kind of relief effort before digesting the last page of this important book.
-Joel Belz, founder and writer, World Magazine
Churches in North America will find this a helpful way to educate congregations and then motivate them to action, both globally and in their neighborhoods.
-Bryant Myers, PhD, professor of International Development, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary
A clarion call to rethink how we apply the gospel to a broken world. This book will transform our good intentions into genuine, lasting change.
-Stephen J. Baumann, senior vice president, World Relief
From the Back Cover
Good Intentions Are Not Enough
Unleashing and equipping people to effectively help the poor requires repentance and the realization of our own brokenness. When Helping Hurts articulates a biblically based framework concerning the root causes of poverty and its alleviation.
A path forward is found, not through providing resources to the poor, but by walking with them in humble relationships.
Whether you're involved in short-term missions or the long-term empowerment of the poor, this book helps teach you three key areas:
· Foundational Concepts Who are the poor?
· Principles Should we do relief, rehabilitation, or development?
· Strategies How can we help people effectively here and abroad?
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Thankfully, the authors provide plenty of hope by suggesting many ways to improve and even overhaul our charitable efforts. The book messes with my head, in a very good way.
I believe When Helping Hurts should be read by all believers who wish to serve others in need and it should be REQUIRED for all in ministry positions at your local church. Ask them if they've read this and then ask them to lead the church though a study. You will be challenged and you will be changed!
I am glad that his thinking while practical and economically informed ultimately derives its roots from the biblical concept of what constitutes poverty. His working definition of poverty goes beyond the common reductionistic one that is measured primarily in terms of material resources. He proposes a relational, rather than material, understanding of poverty as one that has to do with the dislocation of one's foundational relationships with God, self, others and the rest of creation. Helping the poor thus means addressing these four foundational relationships and helping one to see oneself as God's image-bearer, a person of worth, a member of the human family and steward of creation. This strikes hard at the core aetiology of poverty, namely broken relationships. Hence, he writes:
'Poverty is rooted in broken relationships, so the solution to poverty is rooted in the power of Jesus' death and resurrection to put all things into right relationships again.' (page 77)
'Our relationship with the materially poor should be one in which we recognize that both of us are broken and that both of us need the blessing of reconciliation. Our perspective should be less about how we are going to fix the materially poor and more about how we can walk together, asking God to fix both of us.' (page 76)
He devotes the second half of the book exploring what a more theologically balanced and holistic approach to helping the poorer community looks like. The categorization of the various levels of intervention into relief, rehabilitation and development is helpful in clarifying our thinking about the problem we intend to address as well as the desired outcome. The suggestions for a more collaborative rather than paternalistic, asset-based than need-based, locally-initiated and sustained (ie. by the local church and community) than foreigner-run efforts, long-range mission work than short-term trips (though these have their place when properly contextualized) are spot-on. The practical strategies of 'business as missions' and 'micro-financing' schemes are also discussed as helpful alternatives, though these schemes are not without their pitfalls too.
However, if I could imagine one possible unintended ill-effect reading this book might have on the readers, it would be that of being paralyzed by over-analysis. As the whole exercise of going out of one's comfort zone to reach out to others is fraught with much inhibitions, resistance and rationalizations to begin with, this book certainly does not make it easier. That being said, this book is full of hard truths and practical wisdom one ignores at perils to himself and others.
On the whole, it provides much food for thought and some seed ideas on how to explore a more holistic way of reaching out to the poor overseas and in our own backyard. It also puts a reality check on our possibly misguided motives that often accompany our noble desires to help. Hard-nosed, intelligent and eye-opening, Fikkert's book is a huge pay-off for anyone who will persevere in the challenging task of poverty alleviation with greater discernment and much humility.
My only caution is that you may get bogged down in some of the early "theory" chapters and decide that this book is not for you. This would be a huge mistake because in later chapters you get to see the theory in action. And in the long run, the theory is what you will remember and apply to your life. Keep reading, keep underlining, and keep praying. This book will bless your life.