WHAT IS POVERTY?
The Chalmers Center, an organization that equips the local church to address the broken relationships at the root of material poverty, created a video correcting some assumptions about impoverished communities. Defining poverty correctly informs how we minister to people who are materially poor. Listen to their explanation and reflect on how your perception of poverty has been robust or lacking and how you might interact with and serve the poor differently in light of this information.
- How does defining poverty as brokenness in the 4 fundamental relationships of life help you relate to impoverished people? What do you think you have in common with them?
- To what degree do you have a “material definition of poverty”? How has this influenced the way that you have approached ministry to the poor? What harm might this have done?
- What really motivates you to want to help materially poor people?
HELPING WITHOUT HURTING
Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert answer the above question generally for Americans and expose how a set of relationships that don’t work displays itself both in the helper and the helped. Check out this video!
- The video discusses a “they need what I have” approach to ministry. It reveals the belief that we are superior to others and are well-positioned to determine what is best for them. What specific steps can you take to prevent this attitude in your own life?
- Reflect on a situation in which you have tried or your church has tried to minister to others. In what ways did your approach help both you and them to overcome a poverty of spiritual intimacy, a poverty of being, a poverty of community, and a poverty of stewardship? In what ways did your approach actually contribute to greater “poverty” in the four relationships for both you and them?
- How does exposing brokenness in both the helper and the helped frame our ministry to impoverished communities?
- In light of what we’ve learned, how would you define “success” in ministering to impoverished communities?