from dependence to dignity how to alleviate poverty through church centered microfinance

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From Dependence To Dignity

Author : Brian Fikkert
ISBN : 9780310518136
Genre : Religion
File Size : 72. 54 MB
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The church of Jesus Christ finds itself at a very unique moment in history. The average Christian living in the “economically advanced countries” enjoys a level of prosperity that has been unimaginable for most of human history. At the same time, over 2.5 billion people in the Majority World (Africa, Asia, and Latin America) live on less than $2 per day, with many of these people being Christians. Ironically, it is amongst the “least of these” in the Global South that the global church is experiencing the most rapid growth. All of this raises profound challenges to the global church. How can churches and missionaries in the Majority World effectively address the devastating poverty both inside their congregations and just outside their doors? How can churches in the economically advanced countries effectively partner with Global South churches in this process? The very integrity of the global church’s testimony is at stake, for where God’s people reside, there should be no poverty (Deuteronomy 15:4; Acts 4:34). For the past several decades, microfinance (MF) and microenterprise development (MED) have been the leading approaches to poverty alleviation. MF/MED is a set of interventions that allow households to better manage their finances and start small businesses. From remote churches in rural Africa to the short-term missions programs of mega-churches in the United States, churches and missionaries have taken the plunge into MF/MED, trying to emulate the apparent success of large-scale relief and development organizations. Unfortunately, most churches and missionaries find this to be far more difficult than they had imagined. Repayment rates on loans are low and churches typically end up with struggling programs that require ongoing financial subsidies. Everybody gets hurt in the process: donors, relief and development agencies, churches and missionaries, and--most importantly—the poor people themselves. This book explains the basic principles for successfully utilizing microfinance in ministry. Drawing on best practice research and their own pioneering work with the Chalmers Center, Brian Fikkert and Russell Mask chart a path for churches and missionaries to pursue, a path that minimizes the risks of harm, relies on local resources, and enables missionaries and churches to minister in powerful ways to the spiritual and economic needs of some of the poorest people on the planet. The insights of microfinance can play a tremendous role in helping to stabilize poor households, removing them from the brink of disaster and enabling them to make the changes that are conducive to long-term progress. Moreover, when combined with evangelism and discipleship, a church-centered microfinance program can be a powerful tool for holistic ministry—one that is empowering for the poor and devoid of the dependencies plaguing most relationships between churches in economically advanced countries and churches in poor nations.

For The Love Of God

Author : Jerry M. Ireland
ISBN : 9781532616389
Genre : Religion
File Size : 82. 80 MB
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Compassionate missions constitutes a growing focus among evangelical denominations and agencies. Because of this, there exists a growing need to be guided by sound principles and best practices. This edited volume sets forth both the biblical foundations and preferred methods for churches wanting to engage in compassion as part of their missionary efforts. The aim throughout is that compassionate missions would be guided by indigenous principles that help establish autonomous local churches, capable of being salt and light in their communities. The contributors to this volume have over 200 years of missions experience. Through their first-hand knowledge of the challenges and pitfalls faced by missionaries engaging in compassion, these authors set forth foundational principles and practical guidelines related to some of the most pressing issues confronting missionaries today. These include HIV/AIDS, UPGs, human trafficking, orphans and vulnerable children, gender issues, and many more. Pastors, missionaries, missions boards, and educators will find this a valuable resource as the church in the twenty-first century continues to engage in the Great Commission.

Helping Without Hurting In Church Benevolence

Author : Steve Corbett
ISBN : 9780802493446
Genre : Religion
File Size : 60. 98 MB
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When a low-income person asks your church for help, what do you do next? God is extraordinarily generous, and our churches should be, too. Because poverty is complex, however, helping low-income people often requires going beyond meeting their material needs to holistically addressing the roots of their poverty. But on a practical level, how do you move forward in walking with someone who approaches your church for financial help? From the authors of When Helping Hurts comes Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence, a guidebook for church staff, deacons, or volunteers who work with low-income people. Short and to the point, this tool provides foundational principles for poverty alleviation and then addresses practical matters, like: How to structure and focus your benevolence work How to respond to immediate needs while pursuing long-term solutions How to mobilize your church to walk with low-income people With practical stories, forms, and tools for churches to use, Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence is an all-in-one guide for church leaders and laypeople who want to help the poor in ways that lead to lasting change.

Christianity In India

Author : Rebecca Samuel Shah
ISBN : 9781506447926
Genre : Religion
File Size : 31. 80 MB
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Christianity has been present in India since at least the third century, but the faith remains a small minority. Even so, Christianity is growing rapidly in parts of the subcontinent, and has made an impact far beyond its numbers. Yet Indian Christianity remains highly controversial, and it has suffered growing discrimination and violence. This book shows how Christian converts and communities continue to make contributions to Indian society, even amid social pressure and violent persecution. In a time of controversy in India about the legitimacy of conversion and the value of religious diversity, Christianity in India addresses the complex issues of faith, identity, caste, and culture. It documents the outsized role of Christians in promoting human rights, providing education and healthcare, fighting injustice and exploitation, and stimulating economic uplift for the poor. Readers will come away surprised and sobered to learn how these active initiatives often invite persecution today. The essays draw on intimate and personal encounters with Christians in India, past and present, and address the challenges of religious freedom in contemporary India.

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