Churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm to poor people and themselves. When Helping Hurts provides foundational concepts, clearly articulated general principles and relevant applications. The result is an effective and holistic ministry to the poor, not a truncated gospel.
A situation is assessed for whether relief, rehabilitation, or development is the best response to a situation. Efforts are characterized by an "asset based" approach rather than a "needs based" approach. Short term mission efforts are addressed and microenterprise development (MED) is explored.
Authors Brian Fikkert is an associate professor of economics at Covenant College, and the founder and executive director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College.
Steve Corbett is the community development specialist for the Chalmers Center for Economic Development, and an assistant professor in the department of economics and community development at Covenant College.
Endorsements "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, senior fellow and director, Sagamore Institute Center on Faith In Communities
"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