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When Helping Hurts How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor... and Yourself

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How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor... and Yourself
When Helping Hurts
$12.80 - $14.40

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?

With more than 300,000 copies in print, When Helping Hurts is a paradigm-forming contemporary classic on the subject of poverty alleviation.

Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. When Helping Hurts shows how some alleviation efforts, failing to consider the complexities of poverty, have actually (and unintentionally) done more harm than good.

But it looks ahead. It encourages us to see the dignity in everyone, to empower the materially poor, and to know that we are all uniquely needy--and that God in the gospel is reconciling all things to himself.

Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts provides proven strategies for effective poverty alleviation, catalyzing the idea that sustainable change comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out.

  • Preface
  • Opening Excercise
  • Introduction

Part 1: Foundational Concepts for Helping Without Hurting

  • Chapter 1: Why Did Jesus Come to Earth?
  • Chapter 2: What's the Problem?
  • Chapter 3: Are We There Yet?

Part 2: General Principles for Helping Without Hurting

  • Chapter 4: Not All Poverty Is Created Equal
  • Chapter 5: Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, and Their Assets
  • Chapter 6: McDevelopment: Over 2.5 Billion People NOT Served

Part 3: Practical Strategies for Helping Without Hurting

  • Chapter 7: Doing Short-Term Missions Without Doing Long-Term Harm
  • Chapter 8: Yes, In Your Backyard
  • Chapter 9: And to the Ends of the Earth
  • Chapter 10: What's Next?

Concluding Remarks

Product Preview

Format: Paperback book
Product code: IC409980
Dimensions: 8.8" x 5.9"
Length: 274 pages
Moody Publishers
ISBN: 9780802409980
1-2 copies $14.40 each
3-5 copies $13.60 each
6+ copies $12.80 each
Written by Steve Corbett, Brian Fikkert, John Perkins, and David Platt


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


Steve Corbett is the Community Development Specialist for the Chalmers Center at Covenant College and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College.

Brian Fikkert is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chalmers Center at Covenant College, as well as a Professor of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College.