August 6, 2017

Book Review: Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence


Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence: A Practical Guide to Walking with Low-Income People, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert with Katie Casselberry is focused on the preparation and guidance of assisting with poverty-stricken requests and needs by church members and the community.
 
In the Introduction on page seven, the authors shared, "The purpose of this book is to help your church successfully steward the opportunity that arises when someone...asks for financial assistance to pay for things such as electric bills, rent, gas, or food. The book guides church leaders, staff, and volunteers through the preparation, interactions, and follow-up work needed to engage in effective poverty alleviation with individuals or households who are seeking such financial assistance." 

It's divided into two main parts: A Foundation for Effective Benevolence and Designing and Implementing an Effective Benevolence Ministry, and within these parts, there are six chapters. Also, there are an additional five sections, which include Introduction--The Moment When, Epilogue, Notes, Acknowledgments, and Suggested Resources.  

Throughout the book, there are various sidebars, diagrams, and sample forms. This informative book is based on scripture passages and principles, research, and the authors' personal reflections. It's a helpful resource, yet some aspects of the book are condescending to those seeking help. It's not necessary to inadvertently shame the people that have courageously requested assistance, especially since American culture is highly focused on individualism and independence.

Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence is a practical guide for church leaders, ministry workers, volunteers, and others involved in assistance-based poverty alleviation organizations.

Note: I received this book from Moody Newsroom, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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