- (Photo Courtesy Pure Publicity)
Brian Fikkert is co-author of the best-selling "When Helping Hurts," which recently came out in its second, expanded edition. Fikkert took the time to speak with The Christian Post about the project and what he hopes to see come from the book's republishing.
How did you get started on this project? Why this interest?
Seek to equip the church with strategies to help the poor help themselves. The reason we wrote the book is because while we've seen the evangelical church in North America start to care for the poor, we also see the church making some of the same mistakes that have been made in the past. We want to see the church do more, give more, but how it does it really matters and we're trying to help the evangelical church connect with the poor in a powerful way.
In 1999, I'd say we spent time trying to convince churches to care for poor people. Now, in 2012, we're not having to fight those same battles- there's been a huge resurgence. We're trying to redirect them in ways that are most beneficial/powerful. It's more just the Holy Spirit working in the church rather than the economy … leaders calling the church back to its biblical manifest of caring for the poor. We're starting to see the resurgence. Globalization- the images of the poor are confronting churches in new ways, [it's] part of logging on to the computer, turning on TV. The rise of a younger generation is far more socially conscious, aware, has contributed to that.
What do you hope to accomplish/want people to come away with?
Good intentions are not enough- it's possible to hurt the poor while trying to help them. Rooting our poverty initiatives in biblical text is essential for working with the poor. We believe we need to get back to biblical understanding, orientation our work among the poor. Repentance is one of the first steps the church needs to take (not the poor!) … Repent of materialism, secularism, pride and superiority.
"When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself" is available online now.