There is a lot of focus on models, practices, and programs when it comes to detoxifying charity - and rightly so. We need better ways of doing things! However, we can't forget the critical role that "posture" plays in ensuring that toxicity is removed from our charity efforts. Dr. Shawn Duncan, Co-Founder of EIRO, shares some words of wisdom from two Somali women who know what it is like to be on the receiving end of toxic charity.
Charity Detox had the opportunity to speak with Brian Fikkert, Founder of the Chalmers Center and author of When Helping Hurts. The interview will be posted in two parts. PART ONE reports on the first half of our conversation, which focuses on the process of change for organizations seeking to detoxify their charity. Next week we will publish the remainder of the interview, which discusses Fikkert's new book, Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions.
Many Christians have responded to a call to address brokenness in their community. From human trafficking to food security to the education gap, they feel a burden to make a difference, to see healing and reconciliation happen. Sometimes work in these areas leads to an awareness that there are systemic issues that contribute to the problem. Many realize that no matter how many direct services they provide, lasting impact will not come without structural/legal change. Speaking from his experience leading a national immigration reform effort, Matthew Soerens, author of Welcoming the Stranger and Field Director for the Evangelical Immigration Table, shares two reasons why we should do advocacy and two pieces of advice on doing it well.
Believing that change needs to happen in the way charity, missions, or benevolence is practiced is one thing. Figuring out how to make that change is another! Author, innovator, veteran community developer, and 40-year practitioner of urban ministry, Bob Lupton speaks to the Charity Detox community about the ingredients for change.
It doesn't take long working in low-income contexts to realize that housing is a major piece of the poverty puzzle. If you are reading this post, you are one of those people! We have a veteran practitioner, Jim Wehner, former Executive Director of Charis Community Housing, on Charity Detox today to share some hard-won wisdom on how to do housing ministry in healthy and effective ways.
Brian Bollinger is the Executive Director of Friends of Refugees, a collective of people and organizations in Clarkston, GA empowering refugees through opportunities for their well-being, education, and empowerment. Since Clarkston is an epicenter of refugee resettlement in the Southeast, it has also become an epicenter for church outreach and mission teams. This has brought forth initiatives across the toxic-to-responsible spectrum. Brian shares with the Charity Detox community three things he would say to anyone that wants to participate in mission in his community.
Jeff Reams is the Missions Minister at Dunwoody Baptist Church. Ever since he discovered the principle of toxic charity, he has been working on moving his church's missions and outreach programs toward more responsible models. Jeff shares 4 tips for those of you who have just gotten started with the difficult process of navigating change in your church or organization.
Ian and Ruthie North, and their newborn son Jack, live on a stretch of road in Atlanta that is one of the most diverse contexts in the country. As neighbors in this context, they have developed relationships with refugees and immigrants from around the globe. As ministry leaders in this context, they have worked alongside mission teams - some toxic, some responsible - that come into their community with the sincere desire to serve Jesus by serving the poor. Ian shares three tips for helping short-term teams practice more responsible mission.