What Every Church Member Should Know about Poverty is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning about poverty.
manual-like book lends itself well to a Sunday school class, small
group, or even a longer term study for a church diaconate, session, or
other church leadership group. The book is grouped into 13 manageable
chapters that divide nicely for both self study and group study. There
are thought/discussion provoking questions at the end of each chapter.
Also, don't miss out on the Appendix! It is full of statistical charts
on poverty. Interested in learning more? Check out the bibliography in
the very back. It is loaded with resources for further study.
now let's get down to the subject matter of this book. What exactly
should every church member know about poverty? Well, for starters, the
hidden rules among classes, which are key to understanding how to begin
relating to the poor (see chapter 2). It is quite easy to maintain an
us-and-them view of the poor, thus keeping oneself at a safe distance;
however, if one moves beyond this into a state of self-examination, it
becomes all but impossible to see personal blind spots, short-comings,
and weaknesses. After all, how can we really go about loving someone if
we cannot first catch a healthy glimpse of our own sins?
waste time summarizing the whole book but will instead encourage you to
read it for yourself! It will be anything but a waste of time, I assure
you. I realize it can be tempting to believe that, if you currently have
"no contact" with the poor, there is no reason to read such a book.
Read the book. Then we can talk. I am willing to bet (not that I am a
betting lady) you will never sees things in quite the same light.