If there’s one book that you might want to read on charity, I recommend Robert Lupton’s book Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help.
Lupton’s 40 years of experience in community development in Atlanta have led him to claim that charitable giving is “either wasted or actually harms the people it is targeted to help” (page 1).
But, you may ask -is Lupton correct? Can charity be toxic? Are we actually harming people with charity? Good questions!
These questions are very important for congregations and other ministry organizations that are facing declining revenues. In fact, these questions are the first step needed to assess the sustainability of our ministries.
These are good questions that I will not answer. However, Lupton’s short book provides answers as well as practical steps toward transformative charity.
Have a great summer and HAPPY READING!
-written by Hans, Kater (National Director, Diaconal Ministries Canada)