I was very excited to read Strategic Compassion by
Barry Slauenwhite.Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc
We all know that our world is full of poverty. We see it on our social media, we see it on the news, we see it when we walk out our door. As Christians, we want to help. However, is what we're doing helping?
What is poverty?
Where does poverty come from?
If poverty is simply lacking things, lacking education, lacking power... we can fix that.
What if poverty is something else entirely?
Barry pointed out "If it were true that building the infrastructure of a community is the best way to alleviate poverty, then by this point in history we should have countless success stories"
What if poverty is something else entirely? If we don't know what poverty is, how can we solve it? Barry points out that poverty is the greatest tools of Satan. It started with Adam and Eve in the garden who had everything they could ever need or want. But Satan convinced them what they had was not enough. They needed more. They could only get what they wanted by disobeying God. When sin entered the world, so did poverty.
Barry talks about poverty in the world during the life of Jesus. We can see in the life of Jesus how we need to meet both the physical needs as well as the spiritual needs of those around us. The church has been doing this from the very beginning of its creation. We have struggled through history with finding the balance between this.
Barry talks about the two extremes.Those who want to only preach the gospel, and those who are willing to discard the gospel as they meet only the physical needs.
Order the book here
This book explains how and why we need to do both. This is a book every pastor and church elder needs to read. But it is a book for the person in the pew as well. In our desire to help others we give so much of our money and limited resources to organizations that are not preaching the good news of Jesus Christ.
I was able to interview Barry for my podcast. One of the questions I asked was "for the person in the pew who realizes their church is meeting only the physical needs of those in the community and not the spiritual needs, what do they do?"
Listen to the podcast here to hear the answer.