The urban landscape is changing and, as a result, urban ministries are at a crossroads. If the Church is to be an effective agent of compassion and justice, Robert Lupton notes, we must change our mission strategies. In this compelling book, Lupton asks the tough questions about service providing and community building to help ministries enhance their effectiveness. What are the dilemmas that caring people encounter to faithfully carry out the teachings of Scripture and become personally involved with "the least of these?" What are some possible alternatives to the ways we have traditionally attempted to care for the poor? How do people, programs and neighborhoods move towards reciprocal, interdependent relationships? To effect these types of changes will require new skill sets and resources, but the possibilities for good are great.
User Ratings and Reviews
4 Stars Refreshing perspective
The past 40+ years has taught us that Lyndon Johnson's Great Society program did relatively little to really help the poor in our nation. We now have a legacy of old run down housing complexes that have become little more than havens for drug users. Unfortunately, except for relatively few isolated instances, the church has done no better in helping the poor in meaningful ways. This book, however, describes how one Christian ministry has attempted to show compassion and bring about true justice to the poor in Atlanta. The author readily admits to his own failures in this difficult ministry, but he also shows us what he has learned after 30 years. We can learn much from his experiences, and hopefully do a better job in our own communities in serving the poor, not just by giving them food and used clothing, but by helping to bring dignity to their lives. I encourage people to read this book with an open mind to how we might better serve the poor.
5 Stars A Must-Read!
This book has a great deal of wisdom about charity and community development in the life of a Christian. Much of it is composed of things I already knew from much more tedious reading or life experience but these insights are packaged winsomely and easily understood and digested by a broad audience, especially those less familiar with social justice, community development, etc. The chapters are short, the book is thin, and you will not come across many things so profitable that are its equal in ease. You won't be sorry you read it!
4 Stars Excellent Primer on Community Development
This book is written from a Christian perspective, but is far from your typical guilt trip on helping the poor. It is written from the vantage point of twenty five years of experience. The writer shares stories of interventions that worked well and other interventions that had unintended consequences. Anyone who is concerned about the poor and finding sustainable ways to help should read this book. Anyone considering "helping the poor" by giving away food or clothing or Christmas gifts should read this book before doing so. Anyone considering opening a business in an impoverished area should read this book. Too often we do things intending to help that in reality only salve our conscience and perpetuate the problems. This book will help you avoid many mistakes that have occurred in the past. You will find practical suggestions that will have a lasting impact and protect the dignity of those you intend to help.
5 Stars Great!
Bob Lupton articulates much of what we've experienced and feel about ministry to the poor. A study of this has been a great small group exercise for one of our cell groups. I've also bought it for others in ministry with us.
5 Stars HIGHLY recommended!
I highly recommend this book. Lupton's comments are insightful, thought-provoking and true. This is one of the best books I've read on urban ministry/ministry to the poor since John Perkin's _With Justice for All_. A must read, for sure, and not just for those who are currently involved with ministry to the poor.