Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Church Planting Movements are Fueled by Discipleship, not Charity

The local pastor pulled the western Christian aside and described the effect of the aid on his congregation: Although he was grateful for the help, the shipments had depressed local initiative, as many vendors within the church and community could no longer compete with the free shipments of supplies. Instead of inspiring a spirit of generosity and giving, the shipments had created a sense of dependency on foreign aid.

He said, “We need a hand up, not a handout.”

Charity can help in a crisis, but generally … 
  • reduces personal initiative,
  • undermines local businesses,
  • hinders long-term growth, and
  • are unsustainable.
In contrast, business models can …
  • cultivate personal initiative,
  • generate income for house church leaders and their coaches, and
  • sustainably reduce the local cost of goods.
Large-scale efforts to address poverty can be hindered by corruption at high levels and/or spiritual forces which rob the poor of their initiative and creativity. The collective discipling, personal transformation and trust relationships which develop in Church Planting Movements (CPMs) produce the kind of “spiritual capital” necessary to sustain businesses that break the poverty cycle.

CPMs are flourishing among the poor, and the relational discipling of CPMs creates an ideal environment for the propagation of literacy, hygiene education, and business development, as they pursue their main mission of leading people to Christ!

(for more, see Peter Greer, A Hand Up Not a HandoutWhy Enterprise and Business Are Changing Our Approach to Poverty Alleviation, and Robby Butler, Steve Downey, and Nick Noll, Turning Wine into Clean Water?An invitation to Explore the Possibilities, Mission Frontiers, July-August 2011)

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