Every pastor, rabbi, imam and congregational leader needs to read Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It). Author Robert D. Lupton explains how many, if not most, well-intentioned, congregationally-based charity initiatives make things worse rather than better. Lupton lays out the chapters into discrete sections making it usable as a group study guide.
As suburban guilt (my term, not his) increases, our ability to evaluate mission and justice work decreases. Lupton contends that without planning, considering the long-term needs of others (and not ourselves), and accepting that there are no quick fixes, we will continue a cycle of harm in the guise of doing good.
Lupton leads a Center for Congregations workshop, Effective Mission Work: Empowering Those We Serve, in January in Indianapolis and Evansville. Click here for more information about the workshop.