Recommended Reading

 

Trey Hill

Bridges Out Of Poverty
Strategies for Professionals and Communities

Ruby K. Panye Ph. D (284 pages)

Bridges Out of Poverty takes the concepts of hidden rules of economic class and uses them to educate social workers, employers and community organizations about hte unique and sometimes hidden obstacles that individuals from poverty face.Strategies help improve services for clients, raise retention rates for new hires from poverty, and increase understanding of the differences in economic cultures and how those differences affect opportunities for success.

Brett VanderMolen

A Framework for Understanding Poverty
Understanding Mindsets of Poverty, Middle Class, and Wealthy

Ruby K. Payne Ph. D (199 pages)

People in poverty face challenges virtually unknown to those in middle class or wealth–challenges from both obvious and hidden sources. The reality of being poor brings out a survival mentality, and turns attention away from opportunities taken for granted by everyone else. If you work with people from poverty, some understanding of how different their world is from yours will be invaluable. Whether you’re an educator–or a social, health, or legal services professional–this breakthrough book gives you practical, real-world support and guidance to improve your effectiveness in working with people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Since 1995 A Framework for Understanding Poverty has guided hundreds of thousands of educators and other professionals through the pitfalls and barriers faced by all classes, especially the poor. Carefully researched and packed with charts, tables, and questionaires, Framework not only documents the facts of poverty, it provides practical yet compassionate strategies for addressing its impact on people’s lives.

Bill Farrell

Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life
Rethinking Ministry to the Poor

Robert D. Lupton (128 pages)

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.

With Justice For All

With Justice For All
A Strategy For Community Development

John Perkins (240 pages)

I am persuaded that the Church, as the steward of this gospel, holds the key to justice in our society. Either justice will come through us or it will not come at all. John Perkins’s optimistic view of justice becoming a reality starts and ends with the Church. With Justice for All is Perkins’s invitation to live out the gospel in a way that brings good news to the poor and liberty to the oppressed (from Luke 4:18). This invitation is extended to every racial and ethnic group to be reconciled to one another, to work together to make our land all God wants it to be. And it is a blueprint‚ practical strategy for the work of biblical justice in our time. In an age of changing demographics where the need to break the cycle of poverty is staring many of us in the face, Perkins offers hope through practical ministry principles‚ that work. This outstanding resource includes ‚ Reflection questions for personal or group study as well as  Interaction sessions for groups to participate in activities together.

 

Let Justice Roll Down

Let Justice Roll Down
Forward by Shane Claiborne

John Perkins (219 pages)

His brother died in his arms, shot by a deputy marshall. He was beaten and tortured by the sheriff and state police. But through it all he returned good for evil, love for hate, progress for prejudice and brought hope to black and white alike. The story of John Perkins is no ordinary story. Rather, it is a gripping portrayal of what happens when faith thrusts a person into the midst of a struggle against racism, oppression and injustice. It is about the costs of discipleship the jailings,the floggings, the despair, the sacrifice. And it is about the transforming work of faith that allowed John to respond to such overwhelming indignities with miraculous compassion, vision and hope.

Return Flight

Return Flight
Community Development Through Re-Neighboring Our Cities

Robert C. Lupton (108 pages)

Return Flight is a handbook of practical insights and thought-provoking vignettes that portrays a strategy for reweaving the fabric of urban community. It offers a compelling case for re-neighboring deteriorated neighborhoods with strategic neighbors who join with indigenous leaders to bring new energy, vision and resources into low-hope environments.

When Helping Hurts

When Helping Hurts
Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting Yourself…or the Poor

Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert (208 Pages)

Churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm to poor people and themselves. When Helping Hurts provides foundational concepts, clearly articulated general principles and relevant applications. The result is an effective and holistic ministry to the poor, not a truncated gospel.

A situation is assessed for whether relief, rehabilitation, or development is the best response to a situation. Efforts are characterized by an “assest based” approach rather than a “needs based” approach. Short term mission efforts are addressed and microenterprise development (MED) is explored.

The Prodigal God

The Prodigal God
Recovering The Heart Of The Christian Faith

Tim Keller (176 Pages)

Newsweek called New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller a “C.S. Lewis for the twenty-first century” in a feature on his first book, The Reason for God. In that book, he offered a rational explanation for why we should believe in God. Now, in The Prodigal God, Keller takes his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity and uses the parable of the Prodigal Son to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation.

Within that parable Jesus reveals God’s prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and the moralistic. This book will challenge both the devout and skeptics to see Christianity in a whole new way.

 

Teaching To Change Lives

Teaching To Change Lives
Seven Proven Ways To Make Your Teaching Come Alive

Howard Hendricks (160 Pages)

One of the most effective and influential Christian teachers of this century reveals how all teachers — from parents to Sunday school leaders, from pastors to professors — can make the most of their priceless opportunity to inspire, to instruct, and to permanently impact lives for the kingdom of God. Based on seven proven, easy-to-grasp laws any teacher can apply, Howard Hendricks’s classic teaching manual is a must-read for anyone who wants to teach with power and passion, excitement and excellence.

Restoring At-Risk Communities

Restoring At-Risk Communties
Doing It Together And Doing It Right

John Perkins (272 Pages)

This is an in-depth how-to manual for those involved in or interested in Christian community development among our nation’s poor. Dr. Perkins, along with fourteen other urban ministry professionals, shares a wealth of experience in this practical handbook.

Restorers Of Hope

Restorers Of Hope
Reaching the Poor in Your Community with Church-Based Ministries That Work

Amy L. Sherman (254 Pages)

Exciting stories of how church-based ministries have helped transform some of America’s poorest neighborhoods, and effective strategies on how they can reach out and present the gospel as the true solution.

Crazy Love

Crazy Love
Overwhelmed By A Relentless God

Francis Chan (192 Pages)

God is love. Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love. Have you ever wondered if we are missing it? It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe, the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor‚ loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not…we all know somethings wrong. Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts‚ but falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.

Same Kind Of Different As Me

Same Kind Of Different As Me
A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

Ron Hall & denver Moore (256 Pages)

A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery.
An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel.
A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream.
A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.
It begins outside a burning plantation hut in Louisiana . . . and an East Texas honky-tonk . . . and, without a doubt, in the heart of God. It unfolds in a Hollywood hacienda . . . an upscale New York gallery . . . a downtown dumpster . . . a Texas ranch.
Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.

A Hole In Our Gospel

A Hole In Our Gospel
What Does God Expect From Us? The Answer That Changed My Life And Might Just Change the World

Richard Stearns (320 Pages)

It’s 1998 and Richard Stearns’ heart is breaking as he sits in a mud hut and listens to the story of an orphaned child in Rakai, Uganda. His journey to this place took more than a long flight from the United States to Africa. It took answering God’s call on his life, a call that hurtled him out of his presidential corner office at Lenox-America’s finest tableware company-to this humble corner of Uganda.

This is a story of how a corporate CEO faced his own struggle to obey God whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith. Using his own journey as an example, Stearns explores the hole that exists in our understanding of the Gospel.

Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world. Stearns believes it can happen again.

Why True Love Waits

Why True Love Waits
The Definitive Book On How To Help Your Kids Resist Sexual Pressure

Josh McDowell (528 Pages)

How can parents, youth workers, and teachers help teens resist the immense pressure to be sexually active before marriage? Josh McDowell’s classicWhy Wait? has been updated and revised in this new reference work to prepare adults with answers and a solution to kids’ struggles to remain sexually pure in today’s culture. Why True Love Waits equips readers with emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual reasons to share with young people to help them resist sexual pressure.

Radical

Radical
Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream

David Platt (240 Pages)


What is Jesus worth to you?
It’s easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily…
BUT WHO DO YOU KNOW WHO LIVES LIKE THAT? DO YOU?

In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple–then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a “successful” suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus.

Finally, he urges you to join in The Radical Experiment –a one-year journey in authentic discipleship that will transform how you live in a world that desperately needs the Good News Jesus came to bring.

Walking With The Poor

Walking With The Poor
Principles And Practices Of Transformational Development

Bryant L. Myers (279 Pages)

In this revised and updated edition of a modern classic, Bryant Myers shows how Christian mission can contribute to dismantling poverty and social evil. Integrating the best principles and practice of the international development community, the thinking and experience of Christian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and a theological framework for transformational development, Myers demonstrates what is possible when we cease to treat the spiritual and physical domains of life as separate and unrelated.

Theirs is the Kingdom

Theirs Is The Kingdom
Celebrating The Gospel In Urban America

Bob Lupton (199 Pages)

Timely, informative reflections on the relationship between poverty and Christianity, the responsibilities of the haves and have-nots, and the lessons Christians can learn from the poor.