What Christianity Today Missed
It’s not news: Getting a job is probably the most basic way to get out of poverty.
That’s why I’m amazed by the fact that in Christianity Today’s list of top 10 poverty alleviation strategies, only one directly involves job creation (microfinance).
See list below.
- Get clean water to rural villages.
- Fund de-worming treatments for children.
- Provide mosquito nets.
- Sponsor a child.
- Give wood-burning stoves.
- Give a microfinance loan.
- Fund reparative surgeries.
- Donate a farm animal.
- Drink fair-trade coffee.
- Give a kid a laptop.
These solutions are critically important, but primarily address poverty’s symptoms instead of its root cause. They also emphasize what “we” can provide instead of recognizing that imported solutions rarely last.
Job creation is doing more than just treating poverty’s symptoms. It challenges the notion that the poor are helpless, powerless, and voiceless.
With a job, the poor can work to provide for their families. They can use their creativity and pursue their dreams. And they can build a better world for their children.
At HOPE, we encourage business initiatives and share about the love of Christ. We empower the poor to recognize their dignity in Christ.
But there are also many other Christ-centered organizations paving the way for job creation in the developing world.
Here are just a few top-notch Christ-centered organizations:
- The Chalmers Center. Designing and teaching a biblically based business curriculum, The Chalmers Center empowers the poor to manage their money, save, and expand their businesses. See http://www.chalmers.org/.
- Jobs for Life. This great organization equips churches to teach basic skills necessary to find and maintain a job. See http://www.jobsforlife.org/affiliate-locations.htm.
- Sovereign’s Wealth Fund. By investing in kingdom businesses, Sovereign’s Wealth Fund is helping to build a thriving middle class. See http://www.slideshare.net/sovereigns/swfdeck.
I truly believe that Christ-centered business has the potential to change the world! When we invest in individuals, they, in turn, invest in their families—and in their communities.
Domestically and internationally, Christian organizations are lifting up the name of Jesus and carrying out the most basic form of poverty alleviation, helping the financially poor find a job.
Peter Greer is president and CEO of HOPE International, a global nonprofit focused on Christ-centered job creation, savings mobilization, and financial training.
A graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School and the former Managing Director of Urwego in Rwanda, he authored The Poor Will Be Glad (2009), The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good (2013), and Mission Drift (2014). Peter blogs at www.peterkgreer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @peterkgreer.