A New Approach to Help those in Material Poverty
For some in our community, material wealth is something they were given, like an inheritance or being born into a materially wealthy family. For many, it means taking a nose-to-the-grindstone, climb-the-ladder approach. In fact, “you don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for,” – am I right? For others, economic wellness is incredibly complicated. This may involve barely making ends meet and dealing with complex obstacles like poor credit, predatory lending, low financial literacy and broken relationships.
It doesn’t take much time in God’s word before we clearly see that Christ-followers are to share with those in our community who are materially poor. That’s fairly straight-forward. But the model that we often see in helping those in economic poverty is a one-way road.
Take a soup kitchen for example. There is a clear divide between those who have something and those who do not. I’m not dismissing the crucial importance of feeding the hungry (our church helps with Backpack Buddies), but what if some of our ministry efforts to help those in economic poverty looked more like a potluck? In this scenario, everyone is on a level playing field, coming to the table with something they need and with something to give. And this is exactly how God sees us – we are equal to him regardless of material prosperity or poverty.
The Chalmers Center has developed resources to equip low-income adults with the practical financial and spiritual tools to help steward their money well. This is a new approach that is designed around a 12-week community experience in which those living at or near the poverty line will learn basic tools and tips they need to get on their feet and what it means to glorify God with their money. To be clear, these tools are not a deep dive on retirement accounts or tax strategies. Instead, they are geared towards those who:
• Are just starting out learning how to budget
• Don’t have a lot of extra money to spare
• Desire to overcome financial obstacles
• Want to save more and pay off debt
The community experience that is created through this 12-week course is not just about people with financial means transferring concepts to those who are materially poor. And it isn’t about those who are materially poor coming to wealth and prosperity, though that could be something that the Lord brings to fruition. This journey and community is about all participants – both volunteers and students – being more fully restored to a life of spiritual and financial wellness that mirrors the kingdom of God.
A small group of Waypoint members will soon be launching this new faith and finances community, and we are looking for both volunteers and students. Volunteers do not need to be financial experts. In fact, we already have people certified to serve as facilitators. Instead, volunteers are allies to students - people who are willing to be vulnerable, listen to and pray with others. People who will sit at the table.
If you are interested in learning more, please sign up here for our interest meeting which will be held on Sunday, April 11th at 7pm via zoom.
If you or someone you know is interested in attending the course as a student, email me at