What is the role of the church in poverty alleviation?

Compassion that Helps Without Hurting

While the call to poverty alleviation is clear, often times the local church in America struggles to meaningfully address the needs of their neighbors. Because our society has defined poverty foremost as a material problem, many of the programs and poverty alleviation ministries we’ve constructed have only addressed surface needs of families, such as housing or food provision. While important, these services are often fragmented and lack the ability to produce sustained and supportive relationships that lead to mutual transformation.

Poverty can be defined biblically as a brokenness in relationship with God, self, others, and the rest of creation.

The Church bears responsibility to bring the good news of Christ’s Kingdom to all people, including the hurting and the poor. ACTS strives to help churches alleviate material poverty through a ministry framework based on a reframed understanding of poverty, reshaped approaches to serving individuals impacted by poverty and a commitment to a community restored to abundance. The Church can provide clarion leadership in addressing the brokenness in our communities and be an example of redemptive ministry for our city, nation and world.

Creating Change


Reframe the church’s view of poverty

Because the church has previously viewed poverty as a material problem, it has often responded with rescue and relief. We want to exchange this view of poverty with a more holistic view that is relational and restorative.


Reshape the church’s response to poverty

After understanding a holistic view of poverty, church leaders and members will be equipped for mutually transformative relational ministry that fosters dignity and empowerment and leads to greater impact in the church and the community.


Restore relationships from relief to development

The Church is then now prepared to play an active role in creating abundant communities as a servant leader among strong alliances outside the walls of the church.

“The North American Church is rediscovering its mandate to care for the poor, but good intentions are not enough.”

“The church desperately needs to be equipped with the proper knowledge, attitudes, and skills to address both the personal and systemic causes of poverty. I believe that the ACTS model has tremendous potential to address this need.”

Dr. Brian Fikkert

Founder of The Chalmers Center for Economic Development
Co-author of the best-selling, Christian book, When Helping Hurts

Want to connect with us?

We’d love to talk about how you can implement this plan into your church program.