A Field Guide to Becoming Whole
by Brian Fikkert & Kelly M. Kapic
The remainder of the book articulates the underlying principles that the Chalmers Center uses to design ministries like the one we helped Crossroads Church start. The hope is that these Ministry Design Principles can provide at least some help to pastors, elders, deacons, boards, ministry leaders, staff, volunteers, and donors to promote more effective poverty alleviation ministries at home or abroad across a wide spectrum: health care, education, human trafficking, clean water, homelessness, jobs preparedness, and so on.
It is with much trepidation that we put forth these Ministry Design Principles. Neither we authors nor the Chalmers Center as a whole have this all figured out. Poverty alleviation is extremely complex, and there is considerable mystery to how God’s world works. Many times, we are just completely wrong. Moreover, even when we do have the right ideas, a gap always exists between the theory of what we are doing and the actual practice on the ground. Like all organizations, the Chalmers Center and its ministry partners are full of broken and finite people.
Even when we do get it right, we don’t claim that these principles are unique to us. We stand on the shoulders of many others who have influenced us through their research, experience, writing, speaking, mentoring, and partnership. Hence, what follows should not be considered as “the Chalmers Center’s answers.” Rather, they should be treated as a diary of our imperfect gleanings from the wisdom of many others who have helped us along the way, gleanings that we hope will be helpful to others.
While these principles reflect the insights of many wise people, they are not a magic formula. There simply is no one-size-fits-all recipe that is guaranteed to move people out of poverty. Readers will need to pray for godly wisdom to know how to apply these principles in their particular contexts.