Have you ever felt called to minister to those living in poverty at home or abroad? Michael Matheson Miller, director of the award-winning documentary Poverty, Inc. debunks some of the most common missiological myths
“One of America’s virtues is that we are problem solvers. We look at a problem and we try to solve it and we try to make things better.”
In the case of poverty, many Christians are told that if they were just more generous poverty could be eradicated.
According to Miller, being more generous won’t end poverty for good because it isn’t just about money.
“In the developing world, poor people are not poor primarily because they lack stuff; people are poor primarily because they are excluded.”
What are impoverished people excluded from?
“They lack the institutions of justice that enables them to create prosperity for their own families and for their own communities.”
There is a great danger in leading a life of apathy when it comes to poverty.
“Saint Augustine was commenting on the story of Lazarus and the rich man and he said the rich man didn’t go to hell because he was rich, he went to hell because he was indifferent, and he just didn’t care.”
When we are faced with poverty in our own backyard or halfway across the world, we ask ourselves, ‘what can I do?’ While it is good to discover what we can do to help those living in poverty, we should be asking a different question.
“The real question is what do people need to be able to created prosperity in their own families and their own communities and then, how can I come along and help them. That changes the entire focus, takes it off ourselves, it takes it off our feelings, and puts it where it belongs.”