Read The Poor Will Be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Poverty by Peter Greer Phil Smith Online


This eminently practical book shows how ordinary people can help fight poverty around the world. Focusing on proven initiatives such as microfinance and employment-based solutions, the authors outline specific steps we can take in leading the charge against spiritual and physical poverty. Also includes photographs by award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart (www.jeremycowaThis eminently practical book shows how ordinary people can help fight poverty around the world. Focusing on proven initiatives such as microfinance and employment-based solutions, the authors outline specific steps we can take in leading the charge against spiritual and physical poverty. Also includes photographs by award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart (

Title : The Poor Will Be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Poverty
Author :
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ISBN : 9780310293590
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Poor Will Be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Poverty Reviews

  • Travis
    2019-05-19 04:51

    The Poor Will be Glad is like a large cauldron filled with ingredients of the faith, compassion, and financial sense. The kingdom of God and in-depth business practices are seldom discussed in one book, but Peter Greer and Phil Smith deliver a relentless tag team attack chapter after chapter addressing: the plight of the poor, sustainable solutions to help the poor, and how we should go about accomplishing these solutions. The concepts and solutions Greer and Smith present to the church for mobilizing the great commission are revolutionary. For decades the efforts of the church have been to provide help for the poor, but unfortunately our help turns out to be more of a hindrance, how? Too may times, help that the church offers to the poor are short-term fixes that further feed crippling dependency among the poor. Instead of short-term fixes that create chains of dependency and strangle aspirations and dreams, our goal should be long-term systemic change. Long-term systemic change that creates lasting relationships, and gainful employment that will breed new aspirations and dreams in the hearts of the poor. So the questions are posed; How can Christians extend compassion and good intentions into action that makes a lasting difference? How does having an understanding of specific environmental business cycles and markets forces increase our chances of making a positive change in poverty-stricken areas?Can rigid business structures and the free flowing compassion that accompanies the great commission work hand in hand?Before I dive into answering these questions I'd like to take a much-needed detour…about aliens (stay with me). The alien detour will help us better understand the road ahead in alleviating poverty, I promise. The truth is before we can adequately help the poor we need a paradigm shift to be able to view them in a different light. In the opening chapter of The Poor Will Be Glad, Greer shares the importance of sustainable help growing from the local level up, thus we must do away with the perspective of being, "external saviors" to the problems of the poor. Greer makes a very valid point I want to camp on a bit. If we are ever to be a great help to the poor, we must change the way we see them. The dilemma of taking on the “external savior” mindset places the solutions in our hands to better 'their' lives, rather than providing the poor with the tools and knowledge to change, ‘their’ situations and, ‘their’ communities. When considering this concept I couldn't help being reminded of the classical Sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card, The Speaker for the Dead. In Card's futuristic dystopian universe where aliens species and humans co-exist, he speaks of a hierarchy of foreignness. This Nordic hierarchy is a scale of how we as humans view foreigners; Card describes it as such; 1. Otherlannder or Utlånning- the stranger we recognize as being a human of our world, but of another city or country.2.Framling- the stranger we recognize as human but of another world.3.Raman (plural Ramen)- the stranger we recognize as human but of another species.4.Varelse- the true alien, which includes all animals, for with them no conversation is possible. 5.Djur- the dire beast that comes in the night with slavering jaws.I believe more often then not, especially in American culture, we've viewed the poor as Ramen; the stranger we recognize as human but of another species. Being so accustomed to the American way and our high-esteem for justice and liberty we sometimes assume these principles are solely American ideals. However, equality, justice, liberty are not simply American ideals but universal ideals shared by the poor and rich alike, they are embedded in the nature of all men whether they recognize them or not. As Americans we are so to speak born into an environment where freedom can reign, so these concepts seem elementary to us. All men want to be free to enjoy the fruits of their labors, yet most suffer due to lack of resources, understanding, or oppressive leadership. It is a basic human inclination to make ones life better, however the 'how' that proceeds this inclination will vary dependent on the person’s mindset and environment. Thus, when seeking to administer help to the poor, we must not assume they lack this innate desire and will to make their lives better, as if they are of another species than the human race. Most men and women have the will they just lack the way. So when we assume they lack the will and desire to change their lives, we take on the responsibility of being external saviors, trying to create better men, as Frankenstein hovered over the beast. Sustainable change begins with us viewing ourselves in the situations of the poor, and seeing them as equals, sympathizing with their weaknesses as if they are our own, then helping them to help themselves."Poor people understand that getting help requires appearing helpless, and rich people unwittingly advance the helplessness of those they serve by seeing them as objects of charity, not equals"- Joel WickreThe Plight of the Poor"When a friend gave a T-shirt to a boy in Zambia, the boy's grateful response was, "Now when I wash my shirt, I do not have to be naked when it dries"The above excerpt is one of many stories shared by Greer and Smith throughout the book to paint a tangible picture of poverty. When it comes to knowing the plight of the poor as Americans we are kind of on information overload, we all seem to know about the poor. I'm sure every person in America has either watched an infomercial with an organization asking for .50¢/day or has been in a service or charity event, or watched a slideshow revealing the harsh living conditions of the poor. Most of us have heard the statistics and the reports. We’ve felt the sorrow for the poor and felt the urge to pack up and head overseas on the expediency of the moment, however that’s the thing, it's short-lived. I’ve realized it’s easy to be moved emotionally and charged to make a change in the moment, but through a thorough examination of the circumstances of the poor, we come to the sober reality that it usually takes more than we’re willing to give. This ‘more’ I speak of, is our lives, hence we find a ministry administering help to the poor and support them. However, have we ever thoroughly examined the means by which the ministries we support administer help to the poor, and are they effective? A Part to a Greater Whole“We have lost a coherent, holistic understanding of how the Gospel, and thereby the practice of the Christian faith, relates to every single area of society”-Abraham KuyperPhil Smith sets the record straight sharing the unhelpful dichotomy the church has adopted over time where we place more emphasis on one act over another. Whereas, proclamation is deemed of higher importance than demonstration, however Smith states, “The ministry of Christ demonstrated the seamless harmony of obeying both the great commission and the greatest commandment.” In order for the church to move closer to providing sustainable and empowering solutions to the poor, we must do away with the hierarchical mindset that separates good works from proclaiming good news. As I quoted Kuyper above, we must reprogram our minds to this truth of holistic living, understanding that there are no major dividing lines between each arena of our lives. The person and work of Christ must contribute to, and be the structural integrity of all our endeavors, personally and socially, verbally and physically. Every facet of our lives is a tool in drawing us closer to God and making us ministers of reconciliation for the Kingdom of God. Smith emphasizes the importance of individual parts contributing to the greater good of the whole with the visual of his two daughters preparing a meal. One daughter was chopping onions, the other was cutting carrots, however they both had a common purpose; creating a feast. Thus, Smith states “while you can chop vegetables without making a feast, you cannot make a feast without chopping vegetables” The same goes for us as Christians engaging our communities and society as a whole, whether it be leisurely activities, work, education, or verbally proclaiming the good news, each part contributes to a greater whole. Lasting Difference“Nearly every human prefers the dignity that comes from employment to the demeaning dependency of handouts.” –GreerAs you dive deeper into the book Greer and Smith answer the question initially posed; “How can Christians extend compassion and good intentions into action that makes a lasting difference? The answer is explained in great detail but the main objective is, employment. To those wondering, “what about immediate needs, because certainly you can’t eat a job!?” Greer gives an insightful discernment between relief and development. The poor do indeed need relief, defined by Greer as -- a rapid provision of temporary resources to reduce immediate suffering. Nonetheless, the more desired path should be development that cultivates long-term change, however both are needed. Yet, how can employment make a change when there are no jobs available? Greer and Smith go on to share the importance of promoting entrepreneurship among the poor through; MFI’s (Microfinance Institutions), RosSCA’S (Rotating Saving and Credit Associations), and (BAM) Business as missions. Greer reveals these initiatives can foster endless benefits and support education, technology, housing, medicine, agriculture and most importantly the hearts of the people. “all human beings are born entrepreneurs. Some get a chance to unleash that capacity. Some never got the chance, never knew that he or she has that capacity.” -Muhammad Yunus When it comes to affecting the hearts of the people Greer and Smith call upon the church to take up the cross, lift their sleeves and get involved in MFI’s and savings loans. Smith state’s “The church is the biggest distribution system in the world”, thus if the church could use microfinance as a tool it would revolutionize ministry efforts to the poor. Smith also argues that microfinance, “should be a natural tool for Christians” because it “Alleviates poverty without causing dependency.” Smith and Greer present clear and concise methods to alleviate poverty all over the world and empower people to better their lives. The book perfectly meshes compassion with intelligent business sense and realism. If the church at large followed the contents of this book I believe nations could be radically transformed and the world impacted beyond our imagination in alleviating poverty and promoting the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-09 06:02

    This book is a great introduction to microfinance as a solution to poverty. The book does have a lot of information, but it's published and distributed by HOPE International (a microfinance organization) and the bias is obvious. The authors talk about the hardships that come with poverty and poverty alleviation, and then microfinance is presented as THE solution, not just a solution.Sentences like this made me uncomfortable, "Giving to [microfinance] projects and to the right organizations is the least risky and most beneficial way to improve the physical and spiritual condition of impoverished people around the world." (p. 250)I recommend reading this book in tandem with When Helping Hurts for a more complete introduction to poverty and Biblical poverty alleviation.

  • Mark Oppenlander
    2019-05-15 08:46

    This book is a nice, easy-to-read introduction to the world of microfinance. The authors are Christians so some of the focus is on the moral or religious reasons for participation in microfinance and also the blending of microfinance work with Christian evangelism. Most of the book however is a practical explanation of what microfinance is and how Christians (or others) can get involved.I do have concerns around a few of the topics that the authors discuss, such as their seeming endorsement of the misguided "Half time" concepts of Bob Buford or descriptions of the various permutations of Business as Mission (BAM), an idea I have often been skeptical about. Overall, though, these are minor quibbles. The writing is professional and polished, if not particularly exciting.Based on content alone, this book would probably only warrant a three star review. So why the extra star? Quite simply because of the production quality. This is a beautiful book to look at and even to touch. It has stunning photography of people and places in the developing world by Jeremy Cowart. And although it is not oversized, it has a wonderful weight and feel in ones hands. If you want a coffee-table book that is attractive, informative and that will get people talking about an important subject - the fate of the "bottom billions" in our world - this might be a book for you.

  • Pamela
    2019-05-03 08:02

    Very good book on Micro Finance. This is an area of helping women in Africa that I am very passionate about. I believe that if women are given a chance to own and operate their own business in the developing world, they will use their profits to better the lives of their children and their community. In countries where jobs are scarce micro loans to start or expand a business can lift a family out of poverty. I have started a small online jewelry business and have dedicated the profits to micro loans. Check out and buy a piece of my jewelry!

  • Jeannette
    2019-04-24 08:43

    It's a good think this book didn't include "microfinance" in its title or subtitle, or I'd never have picked it up, being a combination of "ho-hum" and frustrated at misuse of wealth when it comes to finance. This book was excellent in explaining the basics of microfinance, some very workable variations (e.g. microinsurance for health or crops), and some best and worst practices. This opened my eyes to a whole new way of supporting my brothers and sisters in third-world countries. Great pictures and personal stories. (and the librarian in me was awed by the excellent binding!)

  • Josh Smetzer
    2019-05-06 08:54

    An in-depth look at micro-finance. This book covers a lot of information on the topic of micro-finance, and uses the last 100 pages or so to how we can get involved. I thought the authors did a good job in explaining what micro-finance can and cannot achieve. They also did a good job showing the connection between economic development and christian ministry. The first half of the book can be a little tedious, but is full of good information.

  • Cory Saint-Esprit
    2019-05-11 06:00

    Honestly, not my favorite book. I felt like it was all practice and not enough good solid stories. While I very much agree with the premise of micro-loans as a means to lift folks out of poverty around the world, this book disguised itself as an easy ready but was not. The authors repeat themselves a lot, while diving into details that do not need it and glossing over things that could use more explanation. Got 2/3 of the way through and returned it to the library.

  • Amy Farley
    2019-05-05 00:51

    I can't wait to send this book to my dad for his missions committee but I keep thinking of different people who would like it that I haven't sent it yet. A thoughtful book on revising, or at least revisiting, the current model for missions giving as a way to empower those we are trying to help not create dependency. A call to listen more than just knee jerk give and to be involved long term with those we are helping. Very encouraging!

  • Victoria
    2019-05-17 00:51

    This is mainly an indepth understanding of microloans. Although I am totally for microloans, I wasn't expecting the book to be mainly about it. It wasn't bad though and definitely explained the importance of teaching business to the poverty stricken and trying to help them out of poverty with microloans too. We receive some Biblical description on top of it. I was very bored while reading it though, and am sad that I have to admit that. I had higher hopes for it.

  • Rachel
    2019-05-08 07:41

    This book is filled with information and positive experience of micro finance. It does not get technical nor is it unbiased. There are more negative experiences than shown in this book; however, I do appreciate that it recognizes that micro finance is not perfect. Overall, I liked this book for the experiences of the authors and the good that has come from micro finance with Hope International. Not to mention the photos are beautiful.

  • Peter
    2019-04-25 06:55

    A look at how our efforts to help the poor sometimes do more harm than good, and what techniques are actually helping. The book looks specifically at how micro-finance (lending, saving, and insurance) have helped the very poor, and what are the features that have caused micro finance to fail or succeed.

  • Beth
    2019-05-16 06:00

    A good primer on Micro finance for the American church. I found it a bit dry and not particularly gripping to read. "When Helping Hurts" was far more readable, but not as specifically about MFIs.

  • Jess Martin
    2019-04-24 07:58

    Well-written explanation of the benefits of microfinance and savings and credit associations in the third world. Documents how we can unintentionally do harm when giving.

  • Chris Leland
    2019-05-10 02:11

    This book should be read by anyone ministering in a third world country. Also by those going on short term mission trips.

  • Andrew Wolgemuth
    2019-04-29 05:57

    A good and interesting summary of the micro-finance movement and the evangelical Christian "flavor" of the movement in particular.

  • Michelle
    2019-05-04 03:43

    This book is a really good overview of the ministry of microfinance. It outlines ideas, programs that are working, and some of the pitfalls.

  • Shellie G
    2019-04-21 01:45

    I did not find this book to be as telling as his first book, A Billion Bootstaps.

  • Nate
    2019-05-20 03:56

    I learned a lot about micro-finance from reading this book.