Recently, Floris UMC has announced through the Imagine Campaign a desire to break cycles of poverty. One of the questions that comes up regularly is this:
“How does a church break cycles of poverty?” I should mention that this question can sometimes be asked with a fair amount of sarcasm or apprehension. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the complex social and economic issues that plague the world thus making any action seem superfluous.
I do believe it’s possible for a church to play a significant role in breaking cycles of poverty. Here is where I start:
Believing in Our Theology:
The entirety of Scripture tells of God’s love for freedom and justice, as proclaimed by prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah and the Good News of Jesus. We worship a God that freed slaves. We follow a Christ that healed the sick and fed the masses. Breaking cycles of poverty should be a part of who we are.
Knowing the Issues:
The Imagine Campaign has allowed us the opportunity to dig deeper into the issues that children and families in our community and in Sierra Leone face. With that information, we can seek ways to make tangible impacts.
Partnering with the Right People:
There are experts in the field dealing with many of the issues that we engage in as a congregation. As we seek to improve education for children in our community, we have partnered with Hutchison Elementary faculty to make an impact. In Sierra Leone, the village outreach programs will be done in partnership with NGOs that have led successful programs in the past.