A call to carry Christ’s love and mercy to families in poverty around the world.
This eminently practical book by two leading experts on poverty alleviation offers a clear plan to help ordinary Christ-followers translate their compassion into thoughtful action.
Authors Peter Greer and Phil Smith draw on their personal experiences to discuss proven solutions for effectively alleviating poverty. Created to Flourish examines the pitfalls of traditional approaches and outlines a new model of economic development aimed at breaking the cycle of dependency.
Through discipleship-based savings groups and small loans, families in poverty are employing their God-given talents to provide for their families and serve their communities. With photographs showcasing the dignity of clients from around the HOPE International network, this book provides straightforward guidance for individuals and groups eager to carry God’s justice, mercy, and compassion throughout our world.
Any tips will be directed to support the work of HOPE International.
Peter Greer is the president and CEO of HOPE International. Peter joined HOPE in 2004, following extensive education and experience in the field of microfinance. He received a B.S. in international business from Messiah College, an MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and an honorary doctorate from Erskine College.
Prior to joining HOPE, Peter worked internationally as a microfinance advisor in Cambodia, technical advisor for Self-Help Development Foundation in Zimbabwe, and managing director for Urwego Community Bank in Rwanda. As an advocate for the Church’s role in missions and alleviating extreme poverty, Peter has been a speaker at conferences such as Catalyst, Passion, Harvest International’s Development Conference, and Jubilee, and he has been featured by Christianity Today, World, Forbes, CNN, and RELEVANT. Peter currently serves as the entrepreneur-in-residence at Messiah College and as a Praxis venture partner. He has also written The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good (with Anna Haggard, 2013), Mission Drift (with Chris Horst, 2014; selected as a 2015 Book Award Winner from Christianity Today), Entrepreneurship for Human Flourishing (with Chris Horst, 2014), Stop Helping Us (2014), Watching Seeds Grow (with his son Keith, 2014), 40/40 Vision (with Greg Lafferty, 2015), The Giver and the Gift (with David Weekley, 2015) and Created to Flourish (with Phil Smith, 2016; originally published as The Poor Will Be Glad in 2009).
The present age is a truly unique historical moment. The richest people ever to walk the face of the earth coexist with billions living in conditions not fit for creatures bearing the image of almighty God. How are Christians to respond to this crisis? Drawing on their many years of experience in microfinance, Peter Greer and Phil Smith challenge readers to join God’s mission of helping those in poverty to flourish through restoring them to sustainable work. This book is a timely and prophetic word, combining solid theology, best practices, and deeply moving stories from the front lines.
Brian Fikkert, PhD, Founder and President, The Chalmers
Center, and Coauthor, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate
Poverty without Hurting the Poor … and Yourself
Created to Flourish is an honest, insightful, and practical resource forged from the vast experience of the authors who deeply care about seeing people lifted from poverty. I am grateful to have this book in my hands and know it will add wisdom to all those who have joined the revolution.
Chuck Bentley, CEO, Crown Financial Ministries
My friends Peter and Phil have written a book about respect—not pity. They have not written a book about money—but about discovering value in hidden places with explosive benefits for individuals, families, and entire countries.
Fred Smith, President, The Gathering
Most Christians recognize the biblical mandate to care for the poor. But “doing good”
doesn’t always really help. With biblical insight, economic savvy, realism, and loads
of wisdom, Greer and Smith point to a paradigm that can empower “the least among
us.” This is must reading for church mission committees, development workers, and
anyone who wants to truly make a difference in the face of poverty. Moreover, Greer and Smith rightly believe that physical poverty and spiritual poverty can be addressed together without losing the integrity of the other.
Dennis Hollinger, PhD, President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
It’s unusual to discover an engaging, detailed, and affecting manual delineating a Christian approach to alleviating global poverty. That’s what Greer and Smith have given readers in this resource-rich guide to how individuals, businesses, churches, and denominational groups can use the basics of microfinance—the provision of financial services to the poor—to partner with communities and find “employment based solutions with proven results for effectively reducing poverty and extending the kingdom of God.”
What a needed book! In a relational, story-based way, Peter and Phil help us learn
more about microfinance and other employment-based solutions to the problem of
world poverty. As we see the Church awakening more than ever to issues of social
justice, this book is arriving just at the right time.
Rebecca St. James, Author, Singer, Actress
Created to Flourish is a light to the path of social entrepreneurs, students, and philanthropists showing how to help the poor physically while proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. You will learn how to avoid unintentional harm and how to do the greatest good.
Chris Crane, Founder and CEO, Edify
This book illustrates integrated solutions to spiritual and physical poverty with clarity and conviction. A must-read as we critically consider biblical stewardship of our resources.
David Weekley, Businessman, Philanthropist