August 29, 2013

August 30th I Am Officially Retiring and

Life Journey Ministries Will Be Closing its Doors!

Clear back in the mid ‘80’s and early 90’s I earned several ministry and organizational management degrees and entered into the life and times of the semiconductor industry. That career experience eventually led to the establishment of Life Journey Ministries – a ministry dedicated to helping people bring the newness of their life in Christ into their understanding and performance of their daily work.

Life Journey began in 2004 with the help of a generous grant from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League and under the umbrella of the Northwest District (of the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod) Lay Assistant Program. As our ministry grew under the theme Sunday People in a Monday World, we then branched out in November of 2007 and became our own independent 501 C3 ministry. In addition to our prayer retreats and on-line ministries, in late 2010 we began our Redeeming Work internet radio broadcasts with The Crossroads Radio station.

It would be impossible to list all the people who have had a major influence on the ministry that Life Journey has performed over the years. I especially praise God for the endless support from my husband, Tom. I will always remember with fond memories all the help that Lenette Schuldheisz and Chris Reinke provided; as well as the original Board of Director members, under the leadership of Candice Kilpinen, who helped get this ministry started. I can’t thank past board members (Helen Hanson, Carol Hofelmann, and Leanne Wilson-McGuire) enough for their service; but it goes beyond words trying to describe my appreciation for those board members who have been with me the entire time (Debbie Butner, Lynnette Campbell, Nancy Bergman, and Tom Schoenborn); and our own present Board chairperson, Debbi Wood.

There have been numerous friends who have supported us all along the way, ranging from good friend Cindy McCullough, to Miriam Hoelter, Mary Hilgendorf, Carol Covlin, Judy Waetjen, and (well, the list goes on and on).

The people I have met and the friends made through speaking engagements and retreats have enriched my life more than they will ever know. I humbly stand before God with a sense of awe when I think of all the people who are actively living their faith in a God who has created daily work to be a means of participating with Him in the ongoing care and productivity of life in this universe.

Life Journey’s web site (www.lifejourneyministries.org) will remain active until the end of September. When we take the site down, though, feel free to still stay in touch with me via my Facebook. Beginning the first of September, my new email address will be:


Be sure and make that change right away in your address book.

Again, my sincere thanks to you all! May you always remember to be God’s Sunday person in each of your Monday worlds!

Carolyn Schoenborn

(Soon to be “Past”) Executive Director of Life Journey Ministries!


Redemption: Our Only Hope

June 18, 2013

The Social Ministries Committee at the congregation where I worship has been working on a project related to poverty and wealth in America. Poverty is a very complex issue, but we know that its leading causes are a lack of jobs or employment opportunities, environmental issues (storms, droughts, etc. that destroy wealth and the ability to produce), lack of education and appropriate skill development, emotional and social trauma, and biased or unjust social structures that contain ineffective support systems. It is indeed a very complex issue. In fact, poverty can be such a complex issue that I find it is easy to become quite depressed and feel that it is an almost hopeless situation.

Maybe that is why I have been thinking a lot this week about the topic of redemption.

Redemption gives us a picture of the way things could be:

  • The objective of God’s work in redemption is to free people to be what they were created to be.
  • Redemption is deliverance of the physical world.
  • Redemption restores the life-giving potential of all aspects of the created order, making a degree of flourishing possible in this age.

We must understand the full meaning of redemption. Christ died on the cross not only to save us but also to restore all things. Grasping the full implication of the gospel should make Christians interested in evangelism as well as serving their neighbor and working for peace and justice in the world.

In his book Engaging God’s World, Cornelius Plantinga exhorts Christians to:

…prepare to add one’s own contribution to the supreme reformation project, which is God’s restoration of all things that have been corrupted by evil…According to Scripture, God plans to accomplish this project through Jesus Christ, who started to make “all things new,” and who will come again to finish what he started. In the meantime, God’s Spirit inspires a worldwide body of people to join this mission of God. 

God calls his people to be redemptive agents in the world today. Albert Wolters writes in his book Creation Regained,

What was formed in creation has been historically deformed by sin and must be reformed in Christ.

The Bible tells us the scope of God’s redemption in Christ is as big as the scope of God’s creative work. God not only sent his son to die for us, “His redemptive goal is nothing less than to push sin out of every inch and aspect of His creation,” as Mike Williams explains in his book Far as the Curse is Found.

Williams goes on to say that we have been redeemed in Christ for a purpose. That purpose is

…to be redemptive again the reclamation of “all things.” We should not miss what is at stake here. God is jealous for his works. He surrenders nothing to the forces of sin and death. If the Kingdom of God stands for the realization of God’s good will in the world (an affirmation and living out of the way things ought to be) then the loving grace of God lays claim to all things, destroying the Devil’s work and returning every bit of God’s world – every aspect, place, and thought – to its rightful Lord. 

We are called to play a part in God’s plan of redemption. This gives us a broader understanding of our calling to work in the world

– See more at: http://blog.tifwe.org/redemption-our-only-hope/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=810088&utm_campaign=0#sthash.QaOySNob.dpuf

How Should Christians Pursue the Common Good? By Dr. Jay W. Richards

June 13, 2013

The late theologian and Christianity Today editor Carl Henry once called on Christians not to restrict the Christian life to evangelism alone, but also to engage the culture in the public square.

We can think of that task in terms of pursuing the common good. This is the shalom God calls us to through the prophet Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 29:4-7, Jeremiah exhorts the exiles living in Babylon:

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper”

But how do we pursue shalom? One way is through our vocations.

Hugh Whelchel once wrote that our vocations are the most powerful means at our disposal to influence culture and restore the common good.

Professor John Frame writes in his book, The Doctrine of the Christian Life,

As God’s Spirit penetrates people’s hearts through the gospel, those people become new creatures. They take their faith into every sphere of life, including the workplace, politics, economics, education, and the arts. And in all these realms, they seek to glorify God…their incipient obedience leads to significant changes in society.

Just because Christians should pursue the common good doesn’t mean we all have to do it the same way. The hand does not have to be the foot. The dentist doesn’t have to do the job of the high school counselor.

In fact, one could still hold that the primary job of the Church at large is to make disciples of all nations (of which evangelism is a part). But this has to do with far more than just the eternal destiny of individual souls. Disciple-making has all sorts of positive moral, social, and economic effects on society as a whole.

[Taken from the April 2, 2013 Institute for Faith, Work and Economics daily blog. – See more at: http://blog.tifwe.org/how-should-christians-pursue-the-common-good/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=810088&utm_campaign=0#sthash.vqpyqoey.dpuf]

The Call of Stewardship: Seeing the Unseen

June 8, 2013

We are called to be stewards of God’s creation. The dominion we are given by God is powerful. We exercise this dominion through our work (Genesis 2:15). To do our work to the utmost glory of God, we need a sound institutional setting that encourages creativity, productivity and innovation while minimizing poor decision-making. To do this, we must learn to not only take advantage of existing opportunities, but we must also pay attention to the consequences, or the secondary effects, of an action.

It is easy to count consequences when they are obvious and immediate. Racing through a red light can pose significant, personal costs upon us and others. We don’t take that decision lightly. There are powerful incentives at work that force us to count the costs of that action.

Why might we ignore unseen consequences?

  • Long-term consequences are easier to deflect.
  • The costs may not be directly applicable to us personally.

In the public square we make decisions in large groups. Often one smaller group benefits at the expense of a widespread, larger group. In these instances, we may choose to ignore the very real long-term consequences of our decision-making.

This is the difference between the seen and the unseen. As Christians given the power of stewardship, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring the unseen. We must think carefully about all the impacts of our decisions, public and private.

Christians are people of hope. We are called to bring about flourishing. It is one thing to pray that good can come out of tragic events and circumstances. It is another to completely ignore the massive damage that can occur to others because of the choices or decisions we make today for our immediate benefit or even greed.

Over the past 200 years, the Western world has experienced capital accumulation and wealth creation unprecedented in human history. There is now more hope than ever that we can eliminate abject poverty across the globe in the coming decades.

We got here because we live in an institutional setting that encourages our God-given creativity. As Christians, we must encourage sound institutions that foster our creativity and mitigate our greed. Making efforts to see the unseen is the call of stewardship.


[Excerpts from Dr. Anne Bradley’s April 23, 2013 IFWE Blog page at: http://blog.tifwe.org/the-call-of-stewardship-seeing-the-unseen/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=810088&utm_campaign=0]

The Ministry of Cultural Engagement

June 5, 2013

Is culture good or bad? Is it something we should take seriously and be intentional about; or is it something that just “is”? Is it a blessing or a curse?

I was reading Romans 12 today and The Message paraphrase said: “Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going to work and walking around life – and place it before God as an offering…Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” [Emphasis is mine.]

There are several things that caught my attention. First, cultural engagement is often associated with politics, art, film, and even education, but rarely with business. But, in this passage, Paul included going to work as part of culture.

Second, perhaps the reason business is so seldom included in our thoughts about culture is because business has a public relations problem. Some of the greatest temptations for humans are easily displayed in our daily work and business institutions (greed, envy, selfishness, and others).

Third, notice that Paul isn’t saying that culture is bad. But, he does warn about “mindless” participation in culture. In other words, does culture control us, or do we control our culture?

I am always surprised by the number of Christians who consider participation in business as more of a necessary evil than as a God-given calling that is to be an expression of the Cultural Mandate in Genesis 1:26-28.  It is not unusual to have a conversation with committed Christians in various centers of culture – education, law, government, business –  who will say something like “I wish I could do something that really matters to God.”

How many business people in our churches share the same sentiment? The sacred/secular dichotomy remains prominent.

There are great temptations in business. However, the mere existence of such temptations is no reason for Christians to fail to recognize the business world as a central area of ministry calling and cultural engagement. In fact, maybe the presence of these temptations ought to be one of the main reasons we should be paying more attention to it.

The fact that some businesses are obsessed with large profits at any cost and the construction of monuments made in their image does not negate the myriad ways that business exemplifies human flourishing. In business there is the ongoing possibility for the production of cultural goods that can bring God glory in the excellence of their production, design, sales, and marketing. It is one of the main tools whereby God cares for the world!

How many Christians in business are in churches that constantly tell them, “your faith and your business go together much better than you can possibly imagine?”

What message comes from your church?

What Can Jesus Teach Us About Our Work?

May 28, 2013

There is no doubt that Jesus’ greatest purpose while on earth was to be God’s visible presence so we humans could see , experience, and better understand God; and to bring about atonement through his death on the cross. His death not only paved the path for salvation, but his life also showed us what the Kingdom of God looks like.

But, what I think we seldom realize is how closely this Kingdom is actually related to the activity of physical labor or daily work!

As Andrew Spencer said in his April 18, 2013 IFWE blog, “Jesus clearly demonstrated what life was supposed to be like… he gave us a foretaste of the restoration for which we long. Jesus also gave us a picture of what a heavenly citizen would do.” [Emphasis mine.]

I think it is very important to remember that Jesus actually spent the majority of his earthly work life, not as a teacher, but as a carpenter.  Long before Jesus preached a sermon or worked a miracle he had sawed and sanded wood for several decades, made cradles and tables, and plows and yokes. He dealt with customers both kind and difficult. This is the Son with whom God was “well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

But, Jesus was not only a tradesperson; he could also be thought of as an entrepreneur for God’s realm, calling the twelve disciples, sending out the seventy, teaching the crowds, healing many people, and ministering to their emotional, psychological, and physical needs.

His choosing twelve ordinary, working individuals, not professional clergy, as his closest associates shows that his work was not that of a religious professional intended only for spiritual purposes. His associates included four fishermen as well as people of questionable professions such as a tax collector and a zealot (or an insurgent).  Of his 132 public appearances in the New Testament, 122 were in the marketplace; and of the fifty-two parables that he told, forty-five had a workplace context. The workplace figures prominently throughout his earthly career or life.

Jesus was human in every way. We know that he ate and slept and grieved. But we sometimes miss that Jesus worked, too. He didn’t only do spiritual work specifically for God’s kingdom in the sense that we often think of it. His career as a carpenter and the focus and location of much of his work should rise in significance in our minds.

It is hard to imagine Jesus living the divided life that many of us lead. We are often one person at work, another at church, and in our family still another. Jesus was as much the son of God when he was cutting a board as when he was healing a sick girl. We should strive to make our work an expression of our personality, as a way of demonstrating God’s goodness to those around us.

Furthermore, no doubt Jesus was just as holy as a carpenter as he was as a teacher. It must have been important for Jesus to do that work, otherwise, he would have either begun his ministry at an earlier age, or he would have taken a professional religious role.

None of those happened, so it seems to me that we should value our role at our workplace equally with any other “spiritual” roles we may fulfill. Our daily work is a holy ministry that is meant to promote the kingdom of God.

[Andrew Spencer’s blog may be viewed at: http://blog.tifwe.org/what-can-jesus-teach-us-about-our-work/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=810088&utm_campaign=0

Disparities in Wealth Contain Responsibilities

May 26, 2013

Scripture is very clear that the wealthy have responsibilities to the poor that God takes very seriously; and the poor have responsibilities, as well. For example:

  • The first responsibility of the rich to the poor is to treat them fairly.  (Deut. 24:15) For example, workers should be paid a just wage for their labor and should not be exploited in any way by their employers. We’re also not to defraud the poor (possibly by dragging out litigation to force our opponent to either give up or go bankrupt.)
  • Taking advantage of another’s misfortune is also forbidden in Scripture, for example by the prohibition of taking a cloak in pledge for a loan (Deut. 24:12-13, 17) and of charging interest on loans (Lev. 25:36).
  • We are to especially preserve the dignity of the poor (Deut. 24:10). We see this, for example, in the Law of Gleaning, one of the central provisions for care of the poor in the Law of Moses (Deut. 24:19-21). Landowners were prohibited from harvesting every last bit of their crops, but were to leave some for the poor who could come collect it.
  • In like manner, the poor were thus required to do some work for their food, which in turn kept them from being reduced to complete dependence on charity. Since work is part of what it means to bear the image of God, providing opportunities for work affirms the dignity of the poor while meeting their needs.
  • The emphasis on work as an essential part of human dignity was a unique contribution of Judaism and Christianity to world culture, but its implications for helping the poor have often been forgotten.  Although as we look at our own history we view the activities of the rich as nothing more than conspicuous consumption, if you read their early writings you will find that they clearly saw their wealth as giving them a moral obligation to provide employment and support local businesses to prevent people from falling into poverty. While there were certainly excesses, up until at least the industrial age, the wealthy spent their money in part as an effort to support people in their communities.
  • The emphasis on the local community brings up another important concept in dealing with people in need. Our responsibilities are greatest to those who are closest to us, an idea theologian John Schneider calls “moral proximity.” Thus Scripture is clear that our first responsibility is to our family, extended to two generations up and down (Prov. 13:22, 1 Tim. 5:4). From there, we have responsibilities to those in our churches and our communities, in concentric circles outward. This is not to say we have no responsibilities to those dying of AIDS in Africa or of starvation in South Asia, but that responsibility is secondary to the needs of those closer to us.

So how do we apply these principles today?

  • Scripture is clear that when we are confronted with immediate, emergency needs, we meet them. Giving to the poor without thought of repayment is a moral obligation in both the Old and New Testament. It is important, however, not to create situations that force the poor into dependency. When the immediate need is met, the type of assistance should be transitioned away from charity and toward opportunity to earn their own living, with the goal of paying it forward toward others in need (e.g. Eph. 4:28, note the reason for the instructions).
  • Therefore, when possible, it is especially important to help set people up in their own businesses and to patronize them. We see this in the developing world with microfinance programs. In America, the number of options is limitless, from helping someone get a lawnmower and yard tools to helping them start an online business. Networking with others in your church or community to provide skills, support, and patronage can help get these businesses off the ground, which in turn can change the lives of those involved.

Addressing poverty is a complex issue and the simple guidelines listed here are by no means the sole answer to combatting poverty. They are, however, important principles that allows each of us to have an important impact on poverty beyond sending a check to our favorite charitable organization.

[Data for this blog was taken from Dr. Glenn Sunshine’s May 29, 2012 Institute for Faith, Work and Economics blog entitled “Rich and Poor” found at: http://blog.tifwe.org/rich-and-poor-2/]

A Prophetic Definition of Success

May 23, 2013

In the Old Testament, you can’t read The Prophets without contemplating the question: “What is success?” Most definitions include references to achieving goals and acquiring wealth, prestige, favor, and power. “Successful” people enjoy the good life – being financially and emotionally secure, being surrounded by admirers, and enjoying the fruits of their labors. They are leaders, opinion makers, and trendsetters. Their example is emulated; their accomplishments are noticed. They know who they are and where they are going, and they stride confidently to meet their goals.

By these standards, the prophets were miserable failures: For years they each served as God’s spokesman, but when they spoke, often nobody listened. Consistently and passionately they urged audiences to act, but nobody moved. And the prophets certainly didn’t attain material success. They were often poor and underwent severe deprivation to deliver their prophecies. They were thrown into prison, into cisterns, and taken to foreign lands against their wills. They were rejected by neighbors, family, false priests and prophets, friends, their audiences, the kings.

Throughout their lives, they stood alone, declaring God’s message of doom, announcing the new covenant, and weeping over the fate of their beloved country.

In the eyes of the world, the prophets were not a success.

I’m going to be candid, I struggle with the prophets. I don’t wrestle so much with what they have to say, but with my own sense of hopelessness that surfaces within me when I read their stories.

Nothing forces me to take an honest, up-front, and personal look at the reality of humanity like the prophets. They were people who were literally driven by the passion of God to bring forth God’s thoughts and presence. But, you can’t read the prophetic books without realizing that we humans don’t seem to be making much progress when it comes to getting our acts together. I get just plain depressed. I wonder: Can God really redeem humanity? Is it possible that sin is in fact stronger than God’s love and grace? God’s been working with us for a long time now; and the prophets’ messages and examples are just as relevant today as when they were spoken centuries ago! Surely there must be some success of the prophets message that is as relevant as the faithfulness of God!

But, then again, maybe the issue isn’t about success and progress! Maybe the issue really is about the faithfulness of God – a faithfulness that isn’t just about you and me today, but a faithfulness to who and what God is as God and to the future He has said will take place! And, maybe the challenge isn’t for the whole human race, but first and foremost for each of us believers as individuals who are called to define success according to God’s standards and to be committed to being successful in God’s eyes.

Just as the results of the prophets’ ministries had to be left in God’s hands; so does our hope in the fulfillment of God’s word in our world today. R. Paul Stevens quotes Thomas Merton who was writing to a young activist. He said:

Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the work you have taken on…you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all…As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the result but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.[1]

In God’s eyes, the prophets were some of the most successful people in all of history. That’s because success, as measured by God, involves obedience and faithfulness. Regardless of opposition and personal cost, the prophets courageously and faithfully proclaimed the word of God. They were obedient to their calling.

[1] R. Paul Stevens. Work Matters. P. 113.

[The above is an excerpt from next week’s Redeeming Work broadcast that I recorded today. The program is entitled “Just Work!” I invite you to listen next week to the entire broadcast.]

The Blessings of Having LIMITED Knowledge

May 22, 2013

In her April 16, 2013 IFWE Blog, Dr. Anne Bradley wrote an article on the market. I was particularly interested in the latter half of her blog  when she talked about the limitations of our knowledge. She said:

“Our anthropology is intentional. We don’t believe that we are evolutionary accidents. On the contrary, we know that God created us with creativity and with purpose. He created us to work, build, contribute and flourish (Genesis 2:15; Genesis 1:27-28; Jeremiah 29:4-7; Psalms 72:7). Our humanity means two things:

  • We each possess unique skills and talents which allow us to contribute to the world.
  • We also have limitations.

One of our biggest limitations is our knowledge. We don’t know how to operate an economy. No one person does.  As economist Friedrich Hayek put it:

The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.

Hayek referred to this as the Fatal Conceit. Realizing that no one person or group of smart persons could be in charge to plan an economy requires a certain level of humility. We don’t possess the required knowledge. If we pretend we could or can possess all the relevant knowledge, we do so at the risk of ourselves and others.

Economist Arnold Harberger said this in an interview for the documentary Commanding Heights:

…the forces of the market are just that: They are forces; they are like the wind and the tides. If you want to try to ignore them, you ignore them at your peril. If you find a way of ordering your life which harnesses these forces to the benefit of society, that’s the way to go.

However, God knew what he was doing. The market process is a tool to help us coordinate our activities. It brings us into one large global community with each other, and offers us the opportunity to use our gifts to serve others. This helps us fulfill the cultural mandate. It allows us, through our work, to bear the image of God which is so crucial for our dignity as humans.

We couldn’t coordinate the global or local supply of clean water if we wanted to. Thousands of people coming together, driven by the pursuit of their unique gifts and skills, is the only way for us to get our daily supply of life-giving water.

We can’t force people to be innovative and entrepreneurial. We wouldn’t know how to direct them. Yet in the pursuit of their own gifts and their own interests, humanity is given life-saving food, water and medical treatments.

The power of what Adam Smith described as an “invisible hand” is God’s designed order. Some theologians refer to it as an example of God’s providence. He knew how to create us, and he knows what we need to achieve flourishing. Now it’s up to us to achieve it.”

[You can read Dr. Bradley’s entire article, “What is the Invisible Hand Guiding Us to Flourish” at: http://blog.tifwe.org/what-is-the-invisible-hand-guiding-us-to-flourishing/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=810088&utm_campaign=0]

Is the Church Responsible for the Welfare State? By Elise Amyx

May 21, 2013

In When Helping Hurts, Dr. Brian Fikkert makes a bold claim: the current welfare state is the fault of the evangelical church.

In The Great Reversal: Evangelism Versus Social Concern, scholar David Moberg argues that prior to the twentieth century, the early church played a huge role in ministering to both the spiritual and physical needs of the poor. It was common for churches to establish hospitals, schools for immigrants, homes for unwed mothers, and welfare societies like the Salvation Army.

But all of this changed after the social gospel movement of the early twentieth century. The “social gospel” refers to a theologically liberal movement driven by the belief that the second coming of Christ could not happen until humanity would rid itself of all social evils by human effort. This led social gospel adherents to a much stronger emphasis on poverty alleviation over evangelism.

Conservative evangelicals reacted strongly against the social gospel movement, perhaps swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. Fikkert writes,

 As evangelicals tried to distance themselves from the social gospel movement, they ended up in large-scale retreat from the front lines of poverty alleviation.

According to Fikkert, the evangelical church’s retreat from poverty alleviation between 1900 and 1930 encouraged the welfare state to grow to its size today. Church historians refer to this era as the “Great Reversal” because the evangelical church’s shift away from the poor was so dramatic.

Others have argued that government programs drove the church away from poverty alleviation. Some economists call this “the crowding out effect,” when government spending crowds out private spending. Or in this case, government welfare programs crowd out church-based welfare programs.

What came first, the chicken or the egg? Fikkert answers this question:

 In short, the evangelical church’s retreat from poverty alleviation was fundamentally due to shifts in theology and not–as many have asserted–to government programs that drove the church away from ministry to the poor.

He backs up this claim by pointing out that the Great Reversal preceded the welfare state in America, since “Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty did not occur until the 1960s, and even FDR’s relatively modest New Deal policies were not launched until the 1930s.”

In a review of Moberg’s book, Katie Wiebe observes,

It is hard for [evangelicals] to admit that social concern belongs with the Gospel, but by studying the Scriptures and present situations, they are acceding to this truth. The Great Reversal is being reversed.

Adherents of the social gospel can’t fulfill the mission of the church without including Christ’s message of redemption, and evangelicals can’t fulfill the mission of the church without caring for the physical needs of the poor. Both need each other. We see this most clearly by studying Christ’s example on earth: he made disciples and cared for the sick.

Fikkert says the church must focus on reconciling relationships to fight poverty:

Poverty alleviation is the ministry of reconciliation: moving people closer to glorifying God by living in right relationship with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation.

Let us all join in Christ’s example, in word and deed, to reverse the Great Reversal.

[Taken from the April 11, 2013 Institute for Faith, Economics and Work daily blog at: