Stop Calling the Poor Names!
Are You Unintentionally Undermining the Work of Helping "The Poor" with These Labels?
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Hey, stop calling the poor names!
Let me explain what I mean by that. Oftentimes, when we begin this work of reaching out to people with needs in the community, we come up with a descriptor or a term or a label that attempts to capture who these people are, that we're really trying to help. And one of the things that happens is we use these terms that have been used for a long time, I think are harmful. Let me explain what I mean or give you a few examples.
Number one, we talk about the less fortunate. Yes, because God doesn't rule the universe. Some nebulous concept called fortune has happened to them, and it has happened not very well to them. Number two, the needy. Hey, let the number one descriptor that I'm going to use about you is that you're needy, you're full of needs.
And by implication, you don't have anything to offer because you're needy. Number three. And one of my favorites, the poverty stricken. Yes, the poverty personified. Poverty has come along like a bandit and struck them on the head.
And this is something that's happened to them. And now they've fallen down and they can't give up. And we really want to tell them that they have little to say about what's happened in their lives. Number four, the underprivileged or the disadvantaged. Yes, to have a privilege is to have an advantage or an immunity or a benefit that is not available to all.
So the first thing that we want to communicate to people is that they're in a different class. They're in the disadvantaged class. They're in the under privileged class. They're in the class that has less. Number five, the destitute, the penniless.
We want to communicate to people that they don't even have a penny's worth of help to help themselves? Number six, the poor or the impoverished. Yes. I used the poor in the title of this video to get your attention. But do we really want to communicate to people that they're deficient, that they're missing something?
And more importantly, do we want to communicate to them that they don't really have a way to engage their own lives? Yes, with the help of somebody else, but they don't really have a way to engage them or impoverished. Again, this is great because it's something that's happened to them and they have very little to say about them. Listen, I'm not saying people don't need help. I'm not saying people aren't ever poor.
But what I am saying is that ultimately, many times we're using these words. And what are we communicating to them? We're communicating to them that they have a lack of agency in their own lives, that they are the helpless, and we're the helpers that they can do nothing. And we are coming along to rescue them.
Hey, what do I call the people who have needs?
I call them somebody with a need. They have a need. I love this because I have needs. Do you have needs? We all have needs instead of pushing people with needs into a different class, especially people with physical needs into a different class or a different type of people who need a special kind of help that other people don't have needs?
Why don't we use a language that brings them into humanity? Why don't we just call them someone with a need? Listen, I'm developing a course that helps people help people in needs in a way that's redemptive in a way that's a hand up and not a hand out in a way that's biblical that uses scriptural teaching that affirms that people are made in the image of God. And that goes all the way down to the strategic level of how you can identify the right kind of needs and minister to them in the right kind of way, right in your community.
Whether you're an individual, a team, a small Church, a large Church, and right away, I want to give you a free gift.
It's called The Four Secrets of Meeting Needs Outreach. You can sign up right on the link below. Get on my email newsletter and get that PDF. It's free.
And I'll also give you my best discount when the course launches.
I'm Bruce...Until next time.
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