7 Books to Build Your Smart Charity Library

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At FCS we believe that how we do ministry and form partnerships in urban communities matters as much as what we do. Maybe you’re new to the idea of smart charity, or perhaps you’ve been doing community development work for years, but want some refreshing resources. We’ve put together a list of 7 books worth checking out.

#1 Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice, Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly in the World

Blending personal stories and theological insights, Kent Annan’s new book walks us through the sometimes frustrating and slow work of pursuing justice. He offers 5 disciplines - almost more like spiritual practices - meant to encourage and refresh those feeling tired and discouraged.

#2 Charity Detox: What Charity Would Look Like If We Cared About Results

In his newest book, FCS Founder Bob Lupton, challenges many of the traditional ideas of charity. He asks what would charity look like if we, instead of creating dependency, measured our work by its’ ability to alleviate poverty and needs? He offers strategic examples of organizations implementing these groundbreaking new models.

#3 Embrace: God’s Radical Shalom for a Divided World

It’s easy to live in a world divided by things like class, race, and values. Too often we ignore people who are different from us. But God’s call for the church is the opposite. Leroy Barber writes about how and why we need to embrace all kinds of people and communities, especially those that have been marginalized.

#4 Where the Cross Meets the Street: What Happens to the Neighborhood When God Is at the Center

Noel Castellanos, CEO of the Christian Community Development Association, challenges the churches’ sometimes narrow view of the cross and invites us to rediscover the power it can have in both, individuals and communities. Through inspiring personal stories and biblical context, he focuses on the value and need for holistic ministry in our neighborhoods and churches.

#5 Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith

Through rich storytelling and poetic prose,  D.L. Mayfield pulls us into the refugee community where she works, but also into her deeper journey of self-discovery. Her essays invite us to reconsider our preconceived ideas of love, justice and Kingdom work.

#6 Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice

Many of us notice the injustice and inequality in our community, and often get stuck wondering what can we really do to make a difference. In her new book, Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNiel, offers a roadmap for how to dialogue and discuss these issues and then, most importantly how to follow Jesus’ call to mobilize and move forward.

#7 Subversive Jesus: An Adventure in Justice, Mercy and Faithfulness in a Broken World

Craig Greenfield, the founder of Alongsiders International, challenges us to not only understand the subversive message of Jesus, but to actually live it. Through his captivating storytelling he leads us from the slums of Cambodia to inner city Canada, as he and his family seek to follow Jesus’ call.

P.S. If you liked these resources and want to find out more about how to implement principles of smart charity in your organization, please contact our Director of Training and Education, Dr. Shawn Duncan, to learn about FCS consulting.

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