by Shawn Duncan
This year The Lupton Center proudly launched an online curriculum entitled Seeking Shalom: How Reimagining Charity Can Transform Lives and Restore Communities. This 6-part series brings together 30 diverse voices to help cast an exciting new vision for how we partner with those experiencing poverty.
Over the last ten years there have been many great books, articles, and documentaries released. These resources have raised awareness that the traditional ways of responding to material poverty are not producing the results we long to see. If you are one of those people who cannot escape the call to love mercy and do justice but are frustrated with a lack of results, Seeking Shalom was created for you.
Seeking Shalom is disrupting the old paradigm and breaking open exciting new possibilities for how real and lasting change can happen.
There are three important elements Seeking Shalom redefines:
#1. The Problem
We solve a problem we don’t understand. The traditional paradigm for alleviating poverty often tries to solve problems that were misdiagnosed from the start. Seeking Shalom invites us to listen to those experiencing poverty, biblical scholars, and ministry veterans as they present a clearer, more honest, and more biblically rooted understanding of poverty.
#2. The Process
We will get the results we are setup to get. Though our motives are pure, our commitment unwavering, and our generosity unmatched, the processes we set up to provide resources or services for others can work against us. They can undermine the very goals we want to accomplish. Seeking Shalom invites us to consider 5 core principles that will completely reframe how we go about the work that we do.
#3. The Solution
We are settling for far too small a goal. As important as it is to alleviate suffering or meet life-stabilizing needs, we were made to go further, dream bigger, and create real change. What should our goal be? I will give you a big hint. Instead of simply providing resources, the goal we should be Seeking is listed in the very title of the series!
If you are interested in joining a group or starting your own Seeking Shalom group, visit luptoncenter.org and check it out!