Patheos Peeps: Christian Piatt on Ministry to “the Poor”

Patheos Peeps: Christian Piatt on Ministry to “the Poor” January 27, 2012

Every Friday, I post a link to a blog post written by one of my fellow bloggers at Patheos, a web portal devoted to religion and spirituality. I encourage my blog readers to click through to read these posts, comment, and if you like what you read, follow these bloggers as well.

This week, Christian Piatt wrote a post on How I Continue to Fail the “the Poor.” While he engages in many acts of ministry to “the poor” in general (financially supporting various ministries, preaching about the Christian mandate to serve the poor, volunteering), like many of us, he struggles when it comes to responding to a particular person in their particular time of need. We want to know more about the back story—why the person is in the situation they’re in—as well as whether our help will really help. Or will we just be taken advantage of? Will we be enabling some destructive behavior that got the person into this pickle?

Piatt writes:

…I can’t seem to get the story of the Good Samaritan out of my mind. In that story, the priest passes the guy in need by, but who knows the back story? What if he’d seen the guy abuse his wife before? What if he had stolen from the church? What if the priest had helped him five other times that month, but the help seemed to be doing no good?

Read the rest of Piatt’s post here.


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