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With over 2,000 scripture verses referencing poverty, God’s Word speaks volumes on what it means to be poor—and the definition might not be what we’d expect. This eight-week small group study—produced by HOPE International, a Christ-centered nonprofit dedicated to investing in the dreams of the poor—is solidly grounded in the Bible and informed by the experience of economic development experts.

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This engaging and interactive study explores God’s commands concerning the poor, acknowledges the ways in which poverty touches us all, illustrates the importance of integrating word and deed, and examines what it means to be a steward of God’s resources.

Chapter Overview

Perspectives on Global Poverty - a small group curriculum by HOPE International

Lesson 1 - What is poverty?
An introduction

When we think about poverty, we think about a lack of physical goods: money, nutritious food, medical care, or clean water. But how does the Bible look at poverty? This lesson challenges participants to see poverty in a broader sense, as a series of broken relationships that affect all of us, regardless of our economic status.
Perspectives on Global Poverty - a small group curriculum by HOPE International

Lesson 2 A look at spiritual poverty:
Who are the poor?

A careful examination of Scripture shows us that we are all poor, whether or not we bear the burden of material poverty. Even as we are called to care for the needs of the widow and the orphan, we ourselves are living impoverished lives. But our Savior offers us release. By acknowledging our own spiritual poverty, we are freed to celebrate the Savior who has offered us grace and mercy and enabled to humbly reach out to those in physical poverty.
Perspectives on Global Poverty - a small group curriculum by HOPE International

Lesson 3 A look at material poverty:
Overview and causes

How did we get from the idyllic Garden of Eden to a world where half our brothers and sisters are living in poverty? It’s tempting to see the enormity of the problem of poverty and jump in the fight without taking the time to understand the root causes. However, what we view as the causes of poverty will determine how we go about finding a solution.
Perspectives on Global Poverty - a small group curriculum by HOPE International

Lesson 4 - God’s heart for the poor:
Reflections and challenges

The writers of Scripture are clear that our God has a special concern for the poor—not as a form of favoritism but rather as the beginning of a process of restoring Creation to the plan He intended. While each of us has been blessed with the opportunity to be freed from spiritual poverty, those in physical poverty receive special assurance from their Savior that they will experience release.
Perspectives on Global Poverty - a small group curriculum by HOPE International

Lesson 5 - Remembering who we are:
Stewards of a giving God

As followers of Christ, we were designed to be the image bearers of a generous, giving, loving God. Often we are quick to assume that what we possess is our own, when in reality, God has given us the sacred responsibility of managing His resources as He would. As we grow in our appreciation for the tremendous sacrifices our Savior made for us, we can gladly give of our time, talents, and material resources.
Perspectives on Global Poverty - a small group curriculum by HOPE International

Lesson 6 What then must we do?
A believer’s response

In our busy, fast-paced lives, it can be hard enough just to hear the cries of the poor. But God’s word instructs us to go a step further. God calls us to respond, and He has given us the skills and abilities to do so wisely and thoughtfully.
Perspectives on Global Poverty - a small group curriculum by HOPE International

Lesson 7 Love in action:
Opportunities and challenges

God has given us both word and deed as tools to use as we seek to holistically minister to those in poverty. Many individuals or ministries may favor one at the expense of the other, but when united in a common purpose, words and actions can point a hurting world toward Jesus Christ in a way that neither could accomplish alone.
Perspectives on Global Poverty - a small group curriculum by HOPE International

Lesson 8 The road ahead:
Conclusions and responses

Entering into solidarity is a vital source of encouragement, both for the poor around the world and for us as we seek to explore and follow God’s call to minister to the poor. As the study concludes, you are invited to reflect on the role of solidarity and how each member of your study group has been impacted by their participation in this study.
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