In light of this morning’s post, a member of our congregation sent me something Bob Lupton wrote on the same subject. It’s quite good. I am always challenged and helped by what he writes on community development.

Forty years of serving in the inner-city has given me at least one clear insight: the poor will not emerge from poverty unless they have decent jobs. Service is important, to be sure. But service will not move the poverty needle. Wealth creation is the well-spring from which all economic life flows. It is the wealth-creators who take the business risks that ultimately create jobs. Our non-profit ministry has certainly provided employment for many people, bu like every other non-profit, we would not exist without the donations of up-stream, for-profit wealth producers. We exist on the “wealth-transfer” side of the ledger. The “wealth-creation” side is where the economic life originates.

Wealth creation is a gift of the Creator – a spiritual gift. But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth. (Deuteronomy 8:18) I have often heard sermons on the seductiveness of wealth and the corrupting influence of mammon, but I have yet to hear a sermon affirming the spiritual gift of wealth-creation. And yet it is this very gift that enables our society to flourish. And it is this gift that holds the key to the alleviation of poverty.

You can read the whole thing here.

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Comments:


8 thoughts on “Poverty and Wealth Creation”

  1. AYS says:

    Wealth creation is a “spiritual gift”?

  2. Mark says:

    I agree with Mr. Lupton that jobs are essential to dismantling poverty. I also agree that shouldn’t demonize wealth creation. My concerns are two: (1) history reveals unfettered free markets create a larger and larger gulf between the wealthiest and the rest of society; and (2) even if we as Christians generally support free markets (as I think we should), that does not let us off the hook in how much we give away, how we treat our employees, and consideration we give to things like the environment, working conditions, and safety of our products. If we as Christian businessmen and women are only concerned about the bottom line, I don’t see how we are any different from the world.

  3. anaquaduck says:

    The reminder that all things come from the hand of God also has its warnings about how easy it is to forget God when people prosper. Non-profit is dependent on funding & profit is dependent on the blessing of God ultimately. James 4:13

    Boaz, Joseph & Abraham may be the closest to experiencing the best of wealth creation, with Abraham & Lot experiencing blessing in more ways than one. In the rise & fall of nations & their balance sheets God alone remains dependable as ever.

    Blessed are those who make the LORD their trust, who do not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Psalm 40:4

  4. Curt Day says:

    I fully agree with Mark. I am wondering if in addition to what FCS Urban Ministries are trying to do, we should, as Martin Luther King said, look at changing the system that puts so many in need.

  5. Sara says:

    Super interesting post, kevin.
    Curt- What is the system that “puts so many in need” that you think should be changed?

  6. taco says:

    Wow, don’t see posts like this, really ever.

  7. Curt Day says:

    Sara,
    Our current neoliberal capitalist system. What neoliberalism has done is to cut social responsibility ties that those with wealth have to society and this, along with technological unemployment, is putting more and more people in need.

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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