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.