Becoming Whole

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

I don’t really consider myself to be religious but I am spiritual. Becoming Whole touched my heart and opened my eyes to how we treat each other with different circumstances than our own. 

If we don’t understand, or find it hard to relate, judgement is not far behind and we end up doing the last thing we wanted. Instead of finding compassion and love, we find contempt and resentment. 

This is a great read for community leaders, preachers, and anyone who works with society.
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Becoming Whole
By Brian Fikkert and Kelly M. Kapic
Becoming Whole is a holistic approach to ministering to those in poverty. Although the beginning was a bit long, it was necessary to understand how to see a person as a whole. The situations and needs we aim to help with are not isolated to one part of us but established by a whole person and therefore we need to be addressing the person as a whole. We can not simply look at a scenario of hunger, provide food and wash our hands of the situation. There is more going on and more to the person asking for assistance then the result of hunger. Our good intentions are not enough. 
“Again, the healthy human being is in some respects analogous to a wheel, with the hub (mind, affections, will, and body) and the spokes (four key relationships) perfectly aligned. Building on this analogy, we can think of the systems as the road on which the wheel travels. For the wheel to have a smooth ride, the road must be free of potholes. Similarly, for human beings to flourish, the systems must be conducive to people living in right relationships with God, self, others, and the rest of creation.”
Becoming whole is a critical perspective on poverty alleviation. It picks apart all the contributing factors that have created poverty, programs of alleviation, the heart of those reaching out to help. 
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion which I share here. https://simplyannehere.wordpress.com
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Before I'd finished the book, I was already recommending it. Although written later, this is the foundation for Fikkert's now classic, "When Helping Hurts". It looks deeply into God's Kingdom, the Kingdom Jesus came to inaugurate. For those of us who work among the disenfranchised to see His Kingdom come, Fikkert helps us focus on the wholeness to which Christ saved us; he helps us stay rooted while dreaming big. Highly recommended! Review based on an ARC received through NetGalley
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I had previously read When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert at the recommendation of an acquaintance who is a long-time missionary.  Becoming Whole is a great followup to that book and gives more details about what poverty alleviation programs can do to either help or hurt the people that they serve.  I highly recommend this book for church leaders, including Missions Committee members as well as leaders and board members of ministry organizations that serve the poor.  This book will help churches and other organizations evaluate their services to the poor and determine whether changes may be needed.  It will also be a great help for individual Christians seeking to maximize the effectiveness of their charitable donations.  

The theme of this book may be exemplified by a quote from its conclusion.  "We are called and empowered to join with ...[the poor] in living into this new world--preaching the Word and digging wells, starting schools and administering the sacraments, offering prayers and dispensing penicillin, fellowshipping with Christ's body and financing micro enterprises.  Because the goal isn't to live the American Dream now and get our souls to heaven later.  The goal is to become whole."

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about effective  poverty alleviation programs.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley.
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