Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

December 1, 2020, was Giving Tuesday — America’s annual (and very welcome) rebellion against consumerism. It began in 2011 as a fledgling idea to encourage people to give to charity after their Cyber Monday shopping. In 2012, Giving Tuesday gathered $10 million; by 2019 this figure had swollen to an estimated $1.97 billion — fueled by widespread public recognition, increased online participation and massive donation-matching by some of the world’s most valuable companies.

On Giving Tuesday 2020, charities received an estimated $2.47 billion according to Philanthropy News Digest. Pause and consider that for a moment: in 2020, amidst a worldwide…

Here’s what we found out.

With the world in the grip of an unprecedented crisis caused by the spread of the COVID-19 disease, churches across the globe have been marshaling their faith, and the faithful, to begin meeting the needs of those whose lives are being torn apart.

In my experience, the Church’s response to a crisis typically involves raising money to a) give to local organizations, and b) make available for people in the congregation who reach out to express a desperate need.

Is it a good and noble start? Yes.

Is it strategic enough to meet the extraordinary circumstances we now find ourselves…

On 31 December 2019, a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown origin was reported in Wuhan, in the Hubei Province of China. On 9 January 2020, China CDC reported a novel coronavirus as the causative agent of this outbreak: coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). With around a billion international travelers circling the globe each year, the virus proliferated, rapidly spreading across borders, causing widespread mortality and grinding the 86 trillion dollar world economy to a halt.

As of October, 2020, over 200,000 Americans have now died. Americans filing for unemployment has surpassed 40 million, or 1 in 5 American workers. Economists…

In terms of brute wealth, the United States of 2020 is the richest country our species has ever established. Over 20 trillion dollars flows through the economy annually, and 7 of the 10 wealthiest individuals on the planet call America home. Much of this prosperity can be attributed to America’s love affair with capitalism: the economic system founded on the idea that private individuals (or private organizations) are legally free to own ‘capital’ (wealth, property and other productive assets), which can be used generate legally-protected private profit which can then be traded across a free market at the owner’s discretion…

In the last few weeks, I’ve been able to work alongside a church member as they sought to help someone experiencing poverty. A young man had come along to one of their church’s outreach events, and during conversation, had revealed that he had been living on the streets for some time. As someone who took seriously the words, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me”, the church member wanted to help him.

But her church didn’t seem to want to help her, to help him. (For what it’s worth, the church’s reason for not engaging…

Photo by Tbel Abuseridze on Unsplash

I have a four year old daughter. A beautiful, articulate and thoughtful young lady. A preschooler of her age usually has a vocabulary of almost 2,000 words, and though I have not counted them all, I am sure that is about right for her. But of those 2,000-odd words, which one is her favourite? Which one does she seem pull out more than any other? Without a doubt, it is the word ‘why’.

‘It’s bedtime.’


‘We need to share.’


‘I think you are beautiful.’


‘Can you see those boys? What sport are they playing?’


‘Actually, they…

I was recently asked by a development expert at a large non-profit about the view of “the poor” in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament. This is a really excellent question, and the answer presents us all with a significant challenge.

For a text that is thousands of years old — and lacks the access to modern economic theory and data that we now have — the Bible actually presents a remarkably comprehensive picture of poverty. For instance, in the original Hebrew language, there was at least eight different words used to describe someone in poverty, from aniy (the afflicted…

Phil Barnard, PhD

Passionate about helping your organization engage more intelligently with the issue of poverty. Co-Founder of Auxylios: We help people, help people.

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