Based on the acclaimed book When Helping Hurts, this one-day seminar helps pastors, leaders, and church members think about poverty through the lens of Scripture, moving from good intentions to intentional relationships.

The seminar includes six professional videos created by the Chalmers Center and that weave together teaching, stories, and views of those in poverty around the world to shift perspectives on poverty. Between each video session, we moderate discussions using the provided note-taking packets. We work with you to personalize this seminar to your church’s areas of interest, including inviting representatives of local ministries to deepen connections in your community and give practical applications to attendees.


Seminar length: Five hours (typically 9 am to 2:30 pm)

Meals: Breakfast snacks (optional), lunch (1 hour break)

Room setup needs: Tables and chairs for small groups of 3-6; projector, screen, and good-quality speakers

Program includes: 6 videos, folders with discussion questions, feedback forms, and information on next steps; moderated group discussions

Cost: $200 donation. If costs are prohibitive for your church, please let us knowwe can work with you.

Building a relationship with a low-income person for the first time can be daunting. What does a supportive friendship look like without enabling or being too detached?

Our Equipping Allies training serves anyone who would like to come alongside those in material poverty. This training is required for our volunteers who will be allies in our Jobs for Life or Faith & Finances classes, but is also beneficial for anyone involved in relational ministry with low-income people.

Topics include:

  • The four key relationships between God, self, others and the rest of creation
  • Ways we typically experience brokenness in the four key relationships
  • How socioeconomic and cultural differences play out in mentoring relationships
  • The key roles and expectations of an ally
  • A case study about a Faith & Finances participant and ally and its implications


Schedule: 3 hours (can be offered on a weeknight or weekend)

Room setup: Projector, screen, and good-quality speakers OR large television; tables and chairs for participants

Materials provided: Handout packets

Meals: snacks (optional)

Churches throughout the United States have found that offering English classes is a helpful and impactful tool to building relationships with their international neighbors. If you love Jesus and speak English, we can teach you everything else you need to know to offer an English teaching ministry at your church.

Topics include:

  • How to start and maintain a fruitful ESL ministry
  • How to teach ESL to adult Internationals including:
    • How to place students in the proper fluency level classroom
    • How to write lesson plans using professionally written curriculum
    • How to introduce new vocabulary & sentences using new vocabulary
    • How to get the students to generate their own sentences
  • How to build authentic relationships with your students
  • How to share the Gospel both inside and outside the ESL Classroom


Schedule: Friday, 6-9:30 pm; Saturday, 8:45 am – 5:30 pm

Meals: Friday dinner, Saturday lunch

Cost: Varies, depending on number of attendees and whether meals are donated or must be ordered. Total cost is usually around $35/person.

Materials provided: Training textbook and handout folder

Room setup needs: Tables and chairs for all participants; additional tables for displays and meals setup; projector and screen; good-quality speakers; additional open space for some activities.

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