Talking about Poverty: A Study Guide

Are you looking for a resource for small group discussion on poverty? Are you interested in a short but thoughtful material on this topic?

I want to introduce to you a Study Guide called Talking about: Poverty published by Ridley Melbourne. It can be downloaded here.

Here is a short excerpt at the beginning of the Guide.

Poverty is not simply about the lack of money and material possessions. It is about the marred identity of human beings, which manifests itself in terms of marginalisation, vulnerability and social exclusion.

The Study Guide is kindly recommended by Professor Joel Green, Professor Tim Gombis and Dr Justin Denholm.

Talking about: Poverty gives us exactly what we need to reflect with Scripture on our practices as God’s people. Siu Fung Wu helps us to take seriously God’s concern for people on the margins of society, and encourages us to embrace following Jesus as friendship with the poor. I’m using this material in my congregation, and I encourage others to do the same! (Dr Joel Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation & Associate Dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary)

Too often books or studies on poverty are short-sighted in that they generate guilt or other sentiments that don’t actually lead to sustained and thoughtful action on the part of Christian people.  On the other hand, there are very few practical studies that generate reflection through genuine and well-informed engagement with the Bible.  In Talking about: Poverty, Siu Fung Wu draws on his personal experiences and engages thoughtfully with Scripture to set before Jesus-followers a hopeful and life-giving vision of caring for those whom God loves.  This is an excellent resource for those who want to participate strategically in what God is doing in the world and experience God’s empowering and life-transforming grace as they do so. (Dr Timothy Gombis, Associate Professor of New Testament, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary)

In Talking about: Poverty, Siu Fung Wu offers a sensitive and deeply informed series of studies to help us think about issues surrounding poverty from a Christian perspective. His studies encourage us to read the Bible with fresh eyes, looking to understand what the good news we have in Christ means in a world full of marginalisation, poverty and power structures. I highly commend it for individuals and small groups, and look forward to many good conversations around this material in the future. (Dr Justin Denholm, Coordinator of Centre for Applied Christian Ethics, Ridley Melbourne Ministry and Mission College)

Here is an outline of the Study Guide.

Study 1 will use a story in Luke’s Gospel to demonstrate that poverty is complex and multidimensional.

Study 2 will look at Jesus’ mission to proclaim good news to the poor and what it looks like in practice.

Study 3 will take a good look at what it means to be faithful followers of Jesus today, in view of what we have learned about poverty so far.

Study 4 will examine the meaning of true worship and its inseparable relationship with justice for the poor.

Study 5 will serve as a reflective conclusion, where we shall survey the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation to see God’s purpose in his redemptive plan. It is in this overall purpose that the themes of the above four studies will make most sense.

(“Study 5” can be found by clicking here.)

(The study guide can be downloaded by clicking here.)

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