Drs. Fikkert & Mask Publish Book on Microfinance
This May, Zondervan released the new book From Dependence to Dignity: How to Alleviate Poverty through Church-Centered Microfinance, authored by Dr. Brian Fikkert, professor of economics and community development, and Dr. Russell Mask, associate professor of community development. The book includes a foreword by Rick Warren, author and senior pastor of Saddleback Church.
In the wake of the now-classic book When Helping Hurts and subsequent When Helping Hurts resources, From Dependence to Dignity tackles the specific area of microfinance and the global church. The book seeks to answer the questions: how can Christians in the Majority World take on poverty in their own churches and neighborhoods and how can churches located in economically prosperous countries partner with Global South churches to confront poverty? Focusing on microfinance, Fikkert and Mask guide readers through common problems microfinance initiatives encounter and chart out a path for churches to appropriately employ microfinance enterprises in their efforts to alleviate poverty.
In addition to their work at Covenant College, Fikkert and Mask serve with the Chalmers Center for Economic Development, an organization that seeks to equip churches to empower the poor. Fikkert is the founder and president of the Chalmers Center and Mask serves as the international microenterprise technical advisor for Chalmers.
"Since its inception, the Chalmers Center has been developing models to enable churches in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to use microfinance as a tool for ministry to the poor,” said Fikkert. “We wrote this book to share some of what we have learned on a larger scale, hoping to help churches, missionaries, and church-equipping organizations that want to pursue this type of ministry. Associated with the book is a website that allows readers to download a vast portfolio of curricula and tools that we have developed over the years. The book will also be used in a course that Dr. Mask teaches in the community development major at Covenant College, thereby helping to prepare the next generation of kingdom servants."