Portrait of Susan SquiresA few years ago I noticed that my secure, middle-class life was completely separate from the lives of my neighbors, just a few miles away, who live in poverty. Since I know that Jesus loves all of us, I looked for ways to get outside my middle-class bubble. The relationships I’ve found are a blessing to me.

Church is one place where this bubble-effect happens. I see a need for congregations to understand more about what poverty is and to be aware of how our expectations are shaped by living in largely middle-class communities.

We love Jesus and we long to help others, but how do we truly help?

Below are descriptions of two classes that can equip church members for ministry alongside people living in poverty. If this resonates with you, please join us for an upcoming session or contact me for more information.

– Susan Squires

“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desires of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:10)

Bridges Out of Poverty

Bridges Out of Poverty book cover

Bridges Out of Poverty is designed to help us recognize the hidden rules (unspoken assumptions) of generational poverty, middle class, and wealth. For example, the role of language, types of support systems and resources can be different. Understanding differences helps us to build relationships with patience, generosity, and without judgment.

Find out about upcoming sessions of Bridges Out of Poverty

When Helping Hurts

When Helping Hurts book coverWhen Helping Hurts is a series of six, one-hour classes designed to help churches recognize blind spots in our ministry to the materially poor, to turn away from help that disempowers, and to turn toward help that empowers people and heals broken relationships as we depend on Christ to heal us all.

Find out about upcoming sessions of When Helping Hurts