Walking With the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development
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Walking With the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  221 ratings  ·  33 reviews
In this revised and updated edition of a modern classic, Bryant Myers shows how Christian mission can contribute to dismantling poverty and social evil. Integrating the best principles and practice of the international development community, the thinking and experience of Christian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and a theological framework for transformational devel...more
Paperback, 279 pages
Published July 20th 1999 by Orbis Books (first published June 1999)
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Doug
The most thorough, biblical, and insightful treatment that I've yet found on the nature and response to poverty. Much stronger than books like When Helping Hurts. The author draws on numerous contemporary thinkers and examines all the common angles. Instead of the usual "deficit" understanding of poverty, Myers shows that poverty is relational. He draws especially on Jayakumar Christian's fascinating work to the effect that the "poor are wrapped in a series of restrictions and limitations in fou...more
Kristen
Sep 17, 2007 Kristen rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: people interested in poverty and development
This book is difficult to read, but rich with insight if you can wade through it. I learned a great deal.
Jonathan
Walking With the Poor is a seminal book on working in transformational development. If you want to help the poor, and you care about whether the poor people you come into relationship with are really helped, then you need to read this book.

Myers gets into the basic questions that we need to face in work with the poor. What are the root causes of poverty? What is God calling us to in our relationships with the poor? What are the end goals for them and for us? What kind of attributes and tools do...more
Reid
I really appreciated this book by Myers. It gave me at least an introduction into helping other ministries here and abroad.

His thesis is that all ministry to poor and non-poor is two fold, if it is to be truly holistic transformational development:
1) recovery of our true identity as human beings created in the image of God and
2) recovery of our true vocation as productive stewards, faithfully caring for the world and all the people in it.

Myers has a solid discussion about the causes of poverty a...more
Thomas
Next to Daniel Quinn's Ishmael, this is the second most influencial book that I have ever read. Myers addresses the controversial topics of both international development and missionary work-- he points out their greatest flaws and areas for potential improvement. Having read this book before I moved to Nicaragua, I saw at poverty in a very different light from most of my peers. "Walking with the Poor" should be required reading for anyone traveling to developing countries, and it will also impa...more
Daniel
I'm not sure where to start with this review. Bryant Myers book is thick and it's taken me over six months to finish it. I believe that it is used as a college text for Development in a Christian Context. Makes sense!

I'll start by saying this was so very close to a five star.

The five star qualities included: A rich, complex and thorough analysis of what it means to do Development Work from a thoroughly Christian point of view, many different perspectives, chapters that cover everything from th...more
Rachel
Mar 20, 2011 Rachel rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
This book has been the most influential book in my life. I was first introduced to this book in my Theory of Community Development class at Covenant College, and it helped me to look at poverty in a brand new light. It made me wrestle with questions such as: 1. What is poverty? 2. Who are the poor? 3. What are the causes of poverty? 4. What is development? 5. How do we start the process of change? The book didn't just leave me asking questions; it gave me a "Tool Kit" of developmental practice s...more
Sam
This book contains excellent insights, and is very comprehensive in scope

It is there for more of a text book that "readable". On one side it would not render justice to read it over a weekend, but on the other side, the risk of stalling is big.

I hence have only given 4 stars, as I am a bit hesitant to pass it on, but will try and get my friends to read it.

Could one have a "lighter" version? Which one could pass around, to less acedemic folks.

Anyhow, I will struggle through the rest of this book,...more
Marc
This book could be a 5-star if it were re-written to get to the point more directly. The content is very helpful, and provides a clear and insightful grid for working with impoverished people, especially strong on entering the narrative of the culture and working alongside the poor rather than presuming solutions from without. That said, it is highly repetitive and stodgy at points, reading like my old psych courses in college. You can probably limit you reading to the summary points and come aw...more
Tim Høiland
When Bryant Myers published Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development in 1999, it was a groundbreaking work that soon became the definitive handbook for academics and practitioners in the field of transformational development. More than a decade later, with the release of a revised and expanded edition, it remains as important as ever...

- See more at: http://tjhoiland.com/wordpress/wp-con...
Tim Høiland
When Bryant Myers published Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development in 1999, it was a groundbreaking work that soon became the definitive handbook for academics and practitioners in the field of transformational development. More than a decade later, with the release of a revised and expanded edition, it remains as important as ever...

- See more at: http://tjhoiland.com/wordpress/wp-con...
Tanika
This is one of the best books I have ever read in transformational development. It comprises a holistic approach that helps keep in the forefront of the mind the full impacts of development work, both for ourselves and those whose communities we are working in. Although I didn't always agree with his particular perspective I appreciated him showing various viewpoints on development other than his own and why they did are didn't work.
Caleb Stephens
This book provides a pragmatic template for helping the poor through a Christian worldview. His view is that helping people wholistically must include a spiritual element for their recovery from the oppression of poverty. He clearly describes what some think is the cycle of poverty and how to help people out of poverty. If you are a Christian who is interested in working in a community for help the poor this is a must read.
Ed
This book was recommended to me by a colleague. It was inspiring. The author put in words so many things that I have seen and felt in my 30+ years in Africa - both what it wrong with development efforts and what is right. Anyone considering serious involvement in cross-cultural or international development work needs to read this book and take it very seriously. My hard copy is marked up from front to back.
Kevin
Dec 19, 2009 Kevin is currently reading it
Myers puts together a comparison of transformational development practices from a Christian's point-of-view. While the book focuses on socioeconomic conditions that lead to poverty, it also addresses the 'powers that be' creating dominate forces locking in the poor into poverty. Practical development strategies are also discussed. A good preparatory read for those going on a mission trip.
Samposladek
Lots of good stuff. Not a quick read, more in-depth. Kinda like a textbook. The basic idea is that the world's brokenness is essentially relational (caused by broken relationships with God, with others emotionally, economically and politically, with nature, and with self). Restoring the world, then requires restoring all of these relationships more or less at the same time.
Jacob
This is one of the best books out there about the realities of poverty and injustice in our world. But the author doesn't stop there. Myers dives in and challenges the reasons behind the way things are and offers some very practical and enlightening methods for change. The book is a bit academic in places, but it's definitely worth the read.
Sara
One of the texts for my Principles of Development class. I would really recommend this to anyone who is interested in a Christian view of transformational community development - though a new edition is coming out the beginning of next year, so it's probably the one you'll want.
Jacob Grady
May 01, 2007 Jacob Grady rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: definitely
A very well layed out description of wholistic development and includes peoples spiritual side. As someone working with impoverish children I would recommend his idea of transformational development more than your typical secular NGO styled development.
Liliana Mejia
A fantastic and thorough engagement with development as Christians. I would love to see a more accessible version to be engaged by organizations and communities on field without the time, language-grasp or academic perspective the book assumes.
Tanya
The newer edition has many changes and is a more academic textbook. This is a fabulous overview of what poverty is, and how the Christian Development agency can contribute, while avoiding common pitfalls.
matthew kaemingk
Apr 10, 2007 matthew kaemingk rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Poverty and Development
Christian perspective on poverty, development, social injustice, and a theology capable of a faithful response. A wonderful book from someone experienced in Christian community development.
Amy
There are some really interesting things in this book... I stalled out on the theology section for several months, but I liked the social work and application parts.
Martha
Excellent in content; it's very long and reads like a textbook. But it should be read by everyone interested in working with the poor.
Mikkee
Classic book on Christian development. A technical read but if you are interested in learning more about development, this is the book.
Carol
Currently re-reading this classic for school. Unbelievable how much it has shaped my worldview and vocational interests.
Aaron
A very heady somewhat repetitive book. Impossible to read all in one setting. It's more like a textbook.
Erin
a bit too wordy and charty but the jist was very helpful...made me see others differently..not so arrogantly
Nancy
Jan 13, 2009 Nancy added it
pg 121 "At the end of the day, any transformation justice & peace will be because God made it so."
Emily
a more academic perspective on development and poverty, but still a great read!
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Bryant L. Myers is professor of transformational development at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. A lifelong activist dedicated to Christian relief and development work around the world, Myers served as vice president for international program strategy at World Vision International. He resides with his family in Southern California.
More about Bryant L. Myers...
Working With The Poor: New Insights And Learnings From Development Practitioners Walking With The Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development (Revised and Expanded Edition) Exploring World Mission: Context and Challenges The Changing Shape Of World Mission The New Context Of World Mission

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