Relief or Development?

So often, as a church seeks to restore their community, they are caught in the tension of whether or not to provide relief or development.

Justin Lopez gave me a great perspective at Verge last week in Austin.

Relief is the one way street of helping with no strings attached. Development is the two way street of coaching people towards growth.

When we provide relief where development is needed we enable people away from their growth. When we provide development where relief is needed we offend people away from our love.

So how do know when to provide one or the other. Take a look at what Justin drew up: 

Identify the ability of the person in need. Do they have relational, financial, emotional, familial and other foundations in place or missing? Are they in their place of need due to their own actions? Have they been victimized or are they suffering from their own consequences? Move the ability scale to the right the appropriate amount. This will inform the amount of development versus relief to provide. 


Whatever is true to the questions above, it is on you and your church to love through development or relief. To choose only one way, is to love how you want to instead of how others need you to.


How are you discerning the appropriate way to love those in need?