The Heart of Poverty
Course description – The course will help you develop a basic understanding of poverty in the United States and this county. About 33,000 people live in poverty in Chester County, but the need is significantly greater than that. We will discuss what poverty is and what causes it, the impact of hopelessness and hope, what the Bible says about poverty, and dispel myths about the poor. We blend elements of the Bible, stories, testimonies, and our personal experiences to help people develop a heart for the poor in Chester County. Our sessions culminate with a discussion about opportunities to serve the poor right in our own communities.
Facilitators – Roger Wayne, Special Projects Coordinator, CYWA (Community, Youth, and Women's Alliance) and Jim Ford, Founder & Director (retired), Good Works, Inc.
Format – Four one-hour classes (adult Sunday school classes or weekday evenings), half-day seminar
Session 1 – Understanding the Poor Session 2 – Appreciating the Poor
Poverty as another culture Federal Poverty Level
What does the Bible say about poverty? Wealth in Chester County
Causes of poverty in Scripture Poverty in Chester County
Criminal justice system Communication and language
Mental models of poverty and middle class Hidden rules of poverty and middle-class
Session 3 – Developing a Heart for the Poor Session 4 – Serving the Poor
The Good Samaritan Desired outcomes
Holy discontent Guiding principles
Hopelessness and hope Levels of involvement
Overcoming the burdens of poverty Opportunities for service
The Wage Gap video Impact and benefits
Testimonies of participants:
"I am embarrassed to say that I have often considered poverty a result of laziness. During this class, I realized that poverty is caused by many factors and that the lack of hope seems to be very near the top. What an eye-opening experience!” Don Thompson, Paoli Presbyterian Church
"One of the best things we ever did was host The Heart of Poverty seminar, which helped our staff, volunteers, and board members get a realistic perspective on the challenges that poor families in our community experience. One volunteer shared that her life was changed and she can work more effectively at the Point to serve the least among us."
Dwayne Walton, Executive Director, The Point
(a Christian youth center in Parkesburg)
For more information or to arrange for a seminar/classes, please contact Jim Ford at
email@example.com or 610-761-0473 (cell)