I have been facilitating the Multiplying Light and Truth On-line Book Study for the last two weeks with about 14 participants from varied backgrounds. It is going well. Participants read two chapters of my book and then go on-line to view a video role play and answer several questions with their answers automatically being sent to all participants for their comments.
A key item this week is the difference between relief, betterment and development which some participants admit that they have a problem identifying the differences. This is critical if we are to implement a CHE or Neighborhood Transformation ministry. If we do not understand the difference then we will definitely have problems in empowering others to help themselves. The River Crossing story told in the book and shown as the video really represents the differences.
When a person is carried on another person’s back which demonstrates Relief. Many times those carried get left in the middle of the river when the carrier gets tired. They are stuck there and cannot get off. In a church this is represented by food and clothes give away programs. It is doing things for people.
When a person is taught how to cross the river with instructions, modeling, coaching and encouragement this represents betterment. In a church setting this could be demonstrated by tutoring children. This is helping them improve their life by coming alongside them.
Development is when the person taught how to cross on their own goes back and teaches the person on the island how to get off. They teach the same way that they were taught. This is represented by 2 Timothy 2:2. Too many times we only think of this verse for spiritual things but it applies in all areas of our wholistic approach to ministry. This is where the person taught empowers others to do the same.
We have a chart which compares the three which you can see by going to our web site under Articles and find Comparison of Relief, Betterment and Development: