From the creators of When Helping Hurts

Help the poor in ways that actually help

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution for helping people in need.

But there are principles for effective poverty alleviation that you can apply in any situation.

Through A Field Guide to Becoming Whole, you’ll discover a framework for lasting change—for yourself, and the people you seek to help.

Your Field Guide to Helping that Helps


Learn 5 key themes of effective poverty alleviation, with real-world examples.


Think through helpful questions and uncover what these principles mean for your context.

Get Creative!

Explore innovative ways to apply these principles in your ministry.

What People are Saying About the Book

I’ve been waiting for a follow-up to When Helping Hurts that would give sound, biblical, practical, and replicable counsel to those trying to help marginalized people in our communities. Becoming Whole and A Field Guide to Becoming Whole do not disappoint!
Thabiti Anyabwile, Pastor of Anacostia River Church (Washington, D.C.)

I’ve been waiting for a field guide like this, which provides formative stories and tangible best practices to help address brokenness and poverty through the pursuit of personal, communal and systemic transformation.”

Dr. Mary Glenn, Urban Studies Affiliate Professor, Fuller Seminary School of Intercultural Studies

This is one of the most pragmatic and Christ-centered books for anyone engaged in the work to alleviate poverty. Fikkert and Kapic offer a systematic and comprehensive approach based on many years of experience on what to do, and especially what not to do.
Alexander Jun, Ph.D., Professor of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University

With honesty and humility, A Field Guide to Becoming Whole roots out the invisible idol of the American Dream that has seduced many Western Christians and tragically hampered efforts at poverty alleviation. Fikkert and Kapic offer pointed and practical advice, reminding us that God’s kingdom is an upside-down world where the pursuit of wholeness—rather than wealth—honors the inherent dignity and worth of all stakeholders.

Dr. Elissa Yukiko Weichbrodt, associate professor of art at Covenant College

“The best theology applies the word of God to the practical areas of life. Kelly Kapic and Brian Fikkert have done just that in the Field Guide to Becoming Whole. It is chock-full of real-life stories, Scripture, biblical principles, pointed questions and considerations. They have done an invaluable service for those who want to see all of God’s image-bearers flourish.

Dr. Irwyn Ince, Director of the Grace DC Institute for Cross-Cultural Mission.

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Purchase A Field Guide to Becoming Whole from your favorite bookseller today!

Meet the Authors

Brian Fikkert

Brian Fikkert

Brian Fikkert is the founder and president of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College, where he also serves as a professor of economics and community development. He is the coauthor of several books, including When Helping Hurts and From Dependence to Dignity.

Kelly Kapic

Kelly Kapic

Dr. Kelly Kapic (PhD King's College, University of London) is professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, where he has taught since 2001. He has written and edited numerous books, including Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering, which won the Book of the Year Award from Christianity Today in the category of Theology and Ethics.