Social justice, mercy ministry, caring for the poor–whatever you want to call it, it is all the rage in Christian circles, especially among young people. Whenever some noble cause becomes popular there is the possibility for a ton of good to get accomplished, and the chance that a lot of harm will be done in the name of good intentions. That’s why every pastor passionate about the poor, every missions committee, everyone interested in short-term missions, everyone fired up for “the least of these” should read this book. When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert is the best book we’ve read on ministering to the poor. Corbett and Fikkert both teach at Covenant College and work with the Chalmers Center for Economic Development.