It is here that the ‘inefficiency’ of incarnational ministry becomes apparent. As John Perkins has said, “There are many with a fifteen year strategy, and a two year commitment.”24 This ongoing proximity is the key, however, to the effective empowerment of the poor. Without it we will never be able to give away the keys to the kingdom, but when we do get close and stay close, the poor cease to be a project. They become people, and then we begin to learn from them, we begin to partner with them, and we begin to discover the authority that God desires to grant them in His Kingdom. Kingdom ministry requires more than the rich serving the poor, it requires interdependence. When the poor are included as equal members into our churches, because we have done the difficult work of being included as equal members in their neighborhoods, then we will be able to offer them the resources that God has blessed us with, as well as receive the resources that God has blessed them with.

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