I once attended a ministers fraternal in another part of the country and was asked "what do you do with your poor people?" by another minister. Before I could answer another pastor jumped in "oh we have a sign now that says poor people this way!"
"Have you any poor people that we can come and take some pictures of?" I was asked several months ago from our national headquarters – I politely pointed out that it was a bit of an odd request.
"I want to work with poor people…" an interviewee once told me
Just recently on the collaborative blog on theooze there has been some mention of these poor people. It strikes me that it sometimes is very easy to patronise "the poor".
There is something so painfully middle class that makes us all think that they might even want our help. Do you not think that these people know that they are being used as a commodity to legitimise our perceived church activity?
My point is this - you'll never understand poverty until you experience poverty with them, and you'll never experience poverty until you truly know yourself, and when you do truly know yourself you will realise that these "poor" people have more to teach you than you'll ever know.
Why not simply journey and cut the patronising - isn't that the nature of incarnation?