In his four decades of urban ministry, Robert D. Lupton has experienced firsthand how our good intentions can have unintended, dire consequences. We fly off on mission trips to poverty-stricken villages, hearts full of pity and suitcases bulging with giveaways—trips that one Nicaraguan leader describes as effective only in "turning my people into beggars." In Toxic Charity, Lupton urges individuals, churches, and organizations to step away from these spontaneous, often destructive acts of compassion and toward thoughtful paths to community development. He delivers proven strategies for moving from toxic charity to transformative charity. Proposing a powerful "Oath for Compassionate Service," Lupton offers all the tools and inspiration we need to develop healthy, community-driven programs that produce deep, measurable, and lasting change. Everyone who volunteers or donates to charity needs to wrestle with this book.