Clarifying the Welfare Spirit Concept
In the discussion of my most recent blog, someone brought up the fact that nurture from others is legitimate.
Here is a simple picture of legitimately looking for and receiving help from outside, without it being a welfare spirit issue. That is organizations like Toastmasters.
There is a difference between an organization that teaches ─ a gardening class for example where someone who knows, imparts knowledge to others ─ and an organization that unpacks potential.
When someone joins Toastmasters, it is because they feel deficient, and they want to become proficient, and they need someone else to get them there.
But the core component of their decision is a deep belief that they have within them, innately, the ability to become a better speaker.
They may not believe they have the ability to become a GREAT speaker, but they think they can become better.
You see, they have no poverty spirit. When the poverty spirit decides there is no treasure within to be unpacked, then the welfare spirit is the only possible next step. If it is not in me, then I have to get someone else's resource.
But in Toastmasters, a person begins the process by deciding they DO have it in them, and they pursue a strategy of unpacking the treasure that is already their own.
And for THAT ─ the unpacking ─ they go outside themselves, to someone else who can help them find THEIR OWN VOICE.
There is no welfare spirit in seeking help unpacking your treasures.
We see the same thing in deliverance and inner healing ministries.
When the person and the leader agree that all the client has is a mess, then there is a welfare spirit present, as the leader takes their great treasures of wisdom and power and resources the client.
So not healthy.
When the ministry session is based in a fathering key of music, the leader is seeking first and foremost to find and unpack the resources in the client, while bringing healing.
Here is a simple example.
I was working with a client who had a missing portion of their spirit. I knew where the portion was because the Holy Spirit had told me.
Nonetheless, I leaned on them to use their resources.
I asked if anyone of the portions present knew where the missing portion was. They said, “No.”
I asked them to form a circle, facing out, and to listen. I spoke to the missing portion, asking if it could hear me. Immediately one portion of the spirit that was present could identify what direction the missing one was imprisoned.
I was willing to help. But I only brought my expertise to bear after I had used every tool possible to unpack the resources the client already had.
In this case, the Mercy portion of their spirit previously had an intimate connection with the missing portion, and through the treasure of love, was able to sense the missing one.
Their love – that they already had – not my love or my knowledge.
The welfare spirit is rooted in the belief that the person does not have resources to unpack. This comes from the poverty spirit.
When a person is convinced that they have resources, they can legitimately seek help in unpacking what is there. That is the difference between the welfare spirit and standard Body life in the Church.
Either party can break the poverty spirit/welfare spirit cycle.
When a person comes to terms with the idea that they HAVE something, they can look for a fathering coach to help them unpack.
Conversely, when someone comes to you asking you do to something for them because they are destitute, you can push back and help them find a treasure within, that came from God, and that you are willing to help them unpack.
Now, there ARE times when we are so flattened we cannot help ourselves. I understand. But that is a very small majority of the time.
Broadly speaking, the way out of our hole is to identify what God has given us, and to see what we can do to unpack that treasure, and then, if necessary, find someone else to help show us how to unpack it.
My grandmother lost her Oklahoma farm during the dust bowl in the Great Depression. She fled to California where she was so po’ she could not afford the last two letters of the word. There, she lost her husband to a construction accident. And she and her kids worked in the fields as seasonal labor.
But she had no shred of the poverty spirit.
She taught me, long before I had language for the poverty spirit and welfare spirit that the art of life consisted of three things.
1) Use what you have,
2) To get what you need,
3) To build what you were made to build.
You rock, Grandma!
Copyright by Arthur Burk
Are you the same Arthur Burk that we met years ago and came to Hilton Head to minister???By : Marie Summerlin On May 22nd 2020
Have you and your family moved to SC??
Replied by : Arthur Burk
Welfare Spirit vs Digging up TreasuresBy : Caroline Cienki On February 19th 2020
Thank you. Very useful insight in understanding how we must approach one another to empower and help one another walk in their God given potential.
ClarityBy : Kyle On February 16th 2020
I love this article. It brings so much clarity to why I get bugged about much of what I've been faced with. Many people literally want you to do everything for them. This is a manifestation of the poverty spirit. Thanks for breaking it down.
It’s not safe, but it is good.By : Elouise Van der Merwe On February 16th 2020
The metaphor ‘Body of Christ’ never gets old. In fact, it just gets better the more the medical field advances. I’m reminded of Romans 12:1-5, the importance of our beliefs, our lives as living sacrifices and especially the part about the way we think of ourselves.
In South Africa there has recently been a video in circulation of the Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus talking to his team of excellent rugby players. Barring the profanities which pains me, there is much to learn from his speech. He is speaking to the leaders he is leading and addressed the spirit of entitlement. Springboks, like other leaders, work hard to get to the top of their game. Then at the top, its easy to fall into entitlement. Rassie tells his team how he himself fell in the same trap, until someone told him of his entitlement. Had he not listened, it would have been the end of his career.
The metaphor of ‘the body of Christ’, reminds us that we all have a place. The moment the a part thinks it is all important, or under-achieves, the body does not function. The function of His body, is a matter very close to the heart of our King. His heart hurts, although it is not fearful, for the state of it.
I’m reminded of the verse in Proverbs, directly translated from my mother tongue: “Iron sharpens iron, friends form one another”. It is not a very warm and fuzzy picture of friendship, is it? But it is a good one. As long as the first commandment remains the first commandment, as long as our confidence resides in that we are safe in His hand, His love alone, it will be a good community. (The moment we vear from this, we start using the euphemism for ‘junk on repeat’ which is, “it’s messy” (been there, burnt the t-shirt!).) The trick is to stay on track. It’s “not safe, but it is good.” C.S.Lewis.
InspiringBy : Rosa On February 14th 2020
Kinda like the story of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, despite the fact his father didn’t believe in him
Welfare spiritBy : Kevin On February 14th 2020
I am so appreciate of this perspective. And I am convinced it comes from the heart of God and explains why so often we can think He's not answering prayer. He doesn't to affirm that poverty spirit by reinforcing the blind spots to what He has already given us. Unfortunately too many pastors who are engaged in Identity Politics are addicted to everyone else's poverty spirit and the church stays anemic. Very, very well said Arthur, thank you.
FlattenedBy : Jillian On February 14th 2020
How do you and how can you proceed when you are flattened?
Replied by : Arthur Burk
Great ClarityBy : Connie On February 13th 2020
I love the clarity this post gives. I had not understood this difference previously. I am going to take it and run with it.
Go Grandma!By : Amy Hansen On February 13th 2020
Oh Arthur! This truly hits the spot.
I’m so inspired by your Grandma! It sounds like she shunned passivity, self-pity, and even the cultural norm of being more financially and emotionally powerless as a female. This lands deeply for me.
It all starts with believing that you have the resources to unpack doesn’t it? Sometimes we can’t control when or how our treasures are unpacked, but we can believe that God will unpack them as we work with him and leverage the opportunities available.
Moms that rock!By : Daphne Kwan On February 13th 2020
Thank you Arthur for putting it in language & clarifying the difference. I remember my mother used to teach me Matthew 6:33,34 she says that's what her mother taught her when she was sent to study at a boarding school at the age of nine. My mom went through 2 wars (lost everything), but she ended up with a successful business, has 7 children, 15 grandchildren before she RIP in 2004. When my parents sent me to study overseas at the age of 13, my mom left me with the same scriptures & my dad told me to take stride but remember to learn from others mistakes. Although for the next 17 years, I lived a life scrapping pennies, Matthew 6:30-34 constantly superseded the thoughts of "Lacking" in me, so I continue to teach my children the same - Look at what you have, not what you don't have, and remember Matthew 6:33,34. -Savoring this article while taking a break from filing income-tax return for my two companies.
Po’ to Pro’By : Tricia Reynolds On February 13th 2020
Truth!!!!!! Thanks for bringing attention to this so I can spend time thanking/praising God for the people alongside when I was flattened that pulled me out of the poverty and orphan spirit by treating me like a treasure that was fully capable. I’m realizing this is rare.
So many “helpers” keep people crippled because being in the helper role builds their own ego..
Loving these posts and the action you are taking to change this dynamic in your own ministry. It’s time to equip people! The harvest is ripe!
Mothering Adults Treats Them Like ChildrenBy : Adam Esbenshade On February 13th 2020
I really enjoyed the heart behind you words Arthur. You are calling each of us to grow in the spirit of sonship in our relationship with the Trinity and in our relationships with humans. To start from a place where both people in a ministry relationship agree that the person seeking help has "everything they need for life and Godliness" but often fails to have vision to see where it is. Pointing out a few places where Father was there first in their family line or human spirit or personal history actually benefits a person's growth long after they stop seeing the "ministry leader" more than temporarily resourcing them for the current pain point.
I find it ironic that in the marketplace, everyone is expected to put in the effort to unpack their treasure and communicate their treasure in interviews, but in church that gets switched off and we are told love demands mothering those same adults in their spiritual journey. Thank you for contributing your words and leadership calling us to make this course correction in the Kingdom of God and Body of Christ.