Reverse Offering

What do you think of this?

A New Jersey church turned the traditional money collection part of the service on its head with a “reverse offering” this weekend. When the Liquid Church passed around its popcorn-bucket collection baskets, people were told to take an envelope with the words “God Trusts You” on them. Each envelope contained a $10, $20 or $50 bill.

In total, the church distributed $30,000 of its money Sunday to 2,100 people, but there is a message behind the money, lead pastor Tim Lucas said

“This wasn’t a handout,” he said. “That’s the tip of the iceberg. We challenge people; we want them to creatively invest this money.”…

Lucas said his intentions were pure and that there was no political message or ulterior motives behind the action.

“This is not a ploy for people to come to church,” he said. “It’s also not a bailout. Let’s be realistic. Twenty dollars isn’t going to change anyone’s life. The idea is to demonstrate that although Washington is broke, our God isn’t and can provide for people’s needs through the hands of his people.”

The pastor spoke about how each U.S. bill has the words “In God We Trust” on it and Lucas inversed the idea into “God Trusts Us.”

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Jay

    I don’t know how it works for adults, but I do something similar each year with a middle school day camp that I run. I divide the kids into groups and give each group a sum of money ($20-$30). The money comes from the registration fee for the day camp, but I’m not sure the kids fully realize that fact since their parents pay for them. Then I tell each group that they get to decide what to do with the money, but they have to use it to bless someone. They can’t use the money for someone related to them so they need to think a bit out of the box. It becomes an exercise in thinking creatively about their financial resources while also being aware of needs around them.

  • Jared

    I’m not sure I can get on board with the “God Trusts You” bit, but I dig the overall idea of giving back and encouraging people to spend the money to invest in and help others. What would be interesting (and impossible) to know is how everyone spent their money in the end.

  • Craig Querfeld

    Didn’t North Point Community church do something similar a few years ago. From what I remember they asked people to invest that money in touching someone else for Christ. Interesting concept.

  • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

    From your tweet, I was thinking of the bit from “Stranger in a Strange Land” (Heinlein). No such luck. ;-)

  • Barb

    my daughter’s church does this kind of reverse offering. when they have extra money they put it out in a basket in cash and tell people to take it to use for their ministry projects in the community or in the world. My daughter took $100 for a Kenya water project that her college club was working on. This is the kind of attitude toward giving and trust in people that makes my daughter want to be a part of this church.

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    Ha! My old church did that, but told people to use the money to get more money for the church. It was not to help anyone, just to give them more money!

  • Randy Gabrielse

    Fantastic!
    Just last evening, our outreach committee decided to offer up to $100 to five people for similar creative projects. We look forward to what comes of our project and Liquid Church’s.
    Randy G.

  • http://www.eric-michael.com EricMichaelSay

    I’d love to see a discussion of tithe in a modern sense. i don’t think it can be justified biblically, and I think the “God Trusts Us” twist is interesting. It has conservative-fiscal implications, and it also has theological implications.

  • http://www.darenredekopp.com/ Daren Redekopp

    It takes some serious balls to do something like that. Being a pastor myself, I can only imagine what kind of meetings preceded this move. Carpe diem.

  • JohnM

    I familiar with one church, Independent Fundamentalist, that routinely invites people to take up to $20 out of the offering plate if they have a need.

  • http://thekrumchurch.com Christy Thomas

    About seven years ago, my youngest son, living in NYC, phoned and said, “Mom, are you sitting down?” As it turns out, his church in Manhattan had done that, with envelopes containing amounts ranging from $5 to $100. My son, frustrated that he has received an envelope with only $5, decided to make a run to Atlantic City and just gamble with it. Over the course of the evening, he ended up winning over $50,000. He immediately wrote a 10% tithe back to the church and put the rest into investments. Quite an adventure for a young man, although I suspect not exactly what the pastor had in mind!

  • TJJ

    It can be a good thing, especially if done as part of a larger teaching context on money, tithing, ministry, etc.

    However, I like even more teaching and challenging people to do that with their own money, beyond the 10%, for the glory of God, to address the needs of others, and for personal spiritual growth in kingdom living.

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    Christy, if this was not a Jesus site I would call BS on that one!

  • http://www.thefaithlog.com Jeff Doles

    It is an interesting lesson in stewardship. And indeed, stewardship is about God trusting us, as well as us trusting God. He entrusts us with something to manage on His behalf. I hope we get to hear what some of the testimonies from this might be.

  • Taylor

    Immediately brought to mind the parable of the talents (Mt 25:14-30). In that sense, you can truly say God trusts, or better, entrusts His people.

  • Phillip

    A couple of years ago,the North Atlanta Church of Christ split over $1 million among its members (from 1st grade up)for good works. Here is a link to that story: http://www.christianchronicle.org/article2159055~Exclusive:_Church_splits_$1.5_million_for_good_works


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