A church in New Jersey gave away $30,000 in cash by “reverse tithing.” The popular event saw the church hand out its collection plates as normal; only this time they were already filled with unmarked envelopes.
Congregants were invited to each take out one of the blank envelopes, and receive a “reverse tithe” consisting of either a $10, $20 or $50 bill.
Lead Pastor Tim Lucas said the move was to teach his congregation to have faith in God and not the government.
“The success of this effort comes from empowering people to be the solution, instead of expecting the government to do it,” Pastor Lucas said. “We're hoping this fosters an outbreak of generosity, that people creatively invest the money in good works to make themselves and their community better. We believe the economic crisis is a spiritual issue, which is why we are moving forward with God's recovery plan.”
The Liquid Church has 2,000 members in three branches in New Jersey. The congregants took the message to heart and many were inspired by the move.
“They took a strong step of faith which shows people that church isn't all about the money, it's about touching hearts,” said churchgoer Michelle Ms Clifford. “And that's what I saw today, a lot of people feeling blessed, excited about doing good things with the money they got.”
“The Bible teaches simplicity and living within your means, and that God gives us resources and trusts us to use them,” said Pastor Rich Birch. “So in a real way it's saying God trusts us. It's a bit of a teaching metaphor, and when we literally give them money, it's saying God trusts us to use it properly.”