An Indiana church did an unusual thing and flipped the traditional tithing paradigm on its head this weekend. Rather than hold onto money that was collected from its members to pay church expenses, leaders decided to hand out an envelope filled with cash to each and every congregant.
At the end of Sunday service, Pastor Steve Poe of Northview Church in Carmel, Ind., gave the cash “gift” to about 5,600 people.
Each envelope was filled with between $10 and $50, totaling $83,000.
But rather than aimlessly doling out money, the preacher said that the church has a solid goal in mind: to encourage congregants to use the cash to help others.
“It can do a lot of things, especially if people put money with it and then use it to help others,” Poe told WRTV-TV. “God will never ask us to do anything that he doesn’t first give us the means to carry out. Give us the resources to carry out.”
The message was clear: use the cash to make the world a better place.
“I don’t care what you do with it. I don’t care if you give it back to us, or to a homeless person,” he told the church. “I don’t care what you do with it as long as you feel like you heard from God on what to do with it.”
The church teased the event on its Facebook page before service Sunday, writing, “This morning, Pastor Steve has a surprise that you won’t want to miss! Join us at 9 or 11 for a very special service!”
According to WRTV-TV, this isn’t the first time Northview Church has handed money out to the congregation.
Nine years ago, leaders did the same thing, which led one member to create an invention — one that has continued to yield donations back to the church for its global outreach efforts.
Other churches, too, have done similar tithing experiments. In 2011, Morristown, N.J.-based Liquid Church distributed tens of thousands of dollars, hoping for the same positive results.
What do you think about the reverse tithe?
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