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‘Cash for Congregants’: NJ Church Gives ‘Spiritual Stimulus Package’ to its Members


"We believe the economic crisis is a spiritual issue."

New Jersey pastor Tim Lucas and his fellow Christian church leaders are taking the concept of "economic stimulus" to intriguing, new levels. Rather than holding on to the typical, weekly collection (churches usually take donations from congregants each week), the Liquid Church did something unprecedented -- it handed money out to its members. CNN has more:

The church, which says it takes in $30,000 each week from its 2,000 members, chose to distribute that same amount on Sunday. To accomplish this goal, $10, $20 and $50 bills were put in envelopes and distributed to the congregation. CNN has more on the goal behind this initiative:

The goal, said Lucas, is for people to invest or use the money to help others, including those struggling to recover from recent massive flooding in New Jersey. He said he hopes others will invest their funds, nurture the investment for growth, and then donate the proceeds to the church to rebuild a homeless shelter.

While Lucas explains that the church isn't wealthy, this project, he says, shows the power of good deeds. According to Daily Mail, he 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."

Executive Pastor Dave Brooks explained further, saying, "A lot of people are really suffering financially these days and looking for the government for a way out. We feel God can provide help for people." He continued:

"We encourage people to work from the standpoint of generosity. Many people say 'In God we trust.' If you turn that around, God trusts you. We give money that God entrusted to us."

The nondenominational house of worship based in Morristown, New Jersey-based, is already a bit more unconventional than most churches. Rather than owning its own building, the church convenes at two hotels and a middle school each week.

It will be interesting to see how the community benefits from this very pointed use of micro funding.

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