The Reverse OfferingUpdated 11:45AM, Wednesday August 22nd, 2012 by Nick Thomas, Christian.co.uk 4 comments
I remember overhearing a student a few years ago at a Christian union events week.
As this student walked along, he said to his friend, “I don’t like how you’re expected to give 10% of your income to the church.” As I heard this student say this, I was saddened at his misunderstanding of what the Bible says about money.
I like to think of myself of someone that takes all of the opportunities that God gives me to share his love. However, as usual I felt my individualistic Western society ego sneak in.
I made excuses in my head and I ignored this opportunity to get to know someone, help them understand the money aspect of Christianity and discover the true love of Jesus.
There are lots of different understandings to what the scriptures say about money, with plenty of mistakes made and verses taken out of context. Thank God for His grace!
I go with the view: 'Give as much as you can!'
If you can only give 2%, then give 2%, if you can live on 10% of your income, then give away 90%. I agree with the comment our Pastor shared on his understanding of Jesus’ views: 'Tithing 10% is a burden for the poor and a cop out for the rich, we need to give what we can.’
Tithing 10% is a burden for the poor and a cop out for the rich, we need to give what we can
So, what's the reverse offering? It is an idea where instead of giving money to the church, the church instead gives you money to use to specifically help/bless someone so that they know they are loved by Jesus.
On one occasion, a housegroup in our church had members that had more money than they needed. They therefore approached their banks and withdrew enough £5 notes for everybody in church. That Sunday at church, as the collection baskets went round we were encouraged to take £5 from it and use it to bless someone that week.
On another occasion the housegroup I’m involved in decided to withdraw loads of £1 coins from the bank. We placed the basket of coins in the church and encouraged church members to take as many coins as they need. The only rule being to use those coins to bless somebody else that week.
What followed was lots of laughter, smiles, looks of confusion and joy as people took this money.
In the following weeks church members returned to church and shared lots of stories of how God used them to share God’s love with that small amount of money. We heard from people as they laughed about buying a stranger a coffee, or buying a present for a loved one, as well as many other stories of God working through those that took the steps to bless others with that little bit of money.
The act of reverse offering was fantastic for our church, as it encouraged church members to think all week about serving, loving their neighbours and learning that God can use them to love others in fun ways.
What would you do if you were given £5 to bless someone with?
Leave A Comment or join the discussion
This sounds like a church from heaven! Would like to find a church that does this regularly as have always thought this way of giving reflects Jesus intention far more than the tithing demand that so often alienates people from churches altogether. Especailly when so many are struggling to pay off debts - who do you pay first? A God whose lack of provision led to debt in the first place? NO, that is not Jesus who always gives and gives. That is a church who lays a debt/obligation on her people to 'give or expect nothing'. And that obligation is NOT from God.
My father always tells of being in a church in (I believe) Germany where the offering plate was passed around, and those who had money put money in, and those who were in need took money out. There was, apparently, always enough money at the end to run the church.
Mark Driscoll said very similar things to you a couple of days ago:https://marshill.com/2012/08/20/the-old-generous-cross:
"What [Paul] is saying is that you give out of what you have, not out of what you don't have. For Christians generosity is about proportions, not percentages.
For some who are affluent, ten percent is not even generous. It's not even sacrificial. You don't even feel the pinch in your pockets.
For others, who live payday to payday with little to no discretionary income, your portion will be much smaller."
im afraid you and your pastor like so many christians have got the difference between tithing and giving wrong tithing 10% is gods money to run the church for example pay the rent , electric , heat , and any other bills that crop up giving is when you have paid your tithe and you give money to people who need it that is the extra sacrifice of ones finances that is required do you not trust god with your finances or is this a cop out why not give your rent or mortgage company whatever you can afford and see what happens as for your reverse offering thats inspired god bless
With respect John I think tithing is part of the old covenant, to fund the priesthood (which ,beyond the priesthood of all believers, is an old covenant thing also). In the new covenant it's about sharing as people needed, as in Acts. Also, God is interested in other thing besides money. What if you could get a job that paid half your current job, and meant you couldn't tithe, but allowed you to give greater time and energy to serving the community? Should tithing present this, if God is calling you into this? Also, if we need to spend 10% of our income on building upkeep, perhaps we have the wrong model of 'doing Church' and should focus less on buildings and more on living out community and reaching out too our neighbourhoods? Blessings John, thanks for commenting :)
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