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?
August 22nd, 2012 - Posted & Written by Nick Thomas