Church gives money to members with instructions to show God’s love

Twenty-five dollar “reverse offering” given with hope of helping others in need

This from the Denver Post:

Reversing the distribution plate
Arvada church gives each congregant $25 to be spent, in turn, on others


God works in mysterious ways — and so can the Rev. Gary Witkop.

When the pastor of Community in Christ Lutheran Brethren Church in Arvada said he was passing around the collection plate for a second time one recent Sunday, the congregation dutifully reached for wallets and purses to give a little more.

Instead, Witkop told every one of the 60 men, women and children in the congregation to take $25 from the plate.

And so, on Nov. 11 every congregant received a “reverse offering.”

There was one catch.

Witkop told his flock to use the cash — $1,500 in all — to show God’s love to someone else.

They could treat a friend to dinner or engage in some other form of fellowship.

They could use the money for anything, as long as it was for somebody else.
“I was floored,” said Eddie Culpepper, a 46-year-old Arvada mechanic. “I never expected to see that in church. Now it’s time for me to reach out.”

That was the message.

“That is what Jesus is calling us to do, to love people in ways that are practical,” Witkop said in his sermon. “Love needs to be shown one individual to another, one person to another. Love needs to wear skin and bones.”

Witkop, who has been pastor at the church for 12 years, had been mulling over the idea of a reverse offering for weeks…

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