Marketplace Scratch Pad

The reverse collection plate

Scott Jagow May 18, 2009

I have a positive story for you… with a twist. The pastor of a non-denominational church in Texas passed around the collection plate recently but told his congregation to take money from it. Well, maybe some people did, but the plate came back full of cash, the church’s biggest offering ever.

From CNN:

It was a eureka moment for (Pastor Toby) Slough: Give away money to those who need it, knowing his church members will help fill the need.

“In these economic times, we can’t be so into church business that we forget what our business is, and that is to help people.”

In the past couple months, Slough says his church has handed out $500,000 to people (members and non-members) who are struggling financially. The church even gave 1,400 families $50 each and told them to give it to someone else. I like it. It’s a good time to have a stronger sense of community.

But here’s the part that really got me thinking:

Slough said he is not concerned if people try to take advantage of the church’s generosity.

“I told my church a couple weeks ago, if I’m not being taken advantage of, I’m not being like Jesus,” he said.

Does this mean taxpayers should feel good because we’re being like Jesus?

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