Why is a 2,000-member New Jersey church with no building planning a $30,000 “reverse offering” followed by $60,000 more donated back to the community?
“Washington is broke, people are broke, and folks have lost faith that government can provide a lasting solution to economic issues,” says Tim Lucas, pastor of Liquid Church, an evangelical congregation which encourages the public to “come as you are” to services at three locations inMorristown, New Brunswick and Nutley, N.J.
Isn’t this an odd tactic for a church that doesn’t even own a building? Services are held each Sunday in banquet rooms at Morristown’s Hyatt Hotel and New Brunswick’s Hotal Heldrich asnd Nutley’s John Walker Middle School.
“We believe our current economic crisis is a spiritual issue, which is why we are moving forward with God’s recovery plan,” says Lucas. He speaks each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services that are broadcast from Morristown to the outlying locations.
This Sunday, each congregant in attendance will receive a special envelope emblazoned with the words “God Trusts You!” containing varying cash portions of the Reverse Offering with $10, $20 and $50 bills.
“Every dollar in our economy is printed with the words ‘In God We Trust,’ but we want to challenge people with the idea that ‘God Trusts Them,’” said Lucas. “Jesus talked more about the topic of money than Heaven & Hell combined.”
The church is also in the process of releasing an additional $60,000 into local community projects in all three communities where it conducts services.
Congregants will be free to “invest” the money any way they wish, he said. The church’s webpage suggests ways for churchgoers to brainstorm uses for the dollars they receive.
Lucas cited the example of five families who are banding together to bring relief to a Manville, N.J. neighborhood devastated by the flooding from Hurricane Irene. “Our folks are showing God’s love by investing their money and muscle where the government hasn’t stepped up yet.”
He said the church is also dispersing funds to local organizations including Market Street Mission and New York City Relief Bus for active projects helping the homeless and urban poor. All told, $90,000 will be given away.
“Government isn’t the source of recovery — God is,” said Lucas. “And since God trusts His people, we do too.”