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The current recession has led many Americans to change the way they handle their money. One church in Texas is responded to the economic conditions by changing the way they collect the weekly offering. The Cross Timbers Community Church in Argyle has been telling needy members that if they are in need, they can take money from the plate as it passes. Pastor Toby Slough says the movement started one Sunday when he told the congregation to take money from the collection plate if they needed it, even though church donations were down. Slough says that day the church received the largest offering ever.

The church has continued to give during the recent hard times. They have given money to single mothers and widows, paid utility bills for people, and donated money to help other organizations feed and clothe those in need. Slough says after he told the congregation to take money if they needed it, he gave a ride to a man who was looking for a job. The man had just used his last bus pass. The experience confirmed the church was doing the right thing. Slough added, “In that moment, I just knew this is what our church has to be about. 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.”

--Church Reverse Collection Plate, www.the33tv.com/news/kdaf-chruch-giveaway-kdaf,0,7429826.story; May 17, 2009; Illustration by Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

2 Corinthians 9:8-10 (HCSB) “And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 9 As it is written: He has scattered; He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever. 10 Now the One who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness,”

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