December 4, 2018
Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for BET
Pastor John Gray is no stranger to making controversial statements, but this time, he did something we don’t see pastors doing often. In one of his services on Sunday at his Greenville, South Carolina church, instead of asking for a traditional offering from the congregation, he told members to take what they need from the basket as it went around.
Talk about not your normal church service.
He said: “For too long people have stood in a pulpit and told you to give, give, give. Very rarely have I seen churches stop and said ‘leave the baskets out, let the people get what they need.’ We’ve got too many pulpit pimps who want to get fat off people but don’t want to meet the needs of the poor people. And Jesus said that’s who you supposed to be taking care of. We got widows, we got orphans, we’ve got single moms in here. We might not be able to do everything but we can do something. I wish we could do more but it’s the best we can do right now.”
And that’s exactly what was needed as members of the congregation wept with emotion as they came forward to receive the money.
He continued by emphasizing that “the role of the church is also to meet the needs of the people in the house,” and that’s what he believes he was doing with this reverse offering. The pastor urged single mothers and fathers, widows and veterans to come forward and take what they needed. Sometimes it’s hard to see where tithes and offering go in the church, but the Relentless Church leader made it clear for everyone to see where it should be going.
This display of generosity during his sermon “Leftovers,” definitely knocked down any impression that Gray and his church are, as he would call it, “pulpit pimps,” who only ask members “give, give, give” without receiving anything in return. “This is church. Book of Acts style,” Gray made sure to highlight. For the six-month-old church, who has Tasha Cobbs Leonard as their lead worship pastor, this is huge.
“These people don’t know what it took for me to do this. We are a six-month-old church with no savings account…But the Lord told me to do this because if I trust Him, whatever is left over would have to be enough.”
Prior to this big gesture, the pastor was under some heat for referring to his wife, Aventer Gray, as his covering and saying she endured more pain birthing him than their two children. Watch below:
TELL US: Do you think more churches should do this?