Embrace church gives members $40,000 in ‘reverse offering’, encouraging everyone to pay it forward

Your Money Matters

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Over the holiday season, many people are inspired to give to others, to charities, to churches and more. But over the weekend, one Sioux Falls church made a challenge to give in an unexpected way this Christmas.

“Let us bring him silver and gold,” the musicians sang with the congregation Sunday morning. 

It’s what many Christians are used to doing each Sunday, giving their tithes and offerings to the church.

“Sadly the church is often known for taking and taking and taking,” Adam Weber, the Lead Pastor at Embrace Church said. 

But this past Sunday,  Embrace church made a big change.

“Everyone take an envelope,” Weber said to the congregation. “In these envelopes, you’re going to find cash, cold hard cash.

The church gave an envelope of money back to every family at church.

“This cash is for what? It’s for you to go do Jesus stuff. For you to go do stuff for somebody else,” Weber said to the congregation. 

They call it a reverse offering, something Weber hopes will inspire his congregation to give this holiday season.

“The hope is to activate our people to go do kindness. Just to go love people, to go show people grace,” Weber said. “So often we need permission almost to go do kind things, we almost need a challenge.”

Embrace’s challenge came in the form of envelopes filled with $10, $20, $50 or even $100 bills.

“We’re giving out $40,000 today,” Weber said. 

The envelopes of cash came with simple instructions on how to use it.

“By next Saturday, go and give a gift for someone else,” Weber said. 

The hope is for everyone to get creative.

“Last year we had someone buy a plane ticket for a stranger to go see their family for Christmas, another person got Christmas presents for a shut in, one person paid off their friend’s minivan,” Weber said. 

“We’ll try to find a need and see how we can fulfill it,” Embrace attendee Candace said. 

Many Embrace families are already brainstorming how to bless someone else in the coming week.

“I’m a teacher in a low-income school so sometimes they don’t get Christmas presents. So I’m going to surprise them with some Christmas presents this year and I wouldn’t be able to do it if I didn’t get the chance to be here today,” Embrace member Taylor Wickberg said. 

It’s a Sunday service challenging everyone to bless others and send out the hope of Christmas throughout the city this week.

“I just know there’s a whole bunch more people in Sioux Falls who just need encouragement. Who just need someone else to see them and just to know that someone else cares,” Weber said. 

This is the second year Embrace has done a reverse offering, but they more than doubled the amount of cash given out this year.

They’re also asking the congregation to double the amount of money they received this weekend, turning the church’s $40,000 gift into much more, and impacting lives all over the community, one Embrace member at a time.

“One person got a $20 and made it $5,000 last year,” Weber said. 

Weber says it’s amazing to see what inspiring people to give can do and to see how creatively they can help bless the community within their own, unique ways. 

“The reverse offering is really different, something I haven’t heard of before. I think it’s great that they are giving to people to give back to the community that way. I think its dollars very well spent that we’re able to do that,” Candace said. 

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