Pastor John Gray of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, allowed members in need to take cash from the church’s offering baskets while knocking "pulpit pimps" who only ask churchgoers to “give, give, give.”
“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,” Gray said near the end of his sermon titled “Leftovers.”
Gray, who had asked his congregants to withhold their offering until they felt a connection to what was being preached that day, prefaced the invitation to his members in need to take from the church’s offering baskets by reminding them of the church’s role.
“The role of the church, elder, is not only to receive from the people of God but to meet the needs of the people of God. I asked you to hold your offering until something in your spirit connected with the Word. Did you all hear me when I said that? But the role of the church is also to meet the needs of the people in the house,” he said.
“Are there any single mothers in here? You had an orange light in your gas tank when you pulled up, where are you? Come to the altar. Hurry. Single mothers. Are there any single fathers and you had less than a quarter tank of gas, where are you? Come to the altar, come to the altar,” he said.
Scores of people streamed to the altar and he told them to stand before the offering baskets.
“Here’s what I want you to do. There’s some money in these baskets. You get what you need for you and the kids to eat and get some gas,” he said to cheers from the congregation as a churchgoer approached him and stuck what appeared to be more cash offering in his hand.