CARMEL, Ind. - On Sunday, a Carmel church said it hopes to make a difference by using its own money to pay it forward, and it challenged its large congregation to do just that with an amazing donation.
At Northview Church, 12900 Hazel Dell Parkway, Carmel, Pastor Steve Poe explained the goal for his 5,600 congregants.
"It can do a lot of things, especially if people put money with it and then use it to help others," Poe said.
What's the "it" Poe talked about? An envelope, handed out at the end of Sunday's service, filled with cash ranging from $10-$50. Poe said it was a no-strings-attached investment by church leaders in the human spirit – one that totaled $83,000.
"God will never ask us to do anything that he doesn't first give us the means to carry out," Poe said. "Give us the resources to carry out."
The hope is that people will use the cash to make the world a better place, like church member Thomas Habimana plans to do.
"If I can get this money to go up to $1,000, that's my plan so I can pay for one kid's education in college," Habimana, who is from Africa, said.
Poe said the church doesn't care what the money is used for, as long as it's used for good.
"I don't care what you do with it," he said. "I don't care if you give it back to us, or to a homeless person. I don't care what you do with it as long as you feel like you heard from God on what to do with it."
Northview did the same things 9 years ago, and says one person used the money on an invention. They now donate a portion of their profits to the church for global outreach programs.