*One Chicago area church has doubled its attendance by giving money away every Sunday morning.

Lighthouse Church of All Nations in Alsip has grown from a normal 1,600 to 2,500 parishioners at its three services each week since the cash giveaway started more than a month ago.

Rev. Dan Willis pulls a number of one seat from a bag and the worshiper in that seat wins a cash prize. “Two of the churchgoers win $250 and the third gets $500. The church gives away $1,000 each Sunday,” Willis said.

One Sunday, he gave away 15 savings accounts with $25 already in them. And he had bank representatives at the service so church members could set up accounts. The cash prize is part of the pastor’s recent focus on helping his congregation pay bills and begin a debt-free life,

“We’ve had so many of our people displaced from jobs, facing foreclosure,” Willis told the Chicago Tribune. “When people’s faith was high, their debt was down. When their faith was down, their debt was high. I realized the two are connected.”

Willis concedes the cash prize is a gimmick to fill the pews. But he’s unapologetic about the plan, because it’s working.


2 thoughts on “PRIZES UNDER THE PEWS

  1. I don’t like it. A person’s faith shouldn’t be depend on how much money they have or don’t have. (see: Job) I’m sure there are other ways to help people who have it hard. IMO, I’m not a big fan of giving out money because then it becomes up to that person what they do with that money. Whose to say you’re not helping someone’s addiction to something? If they need food, feed them. If they need clothes, cloth them. If they need help getting a job, help them. But I’d be very wary about giving out money.

    BTW: I wonder if the church as some sort of financial program set up to teach people how to save money. It’s great to have a savings account, but if the people gave the accounts to don’t know how to save then the accounts are useless!

    (And this type of baiting reminds me of when a girl [in the world] “baits” men with her *ahem*. He’s not there for the girl. He’s there for the *ahem*.)

  2. I think this Pastor should be commended for thinking outside of the box. Jesus told us to be fishers of men. Any fisherman will tell you the hook is what catches the fish but the bait is what draws the fish in.You use different kinds of bait for different kinds of fish.Jesus Christ and his blood will always be the hook,this Pastor is just using different kinds of bait.Some use soup kitchens others clothing drives.The object is to bring them in then give them the Word if only one soul gets saved all the angels in Heaven rejoice and so should we.

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