Late in 2005, my friend Steve and his core group had about 90 on their church plant's launch Sunday. Now, 20 months later, they have at least 2500 people every week and are the third fastest growing church in America. They are a multi-site church in Charlotte, NC called Elevation.
Steve is a solid brother. He loves our Lord. He is always intense. You might not agree with him on every jot and tittle of theology. You may think he's a heretic because he has preached in a way-too-tight Def Leopard shirt and pastors First Baptist Trendy. But.... I know this man and he is just as saved by grace as any man in Christ.
What Elevation did this past week is undebatably unique and distractingly beautiful. For their new series kick-off, they passed out money to everyone who was there. That's right. Some got $5, some $10, some $20, and one person randomly got $1000 in each service. They didn't take up an offering and instead gave money away for their people to bless others. They're calling it the Bless Back Project.