A Maryland Church has gifted a used car to five of its congregants, citing its desire to become “outrageously generous.” Columbia-based “Destiny Church” gave away four cars after each of its Sunday services, as well as an additional car to a family in need.
Destiny Senior Pastor Stephen Chandler said that the congregation was celebrating its move into a permanent worship space, having previously been meeting in a school gymnasium. “One of our founding values as a church is that ‘We Are Outrageously Generous,’ and we strive to live that out in everything we do,” the pastor told the Christian Post.
“We wanted to mark the celebration with an act of generosity that overshadowed the great blessing of the building we received. Acts 20:35 says that it is better to give than to receive and that has truly turned out to be the case.”
Destiny Church gave away a Chevy Cruze, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Ford Escape and a Dodge Journey – all of which were bought at a used car dealership. The cars were allocated to certain members of the congregation by a raffle system – some 2,000 tickets were given away.
Pastor Chandler disclosed that the cars were paid for with ten percent of the money donated to the Church through tithing. “Because generosity has always been a focus at Destiny Church, from our inception, we adopted the practice to set aside ten percent of all that we receive,” Chandler detailed.
“These funds are for the purpose of generosity, missions, benevolence, and outreach and have been used over the years to plant churches both internationally and domestically, partner with great non-profit organizations, help those in need locally, and generally share the love of Christ outside of our walls. Part of this year’s generosity budget was used to purchase these vehicles.”
But the giveaway also spiked an increase in Church attendance. Numbers usually sit around 1,100 for Sunday service, but when the raffle was announced, Destiny brought in around 2,250. Some were slightly more critical of the occasion. “The church did give out the fifth car to a family in need, a nice demonstration of that super famous part in the Bible where God thanks all of the disciples and followers of Jesus for their unwavering faith by sending a fleet of new Ford Focuses out of the sky,” quipped RELEVANT.
Others attending were not too sure about the idea of a Church luring people into the sanctuary with the prospect of winning a brand new set of wheels.
“It’ a stretch. But I mean, if that’s what it takes nowadays — in the new age, you gotta come up with some kind of gimmick or incentive or whatever,” said Angella Cole, a nurse who works in Baltimore. “It’s a good way to get people’s attention. Should they do this every week? I doubt it.”
But Pastor Chandler insisted it was all about reflecting the “outrageous generosity” of the Lord. “I think the idea of generosity is not just something that applies to people that are in need,” the pastor told the Washington Post. “We truly care about this community, whether you’re in financial straits or whether you’re in a good season of your life. We don’t just care about the hurting. We care about every single person.”