Back in January 2009, we added a new feature to our Friday outreaches in Tulsa when we serve sack lunches and share the gospel.

We decided to bring a bucket for offerings and see what happened. After all, the Bible says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

The idea was bold enough to take one or two of our volunteers aback. The thought being: “We’re supposed to help people. Why are we taking from them?”

The results will tell you everything you need to know about the lives we feed and pray with every week.

The very people we’re feeding have put roughly $4,000 into the bucket – proving just how much they welcomed and wanted a formal way to give back.

That comes out to more than $500 per year, or about $10 per outreach. The bucket has seen twenties, tens, fives, lots of one-dollar gold coins, cashiers checks and a handful of bus tokens (which was a sacrifice for the givers).

When we see tokens, we think of the story Jesus told about the widow who gave “two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.”

Jesus said she put more into the temple treasury than all the others because “out of her poverty, she put in everything – all she had to live on.”

We place these offerings into our Denver and Dallas chapters. In fact, the first seed money ($800) that went into the Denver charitable bank account was provided by the homeless and needy in Tulsa.

This approach allows our crowds to physically provide for the needs of others vs. simply paying for their own meal. They give with this knowledge and understanding.

Now think about this for a moment: the homeless are helping feed the homeless. Does that challenge your heart to give too?