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Pastor Gives An Envelope Full Of Money To Everyone In His Congregation, With One Simple Instruction

Most Sundays, worshipers at the Preston Meadow Lutheran Church dig into their pocket as the collection plate is passed around.

But last week, they held out their hands for a surprising gift from the church that has everyone talking.

Pastor Paul Mussachio invited everyone in attendance to take a numbered envelope from a pile at the front of the church.

Each one was full of money - a blank check signed by the church with a value ranging from $250 to $1,000.

The pastor sent his flock home with the money as part of a project called Preston Meadow Gives, but of course there was a catch.

One of the envelopes.Rene Walls / Twitter

No Strings Attached

In a YouTube video about the event, Mussachio explains he wants to spread "joyful generosity" through the community.

“We gave them no direction over [the money,] other than to follow the lead of God and to participate in Christ’s mission of grace for this world.”

Yes, as long as they cash the check within a month and don't give any money back to the church, the lucky men and women are free to do what they like with it.

"We are blessed to be a blessing, so look for those around you who are in need of this kind of blessing right now," a pamphlet for the event suggests.

"People near or far to you, strangers, organizations close to your heart or our church."

But the event isn't just about "paying it forward" to local charities.

Mussachio revealed the surprising inspiration behind the season of giving, and it may inspire you too.

The Experiment

Before handing out money to its worshipers, Preston Meadow tried a similar project with a group of fourth graders.

The children were given a much smaller amount of money, but managed to make it "grow" through generosity.

As the children gave to needy neighbors and charities, they asked other community members to do the same.

By the end of the project, the church says the children had raised four times their original amount.

The Preston Meadow church.Google Maps

As The Good Book Says

But, of course, there's inspiration for the generosity in the Bible as well.

The church quotes Luke 6:38:

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.

In this case, a small group of donors gave the church the $125,000, which will hopefully continue to grow as it spreads through the community,

There's no question that the church's members are excited about the opportunity to give back.

"Best surprise ever!" one person wrote on Twitter about receiving their envelope.

"Our church gave us money so we could use it to bless others. I can’t wait to figure out how to spend it to bless others. What a great lesson on giving for my kids."

What would you do with a gift like this?

[H/T: Fox News]