Hi, I was wondering what your thoughts were on passing the plate. The group I attend has a box at the back of the room so those who wish to give can give in private to the Lord, we announce there is a box and have a prayer, but we don't pass the plate. We know that it's very important to give and we teach it. If you have any thing on the subject, I would be glad to read it, I know that it is very important to be open on certain issues.
We have no guidelines in the New Testament that tells us how we are to make our contributions.
Mark 12:41 and Luke 21:2 gives the example of the widow giving her two mites by casting them into the treasury. This was under the law of Moses. The Jews had chests around the temple area with openings like trumpets into which the people cast their coins.
Mr. 12:41, And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.
42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.
43 Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;
44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on."
In the NT our information on giving is found in:
1 Cor 16:1, Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.
2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.
2 Cor. 9:6, Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
As far as the method we are to use in our giving it is left up to the congregation. Since all congregations are autonomous, and nothing is said about the method, we can pass the plate or place it in a box. The important part is not in the method but in the giving. As to the church treasury we are to lay by and store on the first day of the week, howevr we can give at any time to help those that are in need.
Gal 6:9, Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.