The Rev. Jackson Crum ended his sermon about the city's struggles with crime and other problems Sunday at the Park Community Church by passing out envelopes containing amounts of cash between $2 and $102, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.
Crum instructed church members to put the cash toward improving their community.
"Isn't that why we're here as a church?" Crum said. "Aren't we here to be engaged with our city?"
Crum said the cash came from Park's general fund, despite the church owing more than $5.7 million on its mortgage.
"Typically, a church says, 'Help us, tithe,'" Crum said. "How often does a church pass it back out and say, 'You do it. You invest.'"