Under the Old Law, God expected the Israelites to tithe up to three times a year. Christ mentions tithing in a few places, but early Christians did not incorporate the practice of a tithe. Instead of a tithe, early Christians gave based on their own discretion. The church used the funds to support Christian widows, the poor, gospel preachers, Christian prisoners, and those affected by calamities.
It is a common practice among many groups today to perform a collection during the worship assembly. More often than not, this takes the form of a communal plate that is circulated among the attendees in the sight of all. Some groups are more discreet (a small box near an entrance or envelopes conveniently placed in the pew). Where did this practice come from?