Recently the Charlotte Observer carried the story of one church’s unusual beginning for a capital campaign. Instead of taking an offering, Elevation Church gave $40,000 to the congregation to spend on doing good deeds. The pastor, Steven Furtick, said that his church borrowed the idea from another congregation and it worked to great effect. Worshippers were stunned to find that they were given envelopes with amounts from $5 all the way to $1,000. The congregation did a variety of good deeds, including buying lunches, giving flowers, buying gas, donating to charity, helping the homeless, paying for prescriptions and many more. Futrick wanted to do this to get service and kindness into the DNA of his congregation.

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The city of Los Angeles stands at the top of the list of America’s largest cities, but at the bottom in giving to charitable causes. In fact, among the 50 largest cities, Los Angeles is number 48 in giving to charities. There may be many reasons for this, but lack of resources is not one of them. Surely the materialistic attitude and hedonistic lifestyle would have to nominate as probable causes. The fact is even more ironic when you remember that Los Angeles is really short for Ciudad De Los Angeles – City of Angels!

-Robert Shannon, Preaching March/April 1998

 

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The same newspaper that reported in September 1997 Ted Turner’s gift of $1 billion to various charities of the United Nations also reported the gift of a Mississippi washerwoman who gave $150,000 for scholarships to a local college. Both were significant. Both are to be praised. But one gave out of his abundance and the other out of her modest resources.

Everybody needs to give. Of course, good causes need to receive, but that is not the place to start thinking about stewardship. We all need to give. Rich people need to give. Poor people need to give. One minister reported that a wealthy, highly paid professional had told him he made too much money to tithe. He thought of others who said they made too little to tithe. The fact is that both were wrong. We all can tithe and we all can give – and we should.

-Robert Shannon, Preaching January/February 1998

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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According
to Aesop, a miser sold all his possessions and bought a lump of gold, which
he then buried in a hole beside an old wall.  Every day he went to visit it. 
One of his friends took note of his frequent visits and decided to watch more
closely. He soon discovered the secret of the hidden treasure and while no one
was watching, he dug it up and stole it.  The Miser came back the next day and
found the hole empty.  He tore out his hair and cried out load moans of grief. 
His friend observing his grief came to the man and said, “Please do not
grieve so.  Instead, why don’t you go and take a stone, and place it in the
hole where the gold used to be.  You can pretend the gold is still there.  It
will be just the same for you as when the gold was there since you never made
any use of it.”  All of us should do the best we can with what we have been
given.

_______________

J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Francis of Assisi
said, “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing
you have received, fading symbols of honor, trappings of power, but only what
you have given; a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and
courage.”

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The Value Of A Smile

It cost nothing, but creates much.
It enriches those who receive without impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash, and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None are so rich they can get along without it and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in a business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet is cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anyone until it is given away.
And if in the course of the day some of your friends should be too tired to give you a smile, why don’t you give them one of yours?
For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Frank Fried said:
“Folks, the grass is not greener on that side of the fence. And the grass is not greener on this side of the fence. The grass is greener where you water it.”

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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A small boy stunned his parents when he began to empty his pockets of nickels, dimes and quarters. Finally his mother said, “Where did you get all that money?”
“At Sunday school,” the boy replied nonchalantly. “They have bowls of it.”

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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When Mother Teresa of India visited Los Angeles a few years ago, a physician named Gerald Jampolski heard her speak. Attracted by the spiritual power that emanated from her, he asked her, ‘Would it be all right if I accompanied you on your coming tour to Mexico? Whenever I am around you, I feel the presence of God.’

She replied, ‘Dr. Jampolski, I do not object to your joining me, but you said you wanted to experience inner peace. Find out how much it costs to fly to Mexico and give that money to feed and clothe someone in need, and you will find the inner peace you seek.’ Dr. Jampolski followed her advice and discovered that she was right. That portion of our money that brings us the deepest joy and lasts the longest is that which we give away.

(“Just a Thought,” 11/14/03, Bill Bouknight, Christ United Methodist Church, Memphis, TN)

 

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Our word “pittance” has come to mean a very tiny gift, but that was not its
original meaning. In the Middle Ages the term referred to a very substantial
sum, given “out of piety and pity.” Often the interest from the fund
was used to provide a splendid dinner for the monks in the monastery. But as
time went on and inflation took its toll, there was only enough money for a
small snack. The large gift had over the years become a pittance. It is not
only inflation that measures the size of our gifts. They are also to be
measured by the resources from which we give, and by what we have left after we
give. So the widow’s mite in the gospels was what we would call a pittance, but
Jesus reckoned that it was a substantial and splendid gift.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The May/June issue of Worth magazine carried a story about an exclusive
community on New York City’s upper East side. You would need an income of over
one million dollars a year just to live there. The people who do, give an average of $ 11,000 a year to charity. That’s one
percent of their income. The article noted that the average family there spent
more on their pets than they gave to charity.

That will not surprise some pastors. They know that most Christian enterprises
are not funded by people of extraordinary means. They are underwritten by
people of ordinary means who have extraordinary faith. One pastor commented
that a man in his church told him he made too much money to tithe. That pastor knew
single mothers in the same congregation living on the wages of a waitress who
were faithfully tithing!

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Martin of Tours, lived in France in the fourth century. His biographer tells
this story. Before Martin became a bishop he served in the army. One cold day
he met a poor man who had no clothes. Having nothing to give him, he took his
sword and cut his own cloak in half. He gave one half to the poor man and
covered himself with the other. That night he had a dream. In the dream Christ
was wearing half a cloak; the half he had given to the poor man. “Inasmuch
as you did it to one of the least of these,” said Jesus, “you did it
to Me.”

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The city of Los Angeles stands at the top of the list of America’s largest
cities, but at the bottom in giving to charitable causes. In fact, among the 50
largest cities, Los Angeles is number 48 in giving to charities. There may be
many reasons for this, but lack of resources is not one of them. Surely the
materialistic attitude and hedonistic lifestyle would have to nominated as
probable causes. The fact is even more ironic when you remember that Los
Angeles is really short for Ciudad de Los Angeles — City of the Angels!

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The same newspaper that reported in September 1997 Ted Turner’s gift of $ 1
billion to various charities of the United Nations also reported the gift of a
Mississippi washerwoman who gave $150,000 for scholarships to a local college.
Both were significant. Both are to be praised. But one gave out of his
abundance and the other out of her modest resources.

Everybody needs to give. Of course, good causes need to receive, but that is
not the place to start thinking about stewardship. We all need to give. Rich
people need to give. Poor people need to give. One minister reported that a
wealthy, highly paid professional had told him he made too much money to tithe.
He thought of others who said they made too little to tithe. The fact is that
both were wrong. We all can tithe and we all can give — and we should

Share This On:

About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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