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The 50-Day Spiritual Adventure is a church-wide journey into the life-changing Word of God, lasting seven weeks within eight Sundays.   The goal is to equip listeners to recall and apply God’s Word in practical ways on Sundays and beyond. Then they can experience the transforming presence of our risen Lord on a consistent basis, overcome the sins that regularly beset them, and become more righteous and holy, like Christ, while living here on earth.  Click on the photos below to preview 50 – Day Spiritual Adventure Sermon Series by Mainstay resources  online.

                                                                             

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– by David Mains, Mainstay Ministries

For some years now I have made it a point before preaching my sermon to a congregation, to preach it to Jesus. So, whatever day I feel the message is finished, I find time to give it out loud to this special audience of one. When I’m finished, I attempt, to the best of my ability, to ascertain my Lord’s reaction regarding how I plan to represent Him.

Sometimes I get the impression Jesus would have me be more loving. In contrast, there are occasions when I sense He wants me to actually be more forthright—I’m not as direct as He would have me be. In all honesty, there have also been times when I feel there’s a bit too much of “me” showing. And, it’s not impossible to believe that occasionally I am representing Him well, and He is quite pleased with the overall effort that’s been put forth.

What this exercise does is to give me a sense of approval or disapproval from the one who is allowing me to speak in His place. What people listening to me feel is one thing; it’s quite another to experience peace regarding the God I serve.

I value congregational input, and sometimes listener feedback helps me get a better handle on what Jesus is thinking. But in the long run, it’s the opinion of my Lord that’s most important to me. Am I saying what He wants said, and in a way that reflects positively on who He is?

by David MainsMainstay Ministries

This Sunday my pastor begins a special summer series. It will continue through the middle of August. We talked about it, and not only does he have his subject clearly in mind, he can also articulate the precise response he wants.

“About what percentage of the congregation will eventually do what you are asking?” I questioned. “Wait,” I added. “Let’s both get a figure in mind and see if we’re close in expectations.”

Our combined figure averaged about 15%.

This wasn’t because he isn’t a good preacher. Just the opposite—he is a gifted communicator. It’s just that both of us know how hard it is nowadays to move people.

On the other hand, if 15% of the congregation make these measurable moves forward in their spiritual walk during the upcoming “dog days of summer,” that would be really quite a remarkable accomplishment.

Sometimes preachers get discouraged because their level of expectancy is unrealistic. I like where my pastor is in his head. And, I have a feeling that when he gets into August, he might be surprised that his response level is up to 20 or even 25 percent, which would be awesome.

But, if he thought unrealistically that half his people would instantly commit to his challenge, he would, of course, be disappointed. Clearly, he’s had enough experience to know that’s not going to happen.

Incidentally, what if I asked you the same question I put to him: “About what percentage of your congregation will do what you’re asking of them?”

The Triumphal Entry is the first part of The Victorious King‘s three-part sermon series. This is meant to be preached on Palm Sunday to prepare your congregation for the Lenten season. Here we introduce Jesus as King, who He is and what He came to do. This lesson will take a look at the true kingship that Jesus spoke about and how we can honor Him as our King today.

Available at Mainstay Ministries.

by David Mains – Mainstay Ministries

Now that I have achieved the status of “senior citizen,” I am more keenly aware than at any time in my life of the importance of leaving a legacy for my children and grandchildren.

I’m not talking about monetary treasure. While I freely acknowledge that God has always supplied my every need and treated me we an enormous measure of His grace, I have not accumulate any earthly wealth.

Rather I am increasingly aware of the need to vouchsafe a spiritual legacy, sharing with my children and grandchildren the lessons that God has so patiently taught me as I have followed Him.

Part of those lessons involves what I believe may happen as the end of this age draws to a close. That’s why I have been motivated to write my new book, To Those I Love I Leave… At my website, www.Sermon-Coach.com, I’ve been sharing the chapters from this book. I will continue to post one chapter each week through the end of February.

It my fondest hope, and most fervent prayer, that some of my words in these chapters will prove helpful to the church and that God will honor the distribution of this material. May God bless you, even as you read what I have written.

Taking Chanceby David Mains – Mainstay Ministries

For you who are looking for inspirational movies, have you rented Taking Chance starring Kevin Bacon? Chance is the name of a young soldier who has been killed in Iraq. Bacon plays a senior officer, in this HBO production, who volunteers for the role of accompanying the body as it’s returned to its hometown for burial.

So Taking Chance, the name of this film based on a true story, refers to this senior officer taking the body of Chance back to his roots. This may not sound like all that sensational a plot line, but it’s really quite touching, especially in the way our Marines show great respect to all those who have fallen in the line of duty. You’ll like it, I promise.

It also made me think of the verse in Revelation 14:18, which reads, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” Christians don’t just pass away and that’s it. The Lord treats them with great dignity and respect. “Yes,” the verse continues, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” How wonderful, etc…

by David Mains – Mainstay Ministries

There’s a huge difference between street preaching and giving a sermon inside a church. On the street you have to work much harder at capturing people’s attention. You also have to quickly get across what you want to say, or people will simply walk away on you. Most church sermons, if preached out-of-doors, would not hold a crowd for very long.

The exceptional preacher, of course, was Jesus. He drew great crowds in the open air and his hearers hung on every word. Revivalists like John Wesley and George Whitefield were also great street preachers. Like Jesus, they, too, often resorted to stories to keep people’s attention. Of course, that was a different time from the present. When the traveling preacher came to town he was often the big attraction of the day.

If you preached your last Sunday’s sermon in the open air, would anyone stop to listen? It’s a good question to ask yourself. If your answer is “Probably not,” your preaching style might need some tweaking.

People in church usually look like they’re really listening to what’s being said. It’s quite amazing, however, how little they retain. Some of that is because they are poor listeners. Another factor could be that the sermons they hear aren’t that interesting or relevant.

Why not work on your introduction to next Sunday’s sermon, so that you feel it would capture people’s attention even if you preached your sermon on the street.