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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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God’s dreams for us seldom unfold as quickly as we would like. That’s frustrating, but the experience is not uncommon.

Do you remember the account in Scripture of young David being brought home from watching the flocks? Samuel was attempting to discover which one of Jesse’s boys had been chosen by the Lord to replace Saul as king. Having looked over all the candidates presented to him, the prophet still had no positive word from the Lord. “Are these all the sons you have?” he asked.

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.” His comment im
plied that David was hardly of age to be a serious possibility. But when David got home, the Lord told Samuel, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one” (see 1 Sam. 16:1-13).

So God Himself said through His prophet that David was to be the next king. But many years would pass, involving any number of hair-raising escapades, before David would finally sit on Israel’s throne. God’s promise didn’t come true immediately. In the meantime, I’m sure this former shepherd boy had frequent reason to doubt that the Lord’s dream for him would ever be realized.

Here, then, is another barrier to seeing God’s dreams validated in our lives. It’s the inability to recognize His involvement in our everyday world and, therefore, giving up too soon on His long-range promises.

– 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.

David and Karen Mains explore the answer to the question that if God is our Father, how does He help us grow and mature as His children? How does He do it?

This dynamic learning resource stands apart from other Bible studies because the exercises are creatively designed to involve the imagination and emotions as well as the intellect. As Karen Mains put it, “”We must learn to detach our child-like trust from our human mom and dad and attach it to the One who can be both mother and father to us eternally.”

This 12-week study provides 12 fresh encounters to help you do just that. Commence your journey towards knowing and understanding a Loving Father by ordering Parenting Us: How God Does It today!

Available at Mainstay Ministries.

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.