You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘sunday’s sermons’ tag.

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?”

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.