Category Archives: Preaching

Reflections from Beyond the Pulpit – How to Be an “Expert”

by Stan Hudson who served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 38 years and is currently the Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference

It’s kind of fun being thought of as an expert on anything. And it’s not that hard to be one. Here’s the simple way: find some subject, any subject, that NO one wants to take the time to study deeply. Make it a hobby interest of yours and people will gladly defer to you as “the expert!”

Know what I’m an expert in? Coins of the Bible! Growing up in the ‘60’s, coin collecting was what a lot of us American kids did. One day, after I had become a young pastor, I wandered into a coin shop and saw a small display of what was labelled “genuine widow’s mites.” I asked for a look and then I was hooked!

I will include over the next couple of issues an illustration or two on these and other Bible coins and what we can learn to enhance our sermons. Here are two half dollar-sized silver coins from the days of Jesus that circulated in the Holy Land. Under Roman rule the Jews were not permitted to issue silver coins, so this forced the Jews to use coins with graven images. These coins were “staters” or “four drachma” pieces. They were equivalent to Jewish shekels, and were the two options for temple use (for instance, the “temple tax” was two drachmas).

On the left is a stater from Antioch, dated, interestingly enough, to the year of Jesus’ birth (5/4 BC). It has Augustus Caesar on it. The coin on the right is from Tyre and has a modernized picture of Baal on it! This means that the priests and Sadducees of the temple had two bad options to use for their coins: they had to choose either Caesar or Baal for their official currency. Which did they choose? BAAL! Think of the irony of Baal’s coins to support the worship of Israel’s God. Yet that seemed preferable to Caesar’s image.

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Filed under Leadership, Pastoring, Preaching

Why Not Try This? – 10 Must-Have Tips for Giving a Public Invitation

Have you ever considered following your sermon with a public invitation? Maybe you’ve never really thought about it or aren’t quite sure how to extend a powerful and emotional invitation. It can be a bit awkward if there isn’t much of a response from the congregation, but consider the following excerpt from an article in http://www.churchleaders.com: It is reported that Dwight L. Moody once preached, then sent his flock home without an invitation, telling them to think about these things and come back next Sunday. However, the Great Chicago Fire occurred that week, taking many lives and destroying hundreds of homes and scattering his congregation so completely they would never be reassembled. Mr. Moody reportedly regretted for the rest of his life not extending that invitation. Click on the link to read rest of the article, 10 Must-Have Tips for Giving a Public Invitation.

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Why Not Try This? – Creating a Logical Sequence of Topics in a Short Series Part 2

A group of people listening to a sermon in church.

By Russell Burrill
Source: NAD Ministerial

In the previous article we examined what a sequence of topics would look like where the assumption was that the people coming to the series have previously been exposed to the Adventist message and therefore did not need extensive exposure to the message. Therefore the focus was on helping them make a lasting decision to become a part of the Adventist movement.

Our premise is predicated on the three decisions one seeks in an evangelistic series: Christ, biblical truth, and joining the church. We suggested a series that still covers all three areas, but with special emphasis on the third area.

In this article, we wish to make a suggestion on sequencing based on a different assumption. That assumption is that the people that are attending have not had any previous exposure to the Adventist message. It operates on the assumption that Continue Reading…

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Why Not Try This? – Creating a Logical Sequence of Topics in a Short Series Part 1

iStock_000000934342_MediumBy Russell Burrill
Source: NAD Ministerial

Through the years Adventists have varied greatly on how many sermons should be in a series of meetings so that people end up joining the Adventist church. Back in the early part of the 20th century, our forefathers conducted meetings every night for 6 months with nearly 180 sermons. They felt that was essential. In the 1950’s evangelist Fortyce Detamore shocked everyone by beginning to conduct 3 week meetings targeted to former Adventists. Later that got extended to four or five week meetings.

For over 50 years the expectation has been that you need 25-30 meetings to cover the message and see people make lasting decisions for Jesus. I have written extensively on how to conduct that type of meeting.

However, in recent years the time frame has shortened again with many conducting meetings of two weeks duration or a maximum of 12 sermons, counting Sabbath morning.

The question that surfaces with this reduced series is what subjects do you cover and which subjects do you leave out? The purpose of this article is to suggest a logical sequence for a 12 message series of meetings.

In Adventist Evangelistic Preaching I lay out a Continue Reading…

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Momentum – More to This Life

iStock_000060372274_MediumThe Kennewick Seventh-day Adventist Church conducted a unique 11-part series, “More To This Life.” The series invited any who were restless and looking for something more in their current living to come and discover an abundantly satisfying life option. The host for the series, Pastor Greg Carter presented three core components each meeting which promote vibrant living: Connected Community, Optimal Health, and Authentic Spirituality.

Each meeting community and health leaders shared opportunities for maximizing volunteerism and practical health principles which promote overall wellbeing. Community leaders from Habitat for Humanity, Tri-City Pregnancy Network, Tri-City Food Bank, Kennewick Police Department, The American Red Cross, Ignite Youth Mentoring are some of the groups who spoke. Each night visitors were invited to experience the quality of life increase which comes from being a connected part of their community.

Each session we were also joined by doctors and other health care professionals who shared practical tips for optimum health. Sleep Medicine Specialists, Nutritionists, Physical Therapists, Christian Counselors and Family Care Physicians, shared up-to-date suggestions for improving overall mental and physical health.

After the health and community spotlights, Pastor Greg shared a message of hope, encouragement and exploration from the Bible. Topics such as, “The Remedy for Restless Living”, “Excuse Me, Is Anyone Out There?”, “Human Suffering: God on Trial”, and “Echoes of Eternity: The Quest for Eternal Life”, were presented.

Add to this, good free food, and it is easy to see why the meetings left a lasting impression on all and were thoroughly enjoyed! The church plans on holding its “2nd Annual: More to This Life” in the Fall of 2016.

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Filed under Health & Temperance, Preaching, Soul Winning

Changed Lives – Excited about Prophecy

iStock_000066163607_MediumPastor David Morgan shared 32 messages on prophecy during the Selah Seventh-day Adventist Church’s annual Evangelistic campaign that was conducted at the Selah Civic Center in downtown Selah, WA. This series began on April 16, 2015 and continued for 3 weeks at the rented hall and then continued at the church sanctuary for another 3 weeks until May 23.

Dave and Ruth Conner attended the series and were very excited about prophecy being fulfilled and the signs of Jesus’ return prominent in the news. They shared how they were blessed to learn more about Jesus and the Prophecies of the bible night after night. They had attended SDA churches before and they expressed that they were considering returning to the SDA church by attending these meetings.

Linda Dupuis attended most of the sessions of the series and was amazed at how she could now understand Bible prophecy and the writings of John in Revelation. She shared how her depression was gone and that she had peace and joy that she did not have before. Linda realized that these meetings have been a blessing to her by learning so much about Jesus and how He wants us to understand the Bible.

Mary Mozingo was amazed at how the Bible revealed what was happening around us in the news and that she could understand God’s plan for us in these last days.   Mary was not satisfied with her current church and its teachings because she could not get the answers that she wanted. One night as the topic of “The Antichrist Revealed” was presented, Mary was waiting in line behind several other guests to speak with Pastor David Morgan about the topic presented. Mary wanted to know who the Antichrist was. During the presentation, 16 characteristics were listed from the Bible and the audience was left to decide who they though fulfilled the prophecy. While Mary was in line just as she reached Pastor David, she realized who the Antichrist was and her face and expression showed it.   She was very surprised and grateful that she determined who it was and then expressed how she could see how the Bible was true.

During this series, the Selah church family was revived and excited about prophecy and the soon return of Jesus. The excitement and enthusiasm of the guests has help the members become more motivated to share the good news.

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Filed under Changed Lives, Preaching, Soul Winning

Momentum – Advertising That Works

Roger 13by Roger Walter, Senior Pastor of the Adventist Community Church of Vancouver

At the Adventist Community Church of Vancouver, WA, we do a lot of evangelism. We usually do 2 series a year and we are baptizing about 30-40+ per year. As time has gone on, the numbers haven’t been as much as we’d like to see. We’re getting the same response rate as anyone else to our advertising – that’s about 1-2 per 1000 brochures mailed out. A year ago, we took a sabbatical from evangelism and skipped our spring meeting and focus on a quality fall series. We began designing a brand new advertising theme in conjunction with SermonView (www.sermonview.com)

We’ve been able to document that it roughly costs $215 to bring each person through the doors of the church for evangelism. So, if you want a crowd of 200 people, you know you have to spend considerable amounts of money. However, we’ve also been able to refine our mailings to know where Continue reading

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Filed under Preaching, Resources, Soul Winning

Resources – Tech Resources that (Are Supposed to) Help the Church

iStock_000006429416_Largeby Pedro Trinidad
Source: NAD Ministerial

Lately I have been compiling a list of resources that can help pastors and church administrators to be more efficient. I get e-mails all the time from different ministries with resources that are supposed to lighten the load church leaders carry. Here are a few of the resources you may find helpful in your ministry. As a disclaimer, I have not used all of these tools – some just don’t fit my current context – but they sound so cool that I hope to use them sometime in the future. Some are free. Some are not. So here we go –  Read More

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Changed Lives – Lisa’s Healing

iStock_000053677580_LargeBy Samuel Tahay, Pastor of the Tualatin Spanish Church

Lisa is a 14 year-old girl, whose parents are Jehovah Witnesses. Lisa loved watching terror and suspense movies, especially spiritualism movies, until her moods started changing. Every day it became worse. Her parents were very worried about her health, so they took her to a doctor. The doctor’s diagnosis was depression and he prescribed her some treatments to control it, only the treatments didn’t work. Every day she continued her downhill spiral until her doctor sent her to the hospital. She was hospitalized for two weeks, but didn’t improve so they transferred her to a mental health hospital.

It was then that Lisa’s parents met our head elder. He offered to take some members of our church to visit her in the hospital. On that visit, they prayed for God to heal her and promised to continue to pray in the days to come. The very next day, the doctor did some tests on her and her parents were told that there was no explanation for it, but Lisa was healed and she didn’t need to stay in the hospital!

Soon after, Lisa received an invitation and handout for our evangelistic campaign. She attended early every night and said to me, “I am enjoying God’s message.” To my surprise, the next Thursday when I made a call for baptism, she was the first person to respond. I was afraid that her parents would be opposed so we prayed for her.

The last Friday, one day before the baptism, we started the meeting and Lisa didn’t come early as usual. Fifteen minutes after I started preaching, a new woman who hadn’t been attending the meetings, entered the church, followed by Lisa. She was Lisa’s mother. After my sermon, the woman came to me to say thank you for the message, and that she supported Lisa’s resolution. Lisa was baptized that Sabbath morning. God healed her mind and her soul!

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Filed under Family, Prayer, Preaching, Soul Winning

Lifelong Learning – 3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church

iStock_000041497574_LargeWhy do so many young people leave the church? Young people who grew up in good homes, with loving Christian parents. Young people who learned about the love of Jesus. Young people who went to Christian schools and went on short term mission trips. Young people who had good youth pastors who showed interest in them.  Young people who volunteered in different ministries within the church during their teenage years. Why? Here is one perspective by Jon Nielson called 3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church.

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Filed under Family, Lifelong Learning, Pastoring, Prayer, Preaching, Youth Ministry