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What is a 50-Day Spiritual Adventure?
The 50-Day Spiritual Adventure is a church-wide journey into the life-changing Word of God, lasting seven weeks within eight Sundays.
What is unique about the 50-Day Spiritual Adventure?
The 50-Day Spiritual Adventure is a proven, practical way to help entire congregations explore God's Word and learn to "Do what it says." (James 1:22b)
How will I benefit from the Adventure as a pastor?
The 50-Day Spiritual Adventure is designed around the "Mainstay Model" for life-changing communication, which helps pastors improve sermon retention and sermon application, so your listeners better remember and apply what you preach, so that measurable life change results.
How will my church benefit from the 50-Day Spiritual Adventure?
The 50-Day Spiritual Adventure gets your entire congregation on an adventure into the life-changing Word of God. Adults, teens, and children as young as those in kindergarten can get involved by using their age-appropriate journals. For most people, participation takes about 10 minutes a day. The journals get people into God's Word with an emphasis on learning how to apply the Word to everyday living. Practical application steps equip users to learn to "Do what it says." (James 1:22b). The Adventure also coordinates the journals with the eight Sunday services in the Adventure. The goal is to provide practical ways to help churchgoes remember and practice what your pastor preaches on Sunday mornings. In this regard, Adventure Sundays are designed to be as life-changing and transformative as possible. 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.
How can my church get involved?
The best way is by attending one of Mainstay's training seminar for Sunday communicators. At this half-day event we pitch a vision for life-changing Sundays, teach a model for Sunday communication that will improve sermon retention and application, and preview resources, including 50-Day Spiritual Adventures, that you can use to get started.If you cannot make a seminar, you can schedule a phone consultation with one of our staff, or simply order any Adventure Starter Kit and read the manual instructions on your own.
What denomination or religious affiliation are you a part of?
None. We service pastor and churches from nearly every denomination.
Who writes your material?
We either write material using our internal writing and editing staff, or we hire experts in their fields of specialty to write for us. Also, many written components of our manuals are contributed voluntarily by pastors from all across North America.
What denominations use your material?
Churches from nearly every single one, including Salvation Army, Methodists, Evangelical Free, Church of God Anderson, C&MA, Presbyterians, Baptists, Wesleyans, Nazarenes, Lutherans, and numerous others.
How much does the Adventure cost?
It depends on the size of your congregation and what resources you decide to order. A typical church of 125 will order about $650 of Adventure resources, and pay for them via sales or donations they receive from their participants to cover the costs of their journals and guidebooks.
What do participants need to do the Adventure?
An adult participant needs their Bible, one journal and the Adventure guidebook. Any child or teen needs their Bible and a journals.
What do pastors, church leaders need to facilitate the Adventure?
Pastors need the Adventure Starter Kit that contains the Pastor's Manual of sermon and worship helps, the Implementation Guide for your Administrator, sample journals and more. Leader's Guides are available separately for Youth Pastors, Sunday School and Small Group Leaders.
Can I return unused materials?
Participant's resources are returnable for an Exchange Credit of 85% of the purchase price.
What age levels of materials do you have?
We have regular and Large Print journals for adults, a youth journal for teens, a journal for children in grades 3-6, and an activity book for children in grades K-2.
Do you have materials for Sunday School?
We have our Small Group Leader's Guide and Adventure Video which most leaders simply adapt for the Sunday School environment.
Do you have materials for Youth groups?
We have a Youth Leader's Guide and EdgeTV video available for conducting large or small group meetings with your teens.
Do you have material for Small groups or Bible studies?
Yes. Our Small Group Leader's Guide and Adventure Video provide you with everything you need, besides journals and guidebooks, to run effective adult small groups around Adventure topics.
Can people share journals?
Not effectively. We recommend every individual have their own journal to record their own spiritual progress and to write down what the Lord is saying to them on a regular basis.
Can we reproduce materials?
You cannot reproduce anything without written permission, with a few exceptions like the Pastor's Manual. Since Mainstay Church Resources exists primarily from the sale of resources, we usually don't grant "FREE" permissions. Once in a while we bend this rule.
Why 50 Days?
Experts say it takes 21 days to build a habit, so the Adventure provides ample time for participants to break unhealthy spiritual habits, or to make healthy new ones.
Why the word "Adventure"?
The Christian life is an adventure-a journey or exploration of learning to overcome sin in our lives and learning to become more like our Lord, Jesus Christ, who is holy as God is holy.
What is the time commitment for journaling each day?
The Adventure takes about 10-15 minutes each day to accomplish, with more time needed to achieve the life-application steps.
When can you do the Adventure?
Most churches find there are five seasons when the Adventure is most appropriate to use: as a New Year series, leading up to Easter, following Easter, during the summer, or in the Fall back-to-school season.
Why should I come to a Adventure training seminar?
It's your greatest value--you receive the most teaching, training, deals, insights from staff and veterans, motivation, inspiration and financial savings at the seminar than anywhere else.
How do you create your themes each year?
Usually we solicit the ideas and opinions of pastors and church leaders all across the country to determine what the most timely, appropriate topic is to develop—one that will be received positively by the most churches in the most places all across the nation.
Can you run an Adventure more than once each year?
You can, but Mainstay generally discourages it. The Adventure is a 7-week, 8-Sunday emphasis on accelerated spiritual growth that really stretches your congregation. Most churches who do two Adventures in a year experience some congregational fatigue and burnout on the Adventure. So we recommend you get into a pattern of doing it once per year.
If there is not a conference in my area what do I do?
You can order your Adventure Starter Kit directly and take advantage of our staff telephone consultation services to guide and steer you into a successful implementation.
What is your Statement of Faith?
It's clearly articulated online at www.sundaysolutions.com/info.html
Do we have to do all 50 days?
It takes the full seven weeks for people to establish healthy, new spiritual habits like daily bible study, consistent prayer, Scripture memory and meditation, regular church attendance, sermon application, and learning to do what God's Word says (James 1:22b). It can take even longer for people to overcome negative, unhealthy habits. So, yes you need to commit yourself to the full 50 days. Any effort that's less than this is nearly sure to fail to accomplish any successful outcome—which we define as truly transformed spiritual lives.
I only want a preaching series. What can you do for me?
Mainstay does have numerous topical preaching series available that are value-priced and contain both sermon and worship service helps, but they lack any take-home, life-application tools. Check these out online at www.sundaysolutions.com/50dayspirad.html
I don't like canned programs so how can the Adventure work for me?
If you think the Adventure is a "canned program" that you have to rigidly follow and methodically perform, it won't work for you, so don't bother using it and complaining about it later. If you view the Adventure as a church-wide journey into the life-changing Word of God, then you'll see its potential to impact your church much more clearly. It contains a proven model for life-changing Sundaycommunication, and numerous life-application resources to help your listeners better remember and apply your sermons so that God's Word can be bringing about life-transformation within your congregation. The Adventure is a resource full of unique sermon helps, but you always supply the unique sermon style.
What percentage of my church can I expect to participate?
Most churches see 60-70% of their congregation use the journals or join an Adventure small group to get involved. Some get nearly 100%, but it's rare. Also, many adventurers will not complete the entire journey, and of those who do get to the end, fewer still will be able to permanently incorporate what they've learned during the adventure into their ongoing lifestyle. But when it's all said and done, a half dozen or more will have experienced an incredible transformation within their spiritual lives because of the Adventure and your sermons during it. They will have literally re-oriented themselves spiritually to overcome sin in their lives, and become more like our Lord, Jesus Christ, on a regular ongoing basis.
What if I am unsatisfied with your material or my board shoots it down?
To be completely honest, most churches that are unsatisfied with the Adventure after it's done have failed to implement the Adventure properly. That's a shame, but it happens. The Adventure is a "reap what you sow" kind of event. If you prepare little, publicize and announce it little, do not undergird it with prayer, fail to get your leadership on board, and only preach the sermons, it's unlikely you'll experience any life-changing impact. You may even hear people complaining about the Adventure. But, if you properly invest the amount of time it requires to implement this church-wide journey into God's Word successfully, it will nearly always deliver for you steady, reliable results. Over 15 years of doing Adventures in churches of all types across America and Canada have demonstrated that God consistently uses this tool to transform people's lives. If you "sow" the proper amount of implementation effort, and it is still received poorly, then it may simply not be an appropriate fit for your congregation at this time. If your board is unhappy with the resource before you have even begun, return any materials you've purchased within the last 30 days for a full refund.
What denomination is David Mains affiliated with?
His ordination is with the Evangelical Free Church.
What are my responsibilities as a pastor doing the Adventure?
To preach the eight sermons. To plan eight services that support your messages (or delegate this to your worship leader or service planner). To delegate administrative leadership to your secretary or other Adventure coordinator. To be the top spokesman for getting your entire congregation involved. To do the journal. To lead by example.
Should I take on all the responsibilities of the Adventure by myself?
If you do, you will almost surely fail. You must delegate responsibility to others—usually this includes delegating administrative tasks and publicity efforts to competent helpers.
Who at Mainstay can help me should there be any problems?
Any one of our staff consultants can assist you in working through any issue, dilemma or concern that you might have. Call us at1-800-224-2735.
What can I expect from going to a pastor's conference?
To be motivated to catch a vision for life-changing Sundays. To be taught the "Mainstay Model" for life-changing Sundaycommunication. To receive and/or preview 50-Day Spiritual Adventure resources (and other sermon helps) that emphasize life application. To get the best prices, deals and offers. To meet and network with other pastors who desire to be more effective communicators. To have the opportunity to join Team Sundays.
Why isn't Mainstay coming to my town for a conference?
We can't be everywhere, obviously. But we typically go where there seems to be numerous interested pastors, and a hospitable church to host the seminar.
How do I justify the cost of doing the Adventure to my church leadership, board, elders, staff etc.
The easiest way to do this is by simply pointing out that most churches request a simple donation or purchase amount from their participants who want to get journals and guidebooks. For church families, the cost ends up being about the sum of a fast-food dinner. For the church, this process will usually recover 85-100% of the cost of purchasing Adventure materials by your church. In the end, you will most likely not require any funds out of your budget to do the Adventure. If any sum is required, the amount should be exceptionally small in comparison to the depth of ministry that will occur in the life of your congregation.
What comes in a church starter kit?
Your 300-page Pastor's Manual of comprehensive sermon and Sunday service ideas, sample journals for adults, teens and kids grades K-6, a sample Guidebook, Leadership Training Guides and the Administrator's Packet for successful implementation.
What are your most popular Adventure(s)?
The Church You've Always Longed For has been consistently in demand. Celebrate Jesus is great for an emphasis on evangelism. The others are topical, and vary in popularity depending on thier subject material.
How is your Advent material different from the Adventure?
The primary goal of Advent is to help people stay focused on Christ during the often busy and hectic Christmas season. The primary goal of the Adventure is to help people reach a new level of maturity in their spiritual life by overcoming some sinful pattern or beginning some new, healthy spiritual pattern. Because of this distinction, the Adventure accelerates people's growth more than Advent does. Both get people into God's Word daily, and equip them to better remember and apply the sermons that you preach throughout each series.
What is the Advent Celebration?
The Advent Celebration is a church-wide Christmastime journey into God's life-changing Word. It occurs the Sunday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and ends the Sunday following Christmas Day.
"Advent" is not a tradition our church uses. How can we benefit from your Christmas material?
Every church runs Sunday services from Thanksgiving to New Year's, so whether it's in your vocabulary to use the word "Advent" or not, you can still fully benefit from this Christmastime series for your entire congregation.
How many services are included in the Advent Celebration?
It includes sermons for the 4 Sundays of Advent (the four before Christmas), a Christmas Eve or Day message, and one for theSunday following Christmas. Some pastors will launch the series with a message the Sunday prior to Advent beginning.
What can I do to re-direct resistance from my people to doing the Adventure journal?
Good question. It's a nearly identical question to "What can I do to re-direct resistance from my people to reading their Bibles." The Adventure is simply a life-application Bible study that is coordinated to your Sunday sermons for seven consecutive weeks. Emphasize how much careful preparation you put into your sermons, and much you desire for your people to get the most out of them as possible by using the journals daily. Emphasize the importance of being in the Word of God consistently. When we draw near to God, he will honor our efforts and draw near to us in return. By reading his Word, we learn what he desires for us and we can begin to "Do what it says" (James 1:22b) Emphasize the importance of regular meals. We would all think it foolish to exist on only one physical meal each week. Likewise, my Sunday morning sermon isn't sufficient as your only spiritual meal of the week. You need to be feeding yourself spiritually at home, daily by getting into God's Word. Use the Adventure journals to get this habit started. If you already have a daily study, use the Adventure journals to add a life-application emphasis to your study of God's Word.