For the second year, we launched a new series on Easter. Last year we launched "Lost" on Easter weekend. The idea is to provide an "on-ramp" to our church on a weekend when lots of people are giving church a try or returning for a yearly visit. It also gives a great opportunity for our folks to invite their non-churched friends and many did.
I was very excited with the way the service came together. Jason's powerful faith story wasn't originally part of the plan. It was set to air last week, but David decided to hold it for this week. I was able to use it as part of my message (which I always prefer whenever possible) without changing one word of my message leading into it. It was simply perfect. The Switchfoot song, "Meant to Live," could not have been more appropriate in the message either and provided an excellent transition from the "Prologue" to "Act One," while also driving home the theme that we have a crucial role to play in the story God is telling.
This coming weekend focuses on the fall of Satan, his continuing influence and role in our world and the spiritual battle we are engaged in today. It's going to be a challenging message to put together, even with the help of the Eldridge's book. It's challenging mostly because I don't think in terms of that battle enough. I know it, but it's not enough a part of my day-to-day world view...to my deficit.
The inspiration for doing this series came from two sources. Aside from being familiar with the book, a Twin Cities church named Real Life Church did it last year. The inspiration for the kind of trailer we did came directly from them. I also had a great talk with their pastor and he sent me all of his material. They went in a different direction than we decided to go, but it looks like what they did was awesome.
The other inspiration came from one of our members, Linda Berg. She requested a series on spiritual warfare after one of my messages last year ,and I wrote it down for consideration as I planned this year. While this isn't exactly a series on spiritual warfare (we'll still more on this more often in the future, I hope), it was a way of addressing that important subject.