In the January 23, 2013 Wetzel Chronicle:
“What on Earth am I here for?” is a question just about everyone asks themselves at some point in their lives. Everyone needs to know that their lives have meaning and purpose. That is why the self-help section in book stores are bulging with advice and talk shows like Dr. Phil are so popular. People are searching for meaning and advice.
The First Church of God in New Martinsville, located at 255 Russell Ave., near Wal-Mart, is beginning a program to help people find their purpose and lead a more fulfilling and directed life.
The church is beginning the “40 Days of Purpose” campaign Jan. 27 with a kick-off simulcast at 10:30 a.m.
The “40 Days of Purpose” program has taken place at thousands of churches from countless denominations. It is inspired by Rick Warren’s best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life”.
“The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years,” writes Warren. “That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point–ourselves….But focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose. You didn’t create yourself, so there is no way you can tell yourself what you were created for!”
The campaign will use a variety of techniques to lead people in the journey to find their purpose. “Perhaps the most exciting and helpful aspect of this campaign are small groups,” said Pastor Russ Whitener. “We currently have groups forming and expect we will need more to accommodate all of the people who want to take part in this journey.”
The small groups will meet in homes or at the church on various days. The groups of about 10 people will watch a 20-minute video from the “40 Days of Purpose” campaign and then use that as a springboard for discussion and study with a provided guide and the Bible. Every participant in a small group will also receive a free hardback edition of “The Purpose Driven Life”.
“This is not a study without Biblical backing,” notes Pastor Whitener. “The book uses over 1,200 scriptural quotes and references to support its teaching.”
In addition to the kick-off simulcast, small groups, and books, Pastor Whitener will be preaching on topics coordinating with the studies on Sunday mornings during the regular worship service at 10:45 a.m.
“People will hear about God’s purposes for their lives in many different formats. This will allow for the truths to sink deeper into hearts, which is essential for any permanent life change,” said Whitener.
During the 40 Days of Purpose Campaign at the First Church of God, the truths about God’s five purposes for people–worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism–will be communicated
The church hopes many people in the community will want to join this exciting journey to find the true purpose of life. Call 304-455-3453 today to get signed up for a small group. More information on the First Church of God in New Martinsville and the “40 Days of Purpose” campaign can be found on the church’s website at nmfcog.org.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE 40 DAYS OF PURPOSE?
- It is a spiritual growth event.
- Explores God’s 5 purposes for every person’s life, answering the question, “What on earth am I here for?”
- It is for every person – by helping us put these purposes into practice at the individual level, small group level, and church-wide level.
- During these 40 days we will have a Ministry / Missions Fair – like a church job fair which showcases all the ministries and outreaches at NMFCOG and gives you the opportunity to get involved.
- Will conclude with Celebration Sunday where we celebrate all God has done in our midst over the past 40 days.
- Finally, it will be the beginning of a deeper relationship with God between you, your family, and New Martinsville First Church of God.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF 40 DAYS?
“Why 40 days? What’s so special about that time frame?” The Bible is clear that God considers 40 days to be a spiritually significant time period. Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days:
- Noah’s life was transformed by 40 days of rain.
- Moses was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai.
- The spies were transformed by 40 days in the Promised Land.
- David was transformed by Goliath’s 40 day challenge.
- Elijah was transformed when God gave him 40 days of strength from a single meal.
- The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave them 40 days to change.
- Jesus was empowered by 40 days in the wilderness.
- The disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus after his resurrection.
DIRECTION, NOT JUST DURATION
It’s not just the duration, however, but the direction of 40 Days of Purpose that changes lives. This emphasis is designed to help you answer the most basic question of life: What on earth am I here for? During 40 days, you will rediscover God’s five eternal purposes for your life:
- Worship: If you think worship is all about singing, think again! Discover the full-orbed idea behind worship, and begin to practice real worship during the Campaign.
- Fellowship: If you haven’t joined a small group yet, you will have a chance to connect with one for six weeks to study the five purposes in community with others.
- Discipleship: If you need encouragement to grow by developing the personal disciplines of daily Bible reading and scripture memory, you will find inspiration during the Campaign as you read along in the Purpose Driven Life book, and memorize a weekly scripture verse about each purpose.
- Ministry: If you haven’t discovered where you can use your gifts and skills to serve others, you’ll have a chance to explore opportunities and get plugged in to serve with a ministry that needs you. You will also be challenged to think beyond where you may be comfortable, and to have a servant’s heart
- Evangelism: If you feel fearful or ill-equipped to communicate your faith to others, you will learn how to share your own story, and develop an effective life mission statement. You’ll have a chance to investigate the various missions and outreaches our church is involved in, and see where you might like to serve.