First Baptist begins 40 Days of Purpose

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Got purpose?

That's the question the First Baptist Church is posing to Craig as the congregation gears up for its 40 Days of Purpose campaign. "It's just 40 days of focusing on God's purpose in our lives," Pastor Brian Haynes said.

The title of Haynes' Sunday message reflects the question he hopes the campaign will answer, "What on earth am I here for?"

First Baptist is joining 350 other Colorado churches for the campaign, which originated at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.

After Saddleback's 40 Days of Purpose campaign, the church baptized 671 new Christians and added almost 1,200 new members. Attendance increased an average of 22 percent.

Saddleback's senior pastor, Rick Warren, then wrote "The Purpose-Driven Life," which has sold 16 million copies since 2002.

Haynes has read the book several times and looks forward to reading it once more. The book is clearly written and its relevance is amazing, he said. Those participating in the 40 Days of Purpose campaign will read a chapter of Warren's book each day and meet in small groups to discuss the reading. Ten groups of eight to 10 people have been formed, and Haynes is hoping two more get together before the campaign starts.

The discussion groups are crucial in helping readers process what they're learning, Haynes said.

The campaign kicks off Saturday when First Baptist's congregation gathers at the church for a simulcast that will be broadcast to the 13,000 churches participating in the campaign nationwide.

"The 40 days give a tremendous opportunity to answer some of life's most important questions, Haynes said.

After church members have studied the book for several weeks, heard several messages and started thinking about what God's purpose for their life really is, Haynes said the church will hold a ministry fair to give people the opportunity to work toward achieving their purpose.

Opportunities include working with youth, teaching Sunday school, helping in the nursery or participating in small groups.

The campaign ends with Celebration Sunday, a party the church will host to celebrate its members' growth.

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