40 Days of Purpose - Overview for Churches

Next 40 Days of Purpose

Start dates Lent 14 February 2010 - Autumn  12 September 2010

(or you can start your campaign at anytime throughout the year)

Resources and registration >>

What is 40 Days of Purpose?

It is a spiritual growth emphasis for the local church.

’40 Days of Purpose’ is a powerful life-changing journey for local churches. It is a spiritual growth emphasis that encourages every member of the congregation to participate in deepening their relationship with God through worship, small group studies and through daily personal readings. Over 2000 churches in the UK have completed and benefitted from 40 Days of Purpose.

One church writes: “40 Days of Purpose was the best thing that has happened in our church for years.”
40 Days of Purpose has established a track record of changing lives and churches.

Key Elements

  • Worship - Six special worship services leading to a Celebration Sunday at the close of the journey.
  • Small Groups - Small Groups with study material designed to take the Sunday message deeper by studying specific scripture passages.
  • Personal Study - Each member with 40 days of personal devotional readings in the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, California. This is the real heart of the journey. The goal is to encourage everyone to think about God’s purposes for their lives on a daily basis.

The Result: It is these three emphases (worship; small group sharing and individual daily readings) coming together that make 40 Days of Purpose so effective. It has been the beginning of newly spiritually awakened churches growing together in Christ and reaching more people in the community than ever before. 

What's in the Resource Kit

A Sample of The Purpose Driven Life - This is the backbone of the Campaign. As each person in your church reads through The Purpose driven Life, one chapter a day for 40 Days, they will begin to understand what on earth they are here for!

Training Kit
3 DVDs
containing 11 training sessions that coach your Campaign Team to effectively guide your congregation through the 40 Days of Purpose Campaign.

Training Manual offering detailed timelines and implementation guidelines.

Regular emails from Purpose Driven UK giving further help, advice, and encouragement

Resource Kit
Campaign Resource CD. This is a collection of over 300 pieces containing everything from sermons and bulletin inserts to children, youth and small group study guides.
You need a Computer with Microsoft Word®, Acrobat Reader® to open most of these files.

Sample Adult and Youth Memory Verse Keyrings and Tags. These are a simple way of encouraging your congregation to memorise some notable passages of God's Word.
These verses cover each of the 6 purposes.

Lobby Posters. Sample posters to promote your 40 Days of Purpose Campaign

Simulcast DVD. The catalytic launch point for the Campaign is the Simulcast, and the DVD version of that event is included.

Sample of the Small Group Curriculum book
Children and Youth sample books

Day 41 Manual.
This is to help you plan your church strategy after the campaign.

Further resources are available from our website after you have registered your church

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can we start our 40 Days Campaign on a different date from everybody else?

A: Our experience is that it's better to have one start date for all of the churches involved in a campaign, so that every congregation is at the same phase at the same time. This guarantees that we can give you the best support and resources necessary for a successful 40 Days campaign. Although you can start the campaign at any time throughout the year, here are a few reasons to stay within the Campaign dates:
  1. We cannot guarantee that you will receive your resources in time. We've planned our inventory levels and shipping cycles to coincide with the Campaign start dates. If you start at a different time, you run the risk of not obtaining your resources in time, or having to buy The Purpose-Driven Life books at a higher rate locally (We're able to offer them at a special Campaign price). We don't want to see you spending more money on resources than necessary.
  2. Starting at a different time gets you off-schedule with our strategically-timed communication and coaching. We will be sending out weekly emails that are time-sensitive; our goal is to provide specific coaching for each week leading up to and during the 40 Days Campaign. You and your team will miss out on the benefit of this week-by-week coaching that deals with specific issues we know you'll face as you get closer to your 40 Days Campaign.
  3. Starting at a different time means your church will miss being part of a simultaneous launch with other churches; this means you'll miss out on the full power and impact of 40 Days.
Q: We're sort of a Lone Ranger church. Is it really that important to do this Campaign when everyone else is doing it?

A: In addition to the benefits of strong support and timely resourcing, imagine the benefits of SYNERGY. There is a certain energy and power that comes from doing 40 Days in concert with a group of others. Perhaps it’s best to quote a church leader who's already been through 40 Days: “The reason I feel this is one of the most effective Campaigns I’ve ever been a part of is the synergism that this created ... with other churches all across the country, and around the world for that matter.”

Q: We're a small church and can't afford to do 40 Days of Purpose. What are our options? Are scholarships available?

A: If you cannot afford to participate in the Campaign - particularly if you are a small church or a new church plant, please contact us at and let's discuss what you can afford. We'll work it out.

Q: What do we get for the basic registration fee?

A: Here's a detailed answer to this question that you can print and distribute to your church leadership: what we provide. In general, your registration fee gets you the following:
  • Seven weekend service plans, including Rick's sermon notes for each week of the Campaign.
  • A comprehensive Campaign Resource Kit with a CD-ROM of 150 reproducible and customizable materials.
  • A set of eleven DVD training sessions.
  • Detailed Campaign planning guidelines.
  • A DVD of the National Simulcast, which kicks off the Campaign.

Q: Can our church just order some of the Campaign resources without participating in the Campaign?

A: Campaign resources are only available to churches who are participating in the 40 Days of Purpose. Unfortunately, we do not have enough of a supply to provide resources to non-Campaign churches at this time.

Q: Can our church team up with another church and share the Campaign tools?

A: We don’t recommend this approach to the 40 Days. The Campaign involves a set of resources as well as on-going communication and support. Logistically, it would be difficult to co-ordinate those resources, support and communication with a group at another physical location. If cost is the issue, we’ll work with you to arrive at a cost that is manageable for your church.

Q: We're a small church. Can we really do a Saddleback spiritual growth campaign?

A: We encourage you to go for it! As a small church, you may not require the same number of people on your Campaign Team, and you may not need to use all of the communication tools we provide - but we've seen time and again how this spiritual growth campaign has been used by God to lay the groundwork for a deep spiritual encounter and to create the momentum for the greatest numerical growth in a congregation’s history!

Q: We're a new church plant. Should we think about only doing a part of the Campaign?

A: We recommend that you do the whole Campaign, no matter the size or history of your church. The power and impact of the Campaign is best captured by the principle of “multiple reinforcement.” This means that the themes of the Campaign are reinforced by layering the same message as it is repeated from several perspectives: the Weekend Services, the weekly Bible Studies, the daily personal readings, and the weekly memory verse. All of these are essential to experience the full power of the Campaign. To extract any of the pieces means you minimize the impact.

Q: We're a traditional church. Is this campaign better-suited to contemporary seeker-oriented churches?

A: The five purposes taught during 40 Days are biblical and timeless, and they apply to every person in the world. As to your particular church style and denomination, you will select delivery mechanisms that suit your church culture. The campaign materials are designed in such a way as to give you maximum flexibility to customize everything so that it fits into your context, while still enabling you to deliver a message that’s consistent with biblical principles. We’ve heard story after story from “traditional” churches whose members were skeptical about this campaign working in their setting, but who were enthusiastic about it by the end of the first weekend after they saw lives changed through the power of the biblical truths presented during 40 Days.

Q: How effective is the 40 Days Campaign at reaching the unchurched?

A: Although this Campaign was originally designed as a discipleship tool for people who are already Christians, we discovered - almost by accident - that it has a tremendous power to woo and transform pre-Christians! By asking, during the opening week, “What on Earth Am I Here For?” your church has a powerful opportunity to draw in the unchurched who feel something is missing in their lives. This question is an especially effective bridge for hosts to use when inviting people to their homes for a six-week video-based discussion group. So, in essence, 40 Days could become one of the most effective evangelistic tools your church has ever implemented.

Q: Is this Campaign just marketing hype, or is there real biblical depth to it?

A: Well, somebody actually asked this, so we thought we’d answer it here just in case anyone else was thinking it and just didn’t have the nerve to ask it! As you read The Purpose-Driven Life, you'll reference over 1,000 scripture verses that illuminate the biblical principles being taught through the book. The five purposes – worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism – are all drawn from scripture, and even the concept of a 40-day journey is based on example after example in the Bible where God used a 40-day time frame to work a major change in a person’s life. So, be reassured – this Campaign will help ground people in the Word of God.