USA (MNN) — Rick Warren’s staff recently completed training for a
citywide “40 Days of Purpose” campaign in New
York City. Warren hopes to involve at
least 300 NYC pastors in the campaign, which will begin this fall with small
groups of New York Christians fanning out across the city to paint schools and
clean up parks.
100 churches in Chattanooga, TN and 270 churches in Orlando, FL
have already staged similar campaigns. The Chattanooga
churches experienced an average growth of 30% during the campaign, echoing the
success of Rick Warren’s original campaign at his own church. During those 40 days, average attendance at
Saddleback Community Church rose by 2,000 people.
claims that the campaign is about spiritual growth rather than church growth,
but he hopes that a citywide campaign will have a greater impact than campaigns
in individual churches.
"One drop of rain is worthless
– it can't do anything. But a thousand drops of rain and a million and a
billion drops of rain can turn a desert into a forest," said Warren. He’s also excited about the challenge of a
campaign in New York City,
which he believes is the most strategic city in the world.
“New York is not one city. It's a nation in
itself,” he said.
According to the Purpose Driven
website, “Purpose Driven is a biblically-based church health model,” focused on
drawing people into worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism
– the five purposes for which God created us.
In a “40 Days of Purpose” campaign,
Warren uses the
strategy of “multiple reinforcement.”
The congregation hears the same message multiple times from the book,
the pastor, small group discussion, Scripture memorization, and group
31,000 American churches (one
out of every 10) have already completed the campaign, as well as thousands of
churches in other countries. There are
7,100 churches in the area of New York
City alone. Some area
pastors hope the campaign will demonstrate the unity of the church.
Warren explained, "We're all different
languages and groups, but we speak with one language and one purpose on this.
And we believe it will be key to revival, reformation and renewal in the
Greater New York City area and become a model for all the other places."