"What on earth am I here for?" It's a daunting question and one that probably every human being has asked at some point in life. It's this question for which First Baptist Church of Thomson will seek answers during its 40 Days of Purpose spiritual journey.
The 40 Days of Purpose experience is based on Pastor Rick Warren's internationally known book The Purpose Driven Life. Pastor Warren's message has brought a new spiritual vigor to countless individuals and thousands of churches throughout the United States and around the world.
FBC's journey will begin on Sunday, Jan. 23, at 4:30 p.m., in the church sanctuary with a special Kick-Off Event. The Kick-Off Event and participation in 40 Days of Purpose are open to the community. Copies of Warren's book will be available at the Kick-Off Event free of charge to any individuals who wish to be a part of the study.
"Our church family is so excited about the spiritual possibilities of these 40 days," said FBC pastor Dr. Jim Ramsey. "I'm seeing such wonderful enthusiasm, a real hunger for spiritual growth. I don't know if we can even imagine now the incredible things that are going to begin happening not only in our church but also in our community," he added.
The 40 Days experience is built on three elements: daily devotional readings in The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Warren's weekly video lesson with the opportunity for small group discussion in Sunday School, and the Sunday morning worship service. In the six weeks of the spiritual journey, participants come to understand the five distinct purposes for which God created man.
"As enthusiastic as I am about Rick Warren's book, I'm even more excited about the prospect of our church family and the friends who join us all having the same spiritual discovery focus for six weeks," said FBC Director of Teaching Kathie Mogish. "Having a purpose as specific as answering that question 'What on earth am I here for?' as the reason for our Bible study and our prayer time is going to have a powerful impact."
From Jan. 30 through March 6, special 40 Days of Purpose small group discussion sessions will begin at 9:45 a.m. each Sunday. The sessions will feature Pastor Warren's teaching of the week's lesson.
The 11 a.m. worship services will also focus on the message of the week's readings, with music and drama playing an important part in the worship experience.
First Baptist has added a feature of its own to 40 Days of Purpose.
"I wanted us to put our own personality into the 40 Days study," said Dr. Ramsey. "We needed a theme to build everything around, something to get people's attention early in the process even before the real work of spiritual discovery begins."
The church's 40 Days Coordinating Team adopted the idea of an archaeological dig as the backdrop.
"We're calling it 'Treasures Within: A Journey of Spiritual Discovery,'" said Ms. Mogish. "When Dr. Ramsey talked with us about a theme, someone mentioned archaeology; and we kept coming back to the image of archaeologist Howard Carter getting his first glimpse of the treasures inside the tomb of King Tut. He looked in and said, 'I see wonderful things!'"
"That's exactly what we're hoping to do," said Dr. Ramsey. "But instead of digging into the earth to uncover treasures, we're going to be delving deeply into our own hearts and our relationships with God to find the incredible treasures that He's put there."
For additional information about FBC's 40 Days of Purpose, contact Kathie Mogish at 595-4252.