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franklin county times

Two churches rediscover their Purpose'

By Staff
November 6, 2004
BIBLE STUDY One of the religious practices that is sweeping through the Bible Belt is the concept of 40 Days of Purpose. Here Patty McMillan, left, Judy Leonard, Dana Smith, Delores Bailey, Ron Leonard and Sheila McDonald all sit in the Leonard's living room while study about the purposeful days.
Photo by Kyle Carter / The Meridian Star
By Ida Brown / staff writer
Answers to two of the most basic questions people face in life why are they here and what is their purpose are defined in "The Purpose Driven Life."
Written by Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif., the award-winning book is a 40-day devotional-style discovery of meaning and significance in life.
In recent years, "40 Days of Purpose" campaigns have been set up at churches nationwide to help establish God's intention and design. The format usually includes individual daily devotional reading, as well as weekly small-group study.
Highland Baptist and Jones Chapel Church of God in Clarkdale are two area churches nearing completion of their 40-day campaigns.
Defining purpose
Like many congregations, Highland and Jones embarked on the 40-day campaign to strengthen their memberships.
The campaign's five purposes have been implemented in every aspect of the churches' services and ministries.
Study groups at Highland were organized through the church's Sunday school classes. In addition, seven smaller study groups consisting of non-members from the community were established. A church member meets with the group once a week at a designated location.
Jones Chapel set up home study groups, which met Sunday evenings during the church's regular evening service time.
Purpose defined
The rewards of the 40-day Purpose Driven campaign have exceeded expectations. Members have been enriched not only as a church body, but also individually.
Fellow member Donnie Smith agrees.
Rachel Galyean of Jones Chapel said "it has highlighted my life. It has brought joy back into my life to think I'm a special person and God has me here for a reason."

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