Lent and Outreach – “P6X40”February 2011
by David Bisgrove
As you share your faith with others, I pray that they may come to know all the blessings Christ has given us. – Philemon 6 (CEV)
Next month (March 9 specifically) marks the beginning of Lent, a season when the church traditionally prepares for the celebration of Easter. The 40 days prior to Easter are spent focusing on our hearts, examining our lives in light of the great gift of life provided by the resurrection of Jesus on Easter. It is appropriately marked by, among other things, repentance and self-denial (i.e. ‘giving up something for Lent’), the goal of which is to remember the great gift of redemption and hope we have in Jesus.
So along with perhaps “giving something up for Lent,” we hope this new initiative (P6X40) will encourage those in our community to give up a little more room in their lives for friends and family who aren’t sure what they believe about Jesus (specifically to spend time engaging them and praying for them.) Scripture reminds us that God the Father so loved us that he gave his only Son, Jesus, so that those who believe in Jesus might have eternal life (John 3). In response to this generosity of God—celebrated most fully during the week leading up to and including Easter—we want to encourage those who have experienced God’s grace to extend it to others, as the verse above from Philemon 6 encourages us to do. (Hence the title P6X40: 40 days of generously making room in our lives for others).
The purpose of this initiative is to encourage and challenge one another to think about our friends in the context of mission and repurpose some of our time to that end. For many of us the amount of time we spend purposefully trying to help gospel change happen in our friend’s lives is often too small.We believe that this type of action is critical to Redeemer’s 10-year plan to create generative churches that grow through personal conversion. Some of the opportunities Redeemer will provide to help you in this endeavor will include the promotion of existing events and the creation of some new ones as well.
Look for more information at redeemer.com in the coming weeks for: daily email prayer reminders, the next “Well” prayer event, prayer walks, training, and the next Christianity Uncorked event. So as you begin to think about how to prepare for Lent, consider how you might participate in the P6X40 challenge. For those who try it, we hope it’s not just a 40 day exercise, but that it could even be a lifestyle change.
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