Some milestones hit harder than others. It may seem strange, but reaching my 33rd birthday was a hard one for me. It only lasted for a few days, but it started when I realized that I was the same age as Jesus when he went to the cross! It wasn't the fact that he died at 33 that bothered me. What bothered me was that I had a picture in my mind of 33-year-old Jesus (Saviour of the world, Creator of the universe...) who, of course, was older than me (eternally older). But suddenly I the same "age" as my Saviour and God. I realize that the logic was flawed but it still rocked my world a bit. It didn't help that a (much older) friend of mine came to the door with a birthday card and said "So this is your Jesus year!" It was well-intentioned but it re-started my mini existential crisis. On the other hand my fortieth birthday came and went without any anxiety and with a wonderful celebration with family and friends.
So what about a church reaching forty? In the grand scheme of things forty is young for a church. But forty has a weight of significance for a church. It's no longer a "new plant". It has got some experience under its belt. It has a future lying ahead of it. And churches often "plateau" at around the forty year mark. At that point churches have systems in place and traditions developed that make it easy to go on auto-pilot. But the mission of Jesus was never intended to be automatic, it IS intended by God to be intentional. The forty-year mark is a good time for churches to remember why they exist, who they exist for and who holds their future.
Westview Baptist Church will turn forty on June 6, 2021. We want to celebrate that milestone, but we also want to intentionally reflect on who we are, why we are here and what God wants for us as step into the next forty years of ministry. So we have developed a forty-day devotional guide to help lead all of us through a time of reflection and preparation for the celebration of our fortieth and for the beginning of the next forty. The guide is called "40 Days for 40 Years" and it includes:
ideas for giving expression to our reflections
opportunities to share what we're doing and learning with others...
Our hope is that, beginning on April 27th, the whole congregation and all who partner with us in ministry will join in on this spiritual adventure. But we will only send it to you if you ask! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a digital copy. If you need a hard copy, you can request that (we'll need your current mailing address and time to send it to you). You can also let others know who don't have internet access. They can request a hard copy by leaving a message at 519-681-9844 ext.210.
Let us know that you want to be part of this celebration and spiritual adventure. Let's prepare for forty together.