Small groups to answer big question

Later this month, people in small groups all over the Carson Valley will begin to formulate an answer to one of life's biggest questions. The study guide for this quest will be the best-selling book "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren, sub-titled with the question "What on Earth am I here for?" The book will be supplemented by six weekly 20-minute video sessions in small groups throughout the Valley.

When Valley Christian Fellowship in Gardnerville kicks off its "40 Days of Purpose Campaign" on Feb. 18, it will join a worldwide network of thousands of churches in a six-week effort designed to bring people closer together, to form new friendships and to discover the true meaning of life.

Inspired by remarkable stories of spiritual renewal and growth, an estimated 13,000 churches from 60 Christian denominations (and non-denominations) have experienced the purpose driven phenomena inspired by Warren's book.

Valley Christian's senior pastor Leo Kruger expects about 500 participants here in the Carson Valley, with roughly half of that number from outside his congregation.

"This is open to anyone who's interested, they don't have to be members of our church, and they don't have to be members of any church for that matter. It's for people who want to understand why we're here on this planet, and to find the purpose for their own lives."

"Right now we have about 30 small study groups forming, and with three weeks to go, we expect to add even more," Kruger said. "We've posted all the "host homes" and small group leaders in our Coffee House (Holy Grounds, next to the church), and anyone can come in to join a group just by calling the host."

At the center of the campaign is the fastest-selling hard cover nonfiction book in history, "The Purpose Driven Life," which has sold more than 16 million copies since the book's release in 2002. The book will be provided at no cost to all participants of the small groups, according to Kruger.

During the 40 Days of Purpose Campaign at Valley Christian, the truths about God's five purposes for people - worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism - will be communicated repeatedly in five different ways:

n Kick-off party with author Rick Warren's introductory video presentation, 5 p.m. Feb. 18

n Weekly message by Pastor Kruger, 9:30 a.m. Sundays or Matt Simpson, 6:30 p.m. Saturdays

n Personal or family daily devotional reading

n Weekly Scripture memory verse

n Weekly small group video lesson with discussion

"In this short 40-day study, people will be exposed to God's purposes for their lives in many different formats," said Kruger. "This will allow for the truths to sink deeper into hearts, which is essential for any permanent life change."

"It's not about you - that's how the book starts," said Kruger. "People are looking for meaning in their lives, and what could be better than a personal relationship with the Creator of the whole universe?"

Valley Christian Fellowship and Holy Grounds Coffee House are located in the old theaters on Highway 395, next to the Gardnerville Post Office. Kruger welcomes everyone to stop by for a cup of coffee, or give them a call at 783-8630.


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