Friends of mine at Stewardship came up with this brilliant way to celebrate Lent-The 40acts challenge.
40 days of Lent, 40 reflections and 40 acts of generosity to impact others.
Now in its fifth consecutive year, 40acts is an award-winning campaign that challenges people to do Lent differently. On 18th February you will be offered the chance to give ‘out’ rather than just give something up. Last year over 46,000 people took part leading to a wave of over 1.8million acts of generosity.
From leaving anonymous gifts to sharing testimonies, 40acts gives people an opportunity to live out their faith in a fun and practical way. Last year people of all faiths and none participated in the campaign, with one challenger commenting: “As a Muslim, I have learnt to admire the Christian faith, connect similarities and be more tolerant.”
40acts challengers also have the opportunity to become part of a community who inspire each other by sharing stories across social media throughout Lent. Last year this led to starting a trend for buying presents from strangers’ wedding gift lists and ‘chocolate mobbing’ on public transport where people bought entire train carriages and busses a treat. But apart from these stunts, many participants reported a fundamental change in their lifestyle and attitude. One lady shared her experience with the team: “For the last five years I have had a long term chronic illness, which has changed my lifestyle beyond words. The frustration I have felt in not be able to serve within my community has been great. But 40acts has shown me how wrong I am. I can think outside the box and do so much more in small ways. I now feel blessed instead of bitter.”
Those taking part in the challenge will be sent a daily reflection from one of 40 Christian contributors along with generosity challenges each day by email. These exciting and fresh challenges are an opportunity for us to build a daily habit of living generously and allow us to reflect the compassionate and generous heart of God.
Those contributing to this year’s 40acts include Canon Ann Easter (Chaplain to the Queen), Bear Grylls, Brad Formsma (iLikeGiving), Scott Harrison (Charity:Water), Dot Tyler (Tearfund), Guvna B (rap artist), Jackie Elton (Christian Connection), Jonty Langley (Huffington Post), Rev. Tony Miles (Methodist Central Hall), Ram Gidoomal (Fairtrade) and many more.
To join in the fun and be part of a ripple of generosity this Lent sign up here. Whether you want to take part as an individual or a student, or as a family, small group or church, the 40acts challenge will push you to take risks, bless others and pour out love to your neighbours.