40acts is the generosity challenge for Lent, created by UK Christian charity, Stewardship. For ten years, 40acts has asked a question: what if Lent could be about more than just giving stuff up? What if it could be a time of radical generosity as well as spiritual discipline? Over the years, 40acts has become a movement of over 100,000 people on a mission to impact their communities with generosity – during Lent and beyond.
We have a vision for the world to encounter Jesus through the generosity of His church. To accomplish this we make it easy for Christians to give to the causes they care about, we challenge and inspire Christians to give generously and sacrificially, and we strengthen Christian causes too; providing bespoke services to make sure they handle their resources with excellence. 40acts is just one of the many resources that we create to encourage generosity. You can find out more about Stewardship and the ways that we can help you to be generous here: stewardship.org.uk
How can 40acts help me during Lent?
Lent is one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox traditions, held at a similar level of importance to Advent – the build up to Christmas. Different people observe Lent in different ways, though by and large most people do this by giving something up for Lent.
Whether you’re intending to give up chocolate, fast food, alcohol, or the Internet, 40acts encourages you to do something generous during Lent, too. As well as our group resources, we also have a whole host of prayers for Lent that you can read, as well as a list of Lent prayers for children.
40acts is a daily generosity challenge that runs throughout the period of Lent, created by the charity Stewardship. During 2019, 100,000+ individuals and thousands of groups took the 40acts challenge, creating a wave of more than 4million generous acts in 180 countries around the world.
The 40acts blog has previously featured reflections from 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), Rev. Kate Bottley (Gogglebox, The Dancing Vicar), Bridget Plass, Dan Usher (Share the Miracle), Steve Legg (Sorted Magazine), Fiona Morrison (Tearfund), Graham Miller (London City Mission) and many more.
40acts is completely free to take part in. 40acts challenges cost as much as you would like or can afford to spend on others. Some of the challenges can involve money but we have created a with different options for each act, so if you don’t have a lot to spend you can still give a lot with your time, energy, skills, resources and prayers.
The challenge lasts for seven weeks – it’s a test of endurance and focus as much as anything else! Try to build 40acts into your day right from the start, and pace yourself. We know there will be days when completing the act – for whatever reason – will be difficult. Please don’t feel demoralised if that happens to you.
The challenge can be adapted to use as you like – and we’ve tried to provide even more options with the traffic light system so that it’s easier to participate even on the tough days. We know that being part of the community helps challengers to stay connected for the long-haul, so get plugged into the community if you’re finding things hard (check out the community page for details).
Yes. If you would like to download one of our videos to show to a group you can do so here.
40acts is an online campaign and part of the challenge is that each day is a surprise! We don’t pre-release the material, but you can get a feel for the kind of acts you’ll be doing by checking out our Instagram feed or visiting this blog. If you’d like, you can head here to download a PDF version of the 2016 challenge, which you can use throughout Lent if you’d prefer.
Head over to the CPO website to see a selection of different 40acts supplies that you can order.