This has been an interesting thing for me. I’ve pondered and considered everything, all the prolife movement has to offer. And it pains me to even think this out loud, but the 40 Days for Life model does not work, and it wasn’t set up to.

Now, while a bunch of my friends are gasping at this, I must try to explain this as simply as I can without pointing persecuting fingers at anyone or any entity. Look, the people who participate in 40DFL are gems. Truly. But if I only see you during 40DFL, then this has become a dismal failure.

I loved 40DFL. I found it online in 2008. I saw this term I never heard before, post-abortive. It was like looking into a mirror, I got it. I needed it. But after all these years, I finally had to take a hard look at 40DFL. I did not like what I saw.

For the most part, and I mean MOST, people who participate in 40DFL will only come during their allotted time they signed up for and when the campaign is over, that’s it. We don’t see them until the next campaign. WHY? Well, as an ex-catholic, I’m pretty sure I know the answer: It’s works based rather than Holy Spirit led.

The 40DFL model has never said they advocate for any one religion. However, they have not done what they should to bring more Evangelical Christians [Baptist, COG, AG, etc.] or Protestant Christians [Episcopal, UMC, Lutheran, etc.], if anything at all. Everything has been Catholic based, and if the Spring Campaigns haven’t proven that starting off on Ash Wednesday, then you aren’t paying attention. And for this, I blame 40DFL for passively advocating for Catholics rather than Evangelical Christians. 40DFL has chased away Evangelicals and Protestants because they see 40DFL as Catholic only. Maybe 40DFL assumed that Evangelicals follow Catholic traditions? Rather, we simply follow the Bible and the Holy Spirit, not a liturgy or sabbath keeping or sacraments.

The model was supposed to bring more people to the sidewalk of abortion mills with the intent of showing folks that they are needed year round. But for the most part, and I mean MOST, that has not happened. The 40DFL model is supposed to attract more participants, all of us, and show us that we are needed to shut down abortion mills. 40DFL – and other prolife groups – like to take all the glory when a mill shuts down, but the truth is that graphic public outreaches work which takes abortion money away, or maybe the law was finally in our favor.

Last campaign, it was quite obvious that 40DFL tried to ‘own’ the sidewalk for the 40 days campaigns; no graphic images, not allowed to openly advocate for rescues, speakers had to be some kind of androgynous 40DFL approved prolifer, etc. As an Evangelical Christian, that binds the hands of God from doing with us His Will.

Prayer and passivity [acceptance of what happens, without active response or resistance] is the 40DFL model, and that is exactly what they got…and continue to get. Passivity has never won one soul to Heaven but it will send someone straight to hell. Other outreach models DO work, ones that preach the Gospel, share Jesus, and loves someone enough to tell them they are wrong and need a Savior.

So I suppose the moral of this story is this: 40DFL is not going to change, neither is there model. It’s the 80/20 rule, only 20% or less will continue being on the sidewalk all year. That is a awful shame.

Pray to end abortion? Arise and go, DO SOMETHING.


11 thoughts on “40 Days For Life Model Does Not Work.

  1. Over the course of 7 years I lead the twice yearly of 40 DFL campaigns in SoCal. I reached out to ALL of the churches (Baptist, Christian Reformed, Lutheran, Catholic, non-denom Christian, etc) in my neighborhood and the only one that was interested in participating was the Catholic church. One Lutheran pastor told me ‘if his parishioners wanted to hear about 40 DFL they’d hear about it. ‘ What? Anyway, I get what you’re saying. I just wanted you to know that this person reached out to all denominations and only one stepped up.

  2. No, I get it! I couldn’t get them to come either. But it’s because of the perception that 40daysforlife puts out there is why we have a lot more trouble getting others to come in. It’s all perception. I’ll put it this way, the mill where I live is surrounded by 800,000 people, hundreds and hundreds of churches, and we can barely get a hundred people, maybe a hundred and fifty to come to a rally. That is unacceptable.

  3. I don’t know if that has ALWAYS been the perception or if 40 DFL just finally targeted/accommodated the one denomination that was most interested/invested. I certainly don’t remember that when I began leading a campaign 7 years ago. Lots to think about…

  4. I understand how lots of people who are happily associated with 40DFL can say that I am bitter or angry, but the truth is that I’ve given this 7 years, that’s 14 campaigns of seeing the exact same thing over and over. Now, if you are a 40DFL person, to better understand what I’ve been trying to purport, I also spoke with team leaders in other cities to get their opinions during the last campaign. And even though they were strongly supporting what was happening here, they are continuing their campaigns, which is fine. I had to bow out, every time I tried to not leave 40DFL, a brick wall would come up and stop me. So, to be clear, just because the 40DFL model does not work – whether you support it or not – does not mean we are going to mock it or bully anyone. Simply, we are going back to the basics of ministry, with Jesus as our leader, with our bibles and love for souls. That is the power of love.

  5. You’ve given me a lot to think about Katherine. I’m taking my kids out with me for our first shift today. As a Catholic, I’m always begging protestants I meet to organise their own prayers groups and get out on the sidewalks. Public witness isn’t a Catholic thing – it’s a human rights thing, although only Christians have the spiritual weapons needed to sustain them through the battle.
    God bless you always xx

  6. It’s about an 80/20 ratio, 20% continue throughout the year. However, 40DFL can be a great way to get your feet wet in sidewalk ministry. You and your family are the true soldiers of the movement!

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