Rick Warren launches Purpose Driven magazine

Weekend National News Note:

Purpose Driven News — Dr. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Connection (PDC), a comprehensive bundled suite of personal growth tools, resources and experiences, launches this week with the release of the premier issue of the “Purpose Driven Connection” quarterly magazine. Included inside each issue is a small group discussion guide with a DVD offering Warren’s teaching on spiritual growth, and is the first of a dozen multimedia resources to be introduced in 2009 designed to provide personal spiritual development and support.

“With the collapse of our economy, the tools, resources and experiences we’ve bundled into the Purpose Driven Connection are arriving at the exact moment when Americans need them most,” Warren said. “The hollow hope of materialism has left us disappointed, empty and worried, and the economic collapse has created a hunger for a deeper spiritual connection to God and to each other.

“We certainly didn’t anticipate our national crisis when we began designing these tools, but we can now see how the Purpose Driven Connection is going to provide urgent and essential spiritual support and encouragement for millions of people in the difficult days ahead,” Warren added.  “God’s timing is always perfect.”

Warren is well-known as the author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” the bestselling nonfiction hardback book in American history, and as pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California. Nearly two years ago, he enlisted The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. (RDA), as partner and publisher of his PDC tools. As a global multi-brand media and marketing company that educates, entertains and connects audiences around the world, RDA uses its editorial and content-delivery skills to serve affinity communities.

An annual subscription membership in PDC, which costs $29.99, includes the 146-page, quarterly “Purpose Driven Connection” magazine, quarterly video teaching by Warren on DVD with discussion guides, membership access to the online social network – launching mid-February – and nine other personal growth tools, resources and experiences including Word2U text messages, daily email devotions, life purpose courses, retreats and global service opportunities through a humanitarian strategy called the PEACE plan. A group discount rate is available through participating religious congregations and businesses. The magazine is also on sale Feb. 3 at newsstands, bookstores and national retail outlets, including Wal-Mart, for around $10. Additional information is available at www.PurposeDriven.com.

“Purpose Driven Connection is a spiritual growth network for nurturing healthy relationships, a framework for focusing one’s time and energy, a pathway for discovering one’s life’s purpose, a gateway to opportunities for making a significant impact with one’s life and a library of useful tools to accelerate one’s spiritual, emotional and relational growth,” Warren said.

The genesis of PDC came from a year-long series of conversations Warren held with small groups of pastors in cities across America. “Two years ago, I felt impressed to spend an entire year just listening to my co-workers in ministry; I wanted to hear their concerns, their needs, and what tools they needed most to develop their members to spiritual maturity,” Warren explained.  “As I traveled from city-to-city, holding listening groups with pastors, certain themes and needs were mentioned over and over.”

Warren committed himself to helping these pastors with their people but lacked the resources and expertise to publish what they needed, so he formed a partnership with RDA.  “We chose them for their values, their integrity, their understanding of our purposes, their experience in 14 languages and their willingness to take on the task of addressing these important issues,” said Warren.

Warren’s 24-year alliance, The Purpose Driven Network, has trained more than 500,000 pastors in 162 countries, and maintains a Web site, Pastors.com, exclusively for pastors. Now, following their advice, a separate PDC network for everyone else has been created.

“We will now have two networks – one for pastors and one to serve their members and the wider community,” Warren said.  “The pastors asked for it, so we decided to figure out a way to provide it.  The quarterly magazine is just the tip of the iceberg – it’s actually an index for the entire suite of PDC tools and services.”

One of the greatest problems pastors asked Warren to resolve was to figure out how to provide a convenient, constant flow of high quality teaching to congregational small groups and Sunday school classes at a lower price than retail outlets offer.  Warren drew from his church’s experience of coordinating over 4,000 small groups meetings in 96 Southern California cities.

“We’ve been providing video curriculum to thousands of small groups for seven years, so we’ve learned the hard way what works and what doesn’t; by using the quarterly PDC magazine to deliver small group video teaching and workbooks, we are reinventing and revolutionizing how content is delivered to small groups and Sunday school classes,” Warren said. “Pastors love this idea because it saves them time, energy and money. All they need do is to have each small group or class get a subscription to Purpose Driven Connection and that class is provided an entire year’s worth of group video content, delivered directly to the mailboxes of the small group leaders.”

Over 30,000 American congregations have used the “40 Days of Purpose” small group curriculum. Warren’s newest study, “40 Days of Love,” based on 1 Corinthians 13, is the DVD study included in the premiere issue of the magazine. Churches across America will join in a nationwide “40 Days of Love” campaign beginning on Valentine’s Day weekend in February.

Purpose Driven Communications helps church leaders establish, transform and maintain healthy, growing congregations built around the God-given purposes of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and missions. With offices in 45 countries, The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. markets books, magazines, music, video and educational products reaching more than 100 million households in 79 countries and has global headquarters in Pleasantville, N.Y.

Note to Editors: For more information about Purpose Driven Connection, please visit www.PurposeDrivenNews.com.

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