Have you pulled the trigger yet on your fall ministry strategy? It’s not too late, but now is the time if you plan to incorporate a church-wide campaign (an alignment between your weekend message series and a small group study). And although there are two other windows when the impact of a campaign can be optimized, in many ways the fall is still the best of the three. See also, When Is the Best Time to Launch a Church-Wide Campaign.
While choosing the best church-wide campaigns is certainly subjective, I’ve made these selections with over a decade of experience leading churches through the process of choosing, designing and launching powerful and trajectory altering church-wide campaigns. See also, How to Choose the Right Church-Wide Campaign and Church-Wide Campaign Coaching.
If you’re a subscriber to MarkHowellLive.com you’ll notice some repeats from last fall’s list. The truth is that although most years offer a selection of new campaigns, some are just too good to exclude.
Here are my picks for the 5 best campaigns for fall 2016:
DVD-driven, Transformed is a 7 session study that accompanies a 7 week message series. Although this campaign launched in 2014, this is a potent theme and should be on your radar. Anchored in the apostle Paul’s profound truth in Romans 12:2, this campaign will guide and grow your church by exploring what the Bible has to say about every essential area of our lives: Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, Relational, Financial, and Vocational.Like all of Saddleback’s campaigns, this one is the complete package and is a true church-wide campaign with material for the whole family.
I like Transformed because it will appeal to both the congregation and the crowd (and in many situations to the community as well). Who doesn’t sense the need to change in some way? You can read my full review right here.
Finding Your Way Back to God: Five Awakenings to Your New Life has the most powerful outreach potential I’ve come across in a long time. If you’ve not had a chance to spend some time with the book yet, you need to make time! I believe this might be the most powerful outreach campaign I’ve ever reviewed.
The DVD segments are very compelling and exactly the right length to grab and hold attention. Both Dave and Jon Ferguson come across as real people who genuinely care about this message. Each session also includes the compelling testimony of some who have found their way back to God. An aspect of the video segments that stands in stark contrast to some is that these people have a very familiar presence and feel like they could be your neighbors.
The resources you need to put on your own campaign (including sermon transcripts, small group participant/leader guides, teaching videos, series bumper video, and website graphic) are available from youwayback.org. You can find our more right here.
You can read my full review of the book right here.
The Miracle of Mercy, a new 6 six-week church-wide campaign, is anchored by a weekend teaching series that launched the weekend after Easter, 2016.
If you want to know how to leverage a church-wide campaign to unite your congregation around a purpose and fan into flame difference-making action…you absolutely must take a look at Saddleback’s newest spiritual growth campaign. This is very powerful stuff. Don’t miss it!
I have pointed out many times that Saddleback strategically uses their small group ministry to drive ministry initiatives (think 40 Days of Community and the P.E.A.C.E project). There has never been a better example than The Miracle of Mercy. If you want to unleash a tidal wave of impact on your community and the world, you must take a look at this campaign.
You can read my full review right here.
Wonderlife: A Not So Perfect Guide to Who You Are and Why You’re Here is the newest resource from Mike Foster and the folks at SecondChance.org. The study is designed to take people on “an authentic journey through their not-so-perfect stories to find their sacred calling.” Based on the principles of Psalm 139, the small group workbook, DVD and weekend series can easily be used as a church-wide campaign.
Covering the kind of topic that makes an easy invite for friends, neighbors, co-workers and family, it is designed to generate a fairly personal discussion. At the same time, it comes at it from such an exploratory angle, it ends up being fun and engaging at the same time.
If you’re looking for a study that makes for a great outreach opportunity, take a look at Wonderlife: A Not So Perfect Guide to Who You Are and Why You’re Here. I think you’ll like what you find. I loved this study and I think you will too!
What Keeps You Up At Night: How to Find Peace While Chasing Your Dreams is the latest study from Pete Wilson, founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN.
Based on Pete’s new book by the same title, What Keeps You Up At Night hits the bullseye of what I call a cross-cultural study. After all, doesn’t everyone have things that keep them up at night? That’s not a topic that only Christians care about. This is a study that neighbors, friends, co-workers and family will readily identify with and it will make a very easy invite.
I love this line from the website: “Today’s world, with all its expectations, responsibilities, and shortcomings, has created an environment ripe for the kind of uncertainty that has shackled an entire generation. This small-group Bible study helps participants activate faith and trust in God that will propel them forward through fear and anxiety to peace, faithfulness, and trust.”
You’ll find many ideas for your own message series by watching the series given at Cross Point in April, 2015. You can read my full review right here.