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Category: Church Wide Campaigns (page 1 of 16)

Three Church-Wide Campaign Secrets that Everybody Knows…and Very Few Do

laser focusThese are not really secrets. I think almost everyone knows these things already, but almost nobody does them. They’re just too obvious. And honestly, it is just hard work to do them. But if you do them, your campaign will succeed like never before.

If you want to connect far beyond the usual suspects you need to get laser-focused far earlier and stay focused far longer than anyone will think necessary [Click to tweet]

3 Church-Wide Campaign Secrets

  1. Get laser-focused on promoting the campaign. You may not like the word promoting  but don’t let that word take you off course here. The key to this secret is to get laser-focused. For your church-wide campaign to do all you hope it will do, you must narrow your focus to the point that you are only talking about your campaign. If your normal pattern is to promote the buffet…you must change your normal pattern. Everything (announcements, bulletin inserts, website homepage, sermons, signage, etc.) must point to the campaign.
  2. Begin promoting the campaign far earlier than anyone believes necessary. If you truly want your campaign to succeed, you must begin promoting it months in advance. Launching in the fall? Start talking about it in the spring. Think about the launch of any major movie (i.e., Star Wars, Batman, etc.). When do you first begin hearing about it? That’s right. Early. The earlier you begin to get the upcoming campaign into the minds of your congregation and crowd, the greater the sense of anticipation you can develop.
  3. Maintain your laser-focus until your senior pastor and staff are tired of it…and then continue to stay focused. Actually, right about the time your senior pastor and staff begin to tire of the constant drum beat, your most frequent attenders (core, committed, and the inside edge of the congregation) are just starting to get the idea that this is important. If you want to reach the outside edge of the congregation and crowd, you’ve got to remain focused.

Listen, all of us have the same objections and will hear the same objections.

  • What about my ministry?
  • There’s a lot more going on than the campaign!
  • Doesn’t everyone already know this?
  • Haven’t we talked about this enough?

The key thing to remember is that the least connected people are almost always the most infrequent attenders. If you want to connect far beyond the usual suspects you need to get laser-focused earlier and stay focused far longer than anyone will think necessary.

Image by Hamza Hydri Syed

7 Things You Should Know about the HOST Strategy (for starting new groups)

x's and o'sWhen the HOST strategy was introduced by Saddleback in 2002 during the launch of 40 Days of Purpose it truly was a game-changing innovation. The idea that the senior pastor could challenge members of the congregation who had a heart for unconnected people to open up their home for 6 weeks, serve a simple snack, and turn on their VCR–and the results would be nothing short of miraculous–well, it was an amazing idea. See also, HOST: What Does It Mean?

13 years later it is still a powerfully effective strategy. It’s also a strategy that is often misunderstood (and poorly implemented) by many.

And I’d hate for you to be one that misunderstands or poorly implements this powerful strategy.

Here are 7 things you should know about the HOST strategy:

  1. The HOST strategy connects the friends, neighbors, co-workers and family of the people who say yes to hosting a group. Because the host is gathering their own group (and you’re not assigning members to the new groups), there is usually less concern about the qualifications of the host. See also, FAQ: How Should We Respond to Objections about Who Can Host? and Customized Leader Requirements and Benefits.
  2. The HOST strategy is not an effective way to connect large numbers of unconnected people in your congregation (and crowd) who do not know a host. What about unconnected people in your congregation (and crowd)? Since you will not be assigning members to HOSTs, you will need another strategy to connect those who do not know a HOST. It is very common to hold a small group connection to connect unconnected people within the congregation (and crowd) and use the HOST strategy to reach into the community. With a little work you can also use a mashup of HOST sign-up along with a kind of small group fair to connect people. See also, A Potentially Game-Changing Mashup We’ll Be Testing in September.
  3. The most effective HOST asks are made by your senior pastor during a message. There are two keys to this point. First, your senior pastor is almost always the most influential person in the church and the HOST ask cannot be delegated if you want it to be effective. Second, the best time to make the ask is during the message. You can include the opportunity during the preservice slide roll and you can include it as an announcement, but the most effective moment is during the message. See also, How to Make the HOST Ask: The 2012 Version.
  4. “If you have a couple friends you’d like to do the study with” is a game-changing secret phrase. You don’t need 10 friends to start a group. You need a couple. You don’t even need to refer to what you’re doing as “starting a group.” All you’re asking them to do is “invite a couple friends to do the study with you.” See also, Saddleback Changes the Church-Wide Campaign Game…Again.
  5. The most effective HOST asks reach the outer edge of the congregation (and into the crowd). Don’t miss this important understanding. The most connected people in your congregation have the fewest connections with unconnected people. When your HOST ask compellingly invites the least connected people in your congregation (and crowd) to consider inviting their own friends (who often have never been to your church) to do the study, you have the recipe for a powerful church-wide campaign. See also, Do You Know about This Game-Changing Connection Secret?
  6. You must make the HOST ask several weeks in a row. There are at least two good reasons to make the HOST ask several weeks in a row. First, if you want more of your congregation (and crowd) to have an opportunity to respond to the ask, you need recognize that everyone will not be there on one weekend. Second, the people in your congregation (and crowd) with the strongest outside connections are almost always less frequent attenders. See also, Why You Must Make the HOST Ask Several Weeks in a Row.
  7. The study you choose absolutely determines who will say “yes” to hosting a group. Potential hosts decide right away whether they could invite their friends, neighbors, co-workers and family to study that topic. Keep this important reality in mind when you choose the topic. If you hope to connect the friends, neighbors, co-workers and family of your hosts, you need to choose a topic unconnected people would be interested in. See also, Your Church-Wide Campaign Topic Determines Two Huge Outcomes.

What do you think? Have a question? Want to argue?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

Don’t Miss This Powerful Study: Finding Your Way Back to God

finding your way back to god dvdEarlier this year I reviewed a powerful new book by Dave and Jon Ferguson. In my review I noted that “Finding Your Way Back to God: Five Awakenings to Your New Life has tremendous outreach potential and if you’ve not had a chance to spend some time with this book, you need to make time!  This book is a game-changer!”

I am even more excited about the 5 session DVD-driven study that accompanies the book. I believe this might be the most powerful outreach study 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. 

I believe this might be the most powerful outreach study I've ever reviewed.

The participant guide is well-written and very easy to use. Although some participants will be anxious about joining a discussion on this topic, most will be quickly made at ease by the tone set in the opening questions. Each session of the study includes an opening icebreaker and questions that will consistently welcome everyone to the conversation. The Bible study portion of the study does a very good job of exploring the Parable of the Prodigal Son. A life application section will help participants make the story personal. Each session also includes optional segments for personal decisions and expanded discussion of additional scripture.

The participant guide also includes an extensive leader guide that will enable even the most inexperienced leader to feel better equipped to lead.

Finding Your Way Back to God is a very powerful study. Whether you are simply looking for a small group study that will connect with friends and neighbors who are far from God or a compelling study for a church-wide campaign, I hope you’ll take a look at Finding Your Way Back to God. I love this study and I think you will too.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Don’t Miss Saddleback’s Powerful New Campaign: Daring Faith

Daring FaithSpent some time this week with the newest spiritual growth emphasis from Rick Warren and Saddleback. Daring Faith: The Key to Miracles is a church-wide campaign you are going to want to know about.

What is it about? I love this paragraph from the study guide:

“Daring Faith is all about taking a bold risks. It requires unshakable courage to STEP UP and face the giants as you STEP OUT into the unknown. Cultivating a daring faith goes hand in hand with trusting God’s will. Where God guides, God provides. This is an opportunity to leave your comfort zone, and bravely move to where God is calling you.”

Daring Faith includes all of the elements that have been incorporated in all of Saddleback’s groundbreaking church-wide campaigns:

  • 6 session small group teaching DVD
  • Small group study guide (with daily devotionals)
  • Church training materials
  • Downloadable sermons from Rick Warren
  • Church promotional tools
  • Weekly memory verses

One of the things I always find so encouraging is that everything you hear, read and experience is deeply biblical. Everything is also steeped in the real-world empathy of one of America’s most powerful teachers.

Another aspect that I really find helpful every time Saddleback launches a new campaign is the daily devotional element included in the study guide. This simple element definitely goes a long way to help your group members incorporate God’s word and practical application into their lives every day.

An exciting element of Daring Faith is the fact that it is potentially more than this year’s church-wide campaign from Saddleback. It can be a very powerful giving campaign as well.  In a letter from Rick Warren to pastors and ministry leaders included on the resource disc Rick points out that “Daring Faith is not about getting your church members to give money; it’s about teaching them to trust God more so that they will live fruitful Christian lives.” He also notes that,

At Saddleback, we saw our members transformed as they learned that putting God first in their finances brings blessing, not burden. They learned the difference between feeling pressured to give and being challenged by God to give. They began to give thoughtfully, enthusiastically, and cheerfully, and as God worked in our hearts, it changed us, it changed our church, and it changed our impact on the world.

I have no doubt that all of us are actually praying for that kind of faith for everyone in our churches. Just imagine if after using Daring Faith in your own congregation you could write a similar testimonial!

The Daring Faith Resource Disc includes design files for the Daring Faith logo, PowerPoint background slides, promotional poster, web banners, and a 15-second, Daring Faith-themed bumper video to be used prior to each Daring Faith sermon.

The Resource Disc also includes a robust set of Giving Campaign Resources including:

  • Overview letter from Pastor Rick.
  • Leadership prep material to help you prepare and plan the course of the giving camaign.
  • Customizable informational and promotional material for your congregation to understand and engage in the vision you set for this campaign.
  • Tools to help your congregation write their testimony of how God has blessed them in committing to sacrifice financially.

Whether you are just looking for a powerful campaign that can ignite your congregation’s faith or you need a giving campaign that will enable exciting next steps for your church, Daring Faith: The Key to Miracles is a campaign you need to know about. I loved it and I think you will too.



5 Recommended Follow-Up Studies for Church-Wide Campaigns

fiveI’ve pointed out a number of times that one of the most important keys to sustaining new small groups is giving them a study to do next that is similar in kind. By that I mean similar in several ways:

  • Similar format. If you launch a group with a DVD-driven study, be sure and choose a follow-up that is also DVD-driven.
  • Similar leader preparation required. If the first study required only basic preparation, be sure and choose a follow-up that is easy on the new leader.
  • Similar member preparation. If the launching study had no homework or preparation, choose a follow-up that is easy on the member.
  • Similar interest level. If you used a cross-cultural study to launch the new group, choose a follow-up that will appeal to new members (or the friends and neighbors of new members).

I’ve also pointed out that it is wise to choose the follow-up study before you begin your church-wide campaign. You’ll want to introduce your recommended follow-up study in about week 4 of the launching study and you won’t want to be scrambling to figure out which study will appeal to your newest leaders and their members. See also, 5 Keys to Sustaining New Groups.

5 Recommended Follow-Up Studies

Keeping these criteria in mind, here are a five of what I think are the best follow-up studies:

OverwhelmedOverwhelmed: Winning the War Against Worry is a six week, DVD-driven study on a topic that is dead center for many, many people.  Noble, the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church, “a growing, vibrant church with multiple locations all over the state of South Carolina,” is a gifted communicator and teacher, convicted about speaking the truth as plainly as possible.

Overwhelmed is a DVD-driven study, featuring the dynamic teaching of Perry Noble.  At 20 to 23 minutes in length, these sessions will hold everyone’s attention.  Clipped from a weekend message series at NewSpring, there is never a dull moment.  Powerful personal examples and great visuals will captivate your members. You can read my full review right here.

jesus isJesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human is an 8 session small group study that reveals the character of Jesus in a powerful way.  Judah Smith is the Lead Pastor ofThe City Churcha multi-site church with thousands in attendance each weekend in the Seattle area.  He’s also a popular speaker at conferences and events in the United States and abroad.

(From the introduction) “Jesus is ______________?  That question was at the heart of a campaign The City Church launched with the goal of getting Seattle to think about Jesus.  Given a chance to fill in the blank on a website,, thousands of answers came in.  “Some were profound.  Some were hilarious.  Some were spiteful.  But all of them said something about the spiritual journeys of the people filling in the blanks.” You can read my full review right here.

followFollow: No Experience Necessary is DVD-driven and each of the sessions is a 17 to 22 minute clip from an Andy Stanley message.  One of the most compelling communicators in America, this is must see TV.  Never flashy or fancy, Stanley is known for his ability to draw out life-changing truth and deliver it in a way that is both inspiring and very memorable.  Follow is an excellent example of his pattern of taking difficult or challenging ideas and presenting them in a way that leads to application.

The participant’s guide includes everything you need to unpack the profound set of ideas that form the basis of this series. You can read my full review right here.

wiser togetherWiser Together: Learning to Live Together is a short study, just 5 sessions.  Featuring teaching by Bill Hybels, the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, the sessions are classic examples of his style.  Each segment is a manageable length, the average time is 13 to 18 minutes.

The study guide includes all of the elements needed for a very good time together.  Along with a video viewing guide, each session includes a warm-up question or two designed to get your group engaged and talking.  A good set of discussion questions pulls members into a better understanding of the wisdom of scripture and adeeper study section provides another question or two if you have time to go further. You can read my full review right here.

five thingsFive Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith is not a new study. Published by Zondervan in 2009, the study is based on five faith catalysts that North Point has identified as the things God uses repeatedly to grow people’s faith.

DVD-driven, the six session study is anchored by excerpts from a North Point message series.  The sessions average 15 to 20 minutes in length and feature Andy Stanley, one of America’s most dynamic and creative speakers.  The DVD also includes all six messages in their entirety as a bonus feature.

Delivered in his classic application oriented style, Stanley zeroes in on the five faith catalysts of practical teaching, providential relationships, private disciplines, personal ministry, and pivotal circumstances. You can read my full review right here.

Image by chintermeyer

FAQ: Can You Recommend an 8 to 12 Week Study for a Campaign?

FAQI get questions. I get a lot of questions. About all kinds of small group ministry topics.

Here’s a good one that I got last week:

I notice the trend for small group campaigns is 6 weeks. Can you recommend 2-3 favorite studies of yours that are 8-12 weeks?

When I asked why they were looking for a longer campaign, my reader said:

Longer campaigns have helped align small groups at our church and create more of a groups culture. I’d like to keep the momentum going.

As a follow-up question, I asked what their percentage connected was. Here’s his answer:

We still have lots of unconnected people at church and I would love to know if study length is a barrier for them.

The key ideas I wanted my reader to wrestle with were these:

Percentage connected is a good measure of who you’ve actually connected. At the risk of oversimplifying, if your percentage connected is stuck over several years, there is a good chance you are simply satisfying the needs and interests of the usual supects. Breaking through percentage connected barriers requires choosing topics/studies that appeal to unconnected people. See also, Three Keys to Connecting Beyond the Core and Committed.

The topics/studies you choose determine two very important things:

  1. Who will say yes to joining a group
  2. Who will say yes to hosting a group and inviting their friends.

Topics/studies from the hard end of the easy/hard continuum will only appeal to the already connected. Topics/studies from the easy end of the easy/hard continuum will appeal to unconnected people. See also, Warning: Your Topic Determines Two Huge Outcomes.

The length of the study is another very important factor.

  • 6 weeks is just about perfect. Short enough to persuade an unconnected person (or someone willing to open up their home and invite a few of their friends) to put their toe in the water and try a group. Pick the right follow up study and at week 4 of the launching study it is easy to encourage new hosts and new members to continue something they are beginning to look forward to.
  • Shorter than 6 doesn’t allow enough time for the connective tissue of new relationships to begin to form (and it needs to reach a certain level of anticipation and satisfaction).
  • Longer than 6 weeks sounds more and more like a lifetime commitment to an unconnected person (or someone considering hosting a group for the campaign).

Longer studies and more challenging topics can be included on your discipleship/curriculum pathway. Existing small groups that have made it into their third study can be coached to choose more challenging and longer studies/topics. Designing a discipleship/curriculum pathway can play an important role in making the kind of disciples you hope to make. See also, Small Group Ministry Myth #4: Leaders and Members Know Best What to Study.

Conclusion: Every church will make their own decision about the topic/study and the length that is appropriate for their campaigns. As a result of extensive personal experience (both in the churches I’ve served and the hundreds of churches I’ve coached and consulted), I make recommendations based on the assumptions listed above.

Image by photosteve101



Ready to Maximize Your Fall Campaign?

mark_largerIf you want to maximize the impact of your next church-wide campaign, why not take advantage of my experience?  After all, in the last decade I’ve…

        • Led several of the fastest growing churches in America through the campaign process
  • Consulted with some of the largest churches and led them through the campaign process
  • Provided coaching for thousands of 40 Days of Purpose churches while part of the Lifetogether team

There’s a reason I have several of the highest ranked pages when you search for church-wide campaign information.  I know what I’m talking about!  More importantly, I can help you plan and launch a powerful campaign that leverages my experience, your passion for your church, and the absolute latest in campaign strategies.

“Mark Howell fuses a heart for relationships and a mind for strategy like few can. His focus on group ministry makes him a valuable asset to church leadership generally and a great advisor to churches individually.” Will Mancini, Founder of Auxano, Author of Church Unique

What would it be worth?

So here’s my question: What would it be worth to have an experienced guide help you maximize the impact of a church-wide campaign? What if you could double or triple the number of adults in groups? What if your campaign helped you reach the neighborhoods around your church? What if you could find another wave of leaders that have been there waiting to be asked?

Church-Wide Campaign Coaching Includes

  • Assessment and Evaluation: Every church is different.  Every community is different.  Choosing the right campaign, fine-tuning the preparation stage and designing the launch sequence is all about understanding your church and your community.  I’ll help you select the right campaign for your church.
  • Preparation: Do the right things in advance and the campaign gathers momentum.  Do the right things in the wrong sequence and it sputters.  I’ll help you take the right first steps.
  • Designing the Launch Sequence: Inserting specific ingredients into the countdown, the intentional selection of one weekend over another, and knowing when to begin to invite members are just three key design elements.  I’ll help you fine-tune your launch sequence for maximum impact.
  • Countdown to Liftoff:  A careful eye and a steady hand makes a difference when you’re watching a complex control panel.  As you’re moving toward the beginning of the weekend series and small group study, it pays to have experience.  I’ll watch the control panel with you and help you make any necessary adjustments.
  • Liftoff and Flight Path: What you do in weeks 3 and 4 determine sustainability.  I’ll help you stay on course.
  • Sustaining Orbit: The 6 weeks of the campaign itself is really only the beginning.  Or at least it should be.  A church-wide campaign ought to do more than provide a memory.  It ought to lead to a new trajectory.  I’ll help you capitalize on a beginning that leads to new opportunities.

Thinking ahead about an upcoming church-wide campaign?  Let me help you get ready, launch big and sustain momentum long after the dust clears. Contact me about a consulting relationship with your church.

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FAQ: When Should We Begin Promoting a Church-Wide Campaign?

5397530925_87102f74b2_zI get a lot of questions.  This is a good one and one you need to be thinking about as you plan for your next church-wide campaign.

When should we begin promoting a church-wide campaign?

That is a good question; don’t you think? And the answer might be a little different than you’ve assumed.

My answer? You should begin promoting your church-wide campaign 3 to 5 months before it’s scheduled to begin.

Here’s an example fall campaign timeline:

  • May 9-10 or May 16-17: Begin mentioning the fall campaign (i.e., by the way, we’re already preparing for a message series you’re not going to want to miss this September. You’re not going to want to miss Transformed: How God Changes You. It’s coming on September 19th and 20th. It’s going to be a great season here at Canyon Ridge. In fact, if you’ve got a couple friends and would like to host a Transformed life group, just fill out your contact card and write HOST at the top and drop it in the offering later in the service). See also, Saddleback Changed the Church-Wide Campaign Game Again.
  • June 6-7: Begin mentioning a special packet designed to help your congregation get to know their neighbors. The packet includes a plan to hold a block party on either July 4th or Labor Day (or both). Include invitations, a Top 10 Ways to Have a Great Block Party, and other fun items. The simple form to be filled out when a packet is given out asks for contact info (which will be used to provide follow-up ideas and information).  The follow-up email suggests that the block party host keeps in mind the possibility of hosting a Transformed life group (and invite neighbors and friends from the block party). See also, What Can You Pull Off in 3 Weeks? A Block Party with a Purpose.
  • June and July: Tease the fall campaign in messages, announcements, in your bulletin/program, and on your website. Like a highly anticipated movie scheduled for a fall release, your campaign will benefit from a nicely times reminder or hint (i.e., even a subtle one inserted in your pre-service slides).
  • July 25-26 and August 1-2: Promote the block party kit again and highlight a Labor Day option (i.e., pick up your block party kit at HOST Central on the patio).
  • August 8-9: Begin your main HOST recruiting phase and highlight it exclusively for three weekends (in your pastor’s message and in the announcements). See also, Why You Must Make the HOST Ask Three Weeks in a Row and How to Make the HOST Ask.
  • August 29-30 to September 8-9: Promote the importance of attending every weekend of the series and being in a life group that is using the study that goes along with the weekend message series. Give clear instructions for how to connect with a life group. See also, 5 Keys to Getting Everyone Involved in a Church-Wide Campaign and
  • September 19-20: Campaign message series begins.

What do you think? Have a question? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.

Image by photosteve101

5 Best Church-Wide Campaigns for Fall 2015

14164934172_d5b87a8da1_cI don’t know about your church, but right about now is when many churches pull the trigger on a fall church-wide campaign.  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.

Here are my picks for the 5 best campaigns for fall 2015:

transformed 3DVD-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.


Freeway: A Not So Perfect Guide to Freedom is a powerful seven session study by Mike Foster and Garry Poole.  Built on God’s amazing grace, honest conversations with friends, and finding freedom from deepest pain and struggles, Freeway is way more than a study.  It’s an experience in the very best sense of the word.

I love this study.  If you’re looking for a study that will take people on a journey, a grace-filled journey, toward the life God dreams for them, you’ll love this study too.  Freeway is the kind of study that will cause you to see every other study in a new light.  Great stuff.  I loved it and I think you will too.

You can read my full review right here.

finding your way

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!  This book is a game-changer!

Finding Your Way Back to God is being done as a campaign series as I write this review at Community Christian Church in the Chicago.  The resources you need to put on your own campaign will be available from July to December (including sermon transcripts, small group participant/leader guides, teaching videos, series bumper video, and website graphic).  You can sign up to find out more right here.

You can read my full review of the book right here.

Life on Mission largeIf you’re looking for a church-wide campaign that will help your whole congregation step into mission, Life on Mission is calling your name.  I found it very compelling and I think you will too.

DVD-driven, the sessions average 14 to 18 minutes in length and feature a combination of Harlow’s very engaging style of teaching, compelling stories from church members, and a collection of short vignettes by Mindy Caliguire, Tom Holladay, Gene Appel, Jud Wilhite, Lee Strobel, Cam Huxford, Kyle Idelman, Cal Jernigan and Alan Hirsch.  If you’re not familiar with Tim Harlow, he is the senior pastor of Parkview Christian Church in Orland Park, Illinois, one of the fastest growing churches in America for 7 of the last 10 years.  I had the great privilege of serving on Tim’s staff at Parkview and am so excited that his teaching ended up in a campaign we can all take advantage of!  You can read my full review right here.

be the message

Be the Message is the newest campaign from Kerry and Chris Shook, founders ofWoodlands Church, a multi-campus church with attendance of over 18,000 outside of Houston, Texas.   No strangers to the development of church-wide campaigns, their previous campaigns (One Month to LiveLove at Last Sight, and Stolen) have been very popular.

Be the Message is a 5 session study based on a very simple idea: “the gospel is not about what you say.  It is about who you are and what you do–and how you can be God’s hands and feet in the world.”

Truly a church-wide campaign, the Be the Message Challenge Kit includes everything you need to do this campaign at your church (weekly sermon outlines, promotional artwork, outreach ideas, and much more).  Free downloadable children’s curriculum on the website makes it possible for everyone to have the same conversation.  You can read my full review right here.

Image by Kwibuka Rwanda

Watch Saddleback’s Most Recent HOST Rally

host rallySaddleback’s most recent HOST rally happened on March 13th (yes that was a Friday night!).

It was a packed auditorium.  Great worship.  Lots of fun.  And a very inspiring message from Rick Warren.

There were some cool innovations that will transfer to your church.  They ran a contest and gave hosts a chance to have Rick come to their group.  Any host that stayed after the rally could get their picture taken with Rick.  There was great energy in the rally and you could clearly see Rick’s passion for small groups and small group hosts as key leaders in the church.

This you cannot miss.  Rick Warren is the small group champion at Saddleback.  He regularly leverages his influence as senior pastor to invite more people to join in the mission.

You can watch the HOST Rally right here.

You can watch a special video that Saddleback’s small groups watched in preparation for their upcoming church-wide campaign.

I hope you’ll watch this from start to finish.  It’s inspiring and very motivating.

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