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Category: Church Wide Campaigns (page 1 of 17)

Behind the Scenes: Developing a Timeline for Your Church-Wide Campaign

januaryBehind the Scenes: Developing a Timeline for Your Church-Wide Campaign

When you’re preparing for a church-wide campaign, developing a timeline is one of the most important early steps. I was looking at an article I wrote in 2009 about how to develop a timeline…and I realized how much has changed! It’s time to take another shot at it.

Here is the way I develop a timeline in 2016:

Start with the End in Mind

The very first step is to determine when your weekend message series will end. This is an important decision. For a fall campaign, I try to finish at least two weekends before Thanksgiving. This is ideal, since providing your newest groups with a study to do next is an important step in sustaining a high percentage of the groups you launch and finishing your campaign at least two weekends before Thanksgiving will allow your new groups to do at least the first session (or two) of the follow-up study before Thanksgiving.

With me? As I said, though, this is ideal and I can’t always make it happen. Sometimes other factors get in the way.

Once you’ve chosen the end date, you can simply count forward the number of weeks in the series and determine when it will begin. For example, this year we are doing Finding Your Way Back to God. Although it is a 5 week series out of the box, we are adding an intro week, making it a 6 week series. We want our ending date to be October 30 which makes our beginning date the weekend of September 17-18.

Work Backwards from the End Date

The small group connection strategy is designed to form new groups to connect people who come to an event. See also, How I Lead a Small Group Connection.

If our series begins on September 17-18, we’ll be holding a series of small group connections during the week before the series begins. This year we will hold connections on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. In our case, we’ve found it beneficial to offer more than one connection event (providing an additional time allows more people to attend a connection). In our case, we don’t have available rooms large enough to hold everyone we need to connect, so we actually offer 5 different times. In your case, keep in mind that you need critical mass for the connection strategy to be effective. Don’t offer so many times that it spreads attendees over too many nights.

Plan to Promote Your Connection(s) Over 2 to 3 Weekends

As I’ve said many times, unconnected people are almost always infrequent attenders. If you want to connect as many as possible, you need to promote your connection events over several weekends. I like to promote the connection event(s) three weekends in a row and hold it on the third weekend after the 11:00 a.m. service.

Since our small group connections take place during the week of September 11th, we’ll be promoting them on 8/27-28, 9/3-4 and 9/10-11. Same script all three weekends in the sermon, announcements, preservice slides, bulletin, and website. We’ll also send at least one church-wide email promoting the event.

If You Have a Couple Friends…

Another important strategy for connecting people is the latest iteration of the HOST strategy. I refer to it as the “if you have a couple friends” strategy and when used with the right campaign it can help connect a wave of people to people who simply invite them to do the study together. See also, Saddleback Changed the Church-Wide Campaign Game…Again.

Again, since people are attending church less frequently, it is important to mention this opportunity at least two or three weekends in a row.

We will begin inviting people to stop off at Groups Central and pick up a HOST kit on 8/6-7. and continue on 8/13-14 and 8/20-21. Same script all three weekends in the sermon, announcements, preservice slides, bulletin, and website. We’ll also send at least one church-wide email promoting the strategy.

Recruiting Launch-Phase Coaches

Another of the most important ingredients in the attempt to sustain as many new groups as possible is providing coaches for every new group leader. Recruiting and training new “coaches” needs to begin in April, May and June. See also, How to Build an Effective Coaching Structure – 2016 Version.

Bring Your Existing Group Leaders into the Loop

It’s a good idea to keep your existing group leaders informed and bring them into the loop well in advance. We like to hold a Group Leader Briefing in between services in early June. These briefings are short and to the point and feature a brief appearance by our senior pastor who casts vision for the campaign and shows appreciation for our leaders. We typically will show a short clip from the video and provide a sample of the study guide.

Begin “Teasing” the Campaign

In late spring or early summer we begin “teasing” the campaign. Think about the way the next Batman movie is promoted. Long before a true movie trailer is produced, posters and seconds long video will be released during the previews in movie theaters everywhere. Batman Begins…coming Christmas 2016. Why not “tease” your campaign?

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GroupLifeInsider_black_141208In the next few weeks I’ll be launching a new site called GroupLife Insider.

GroupLife Insider will feature more detailed and step-by-step instruction on building a thriving small group ministry. It will also feature:

  • A backstage pass kind of look at how I do what I do.
  • Free access to every mini-course I produce.
  • Opportunity to join an invite-only video conference call to get your questions answered.
  • Video interviews with experts you will listen to again and again.

GroupLife Insider will feature a robust behind-the-scenes experience. It will be a subscription service. While the price per month will be very reasonable, it will not be free ($10 to $15 per month or an annual fee).

If you’ve enjoyed and benefitted from the strategies, tips and ideas of MarkHowellLive.com…you will probably see right away the upside of a backstage pass that would give you access to more detail and a better step-by-step explanation.

Want to find out more?

Let me know by subscribing to the GroupLife Insider list:

Can’t see the sign up form? Click here to visit the article on the blog itself.

Behind the Scenes: Preparing for a Church-Wide Campaign

behind the scenesBehind the Scenes: Preparing for a Church-Wide Campaign

What do you do to prepare for a church-wide campaign? When do you start preparing? What are the first steps that lead in the direction that maximizes your results?

These are all good questions. And along with many other questions, these are the right questions.

In today’s post, I want to give you a look behind the scenes as we prepare for this year’s fall church-wide campaign.

What’s already happened:

  • Earlier this spring our lead team/teaching team chose this year’s church-wide campaign. The first thing on our mind was the why behind the what. Last year we chose a campaign that was primarily intended to strengthen our congregation, committed and core (the people who were already here). This year, we determined to go after the friends, neighbors, co-workers and family of our congregation and crowd.
  • While there are some years that we choose to develop our campaign study (video and study guide) in-house, many years we use an off-the-shelf campaign (one that has already been produced by someone else). For example, last year we chose to use Saddleback’s Transformed: How God Changes You. This year we’ve chosen to use Finding Your Way Back to God. See also, Top 5 Church-Wide Campaigns for Fall 2016.
  • 3 weeks ago we laid out the timeline for the entire campaign. We start by determining how long the weekend message series will run and when we need to launch the message series in order to finish the series at the right time (Thanksgiving plays a role). After determining the length of the series, we determine the necessary weeks to promote and hold a series of small group connections. This is preceded by the number of weeks we plan to recruit a wave of people “who have a couple of friends they’d like to do the study with.” See also, How to Develop a Timeline for Your Church-Wide Campaign.
  • Over the last two weeks we’ve fine-tuned the budget for the campaign (promotion, leader training, materials, etc.). Part of fine-tuning the budget requires determining the bulk pricing of materials (DVDs, study guides, host bags, invitations, etc.).

Last Weekend:

  • We held a meeting for our coaches that outlined the campaign and their roles. The two most important aspects we discussed were the series of small group connections and the distribution schedule for host kits, group leaders, and member purchases.
  • We held a “briefing” for all of our existing small group leaders. The briefing was hosted by our groups team and featured a brief appearance by our senior pastor (who shared the “why” behind the series). This gave us an opportunity in early June to share the ideas behind the campaign and the timeline with our leaders. By sharing this information early we hoped to get more of our leaders on-board and prepared. One of the key takeaways for leaders was that “every group ought to plan to add a few new members or consider taking a small group vacation (so they could each plan to invite a few unconnected people to join them).

What’s happening right now:

Moving into the next 60 days there are several key targets:

  • We are on the hunt for another wave of “launch-phase coaches.” This is our term for the group leaders we believe are potential coaches that we will invite to help us by “taking a newbie leader or two or three” under their wing. It’s an 8 to 10 week commitment (a week or two on the front end, the 6 weeks of the campaign, and a week or two on the back end to make sure their new groups land”). This is our primary strategy for recruiting new coaches. See also, How to Build an Effective Coaching Structure – 2016 Version.
  • We are instigating a few select strategies designed to help our congregation and crowd get to know their neighbors and co-workers (with the hopes of greasing the skids, helping them have an easier invite to “do the study with me.”). See also, How to Build Crowd-to-Core Flow in Advance.
  • I will be working with our teaching team and communication team to insure absolute clarity on the message and adherence to the predetermined strategy (for example, last year we wrote a script for every reference to the campaign (sermons, announcements, preservice slides, bulletin announcements, website references, etc.).

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GroupLifeInsider_black_141208In the next few weeks I’ll be launching a new site called GroupLife Insider.

GroupLife Insider will feature more detailed and step-by-step instruction on building a thriving small group ministry. It will also feature:

  • A backstage pass kind of look at how I do what I do.
  • Free access to every mini-course I produce.
  • Opportunity to join an invite-only video conference call to get your questions answered.
  • Video interviews with experts you will listen to again and again.

GroupLife Insider will feature a robust behind-the-scenes experience. It will be a subscription service. While the price per month will be very reasonable, it will not be free ($10 to $15 per month or an annual fee).

If you’ve enjoyed and benefitted from the strategies, tips and ideas of MarkHowellLive.com…you will probably see right away the upside of a backstage pass that would give you access to more detail and a better step-by-step explanation.

Want to find out more?

Let me know by subscribing to the GroupLife Insider list:

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5 Best Church-Wide Campaigns for Fall 2016

Top 5 Church-Wide Campaigns Fall 2016Have 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:

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.

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! 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 nightWhat 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 titleWhat 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.

What if you could start 10 times as many new groups-

Unleash a Powerful Wave of Impact with The Miracle of Mercy: Saddleback’s Newest Campaign

miracle of mercyIf you want to know how to leverage a church-wide campaign to unite a 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.

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 and is happening as I write this review. You can watch the first three messages right here.

The first few lines of the study set the tone and direction:

“Did you know that God’s mercy is his number one characteristic in the Bible? More than his sovereignty, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence or any other fancy words about him–more than anger or justice or judgement–more than anything else, the number one attribute of God in scripture is his mercy (from session one).”

DVD-driven, the small group study features Rick Warren’s engaging teaching. Although the segments are 27 to 31 minutes long, the topic and delivery does a good job of grabbing and holding attention.

The study guide includes both the small group study and a 40 day devotional guide; everything needed for a great study. A teaching outline is included in each session to capture the key ideas from the video teaching. A well-written set of discussion questions makes it easy to shift into discussion after watching the DVD together.

Every session of the study also includes personal and group assignments to put learnings into practice (that participants will not just be hearers, but doers also). At Saddleback, where the teaching series is in progress as I write this review, groups are being directed to choose projects from this mercy project page. The project page presents an inspiring example of what your church could do.

More than a small group study, The Miracle of Mercy is a church-wide spiritual growth campaign and includes everything you will need to take your congregation on the same journey.

The campaign starter kit includes:

  • 1 Study Guide
  • 1 DVD Small Group Curriculum
  • 1 Bookmark Sample
  • 1 Campaign Resource Disc
  • Downloadable Campaign Success Guide
  • Downloadable The Miracle of Mercy Sermon Series (***available April–May 2016***)
  • BONUS: FIRST …the debut worship album from Saddleback Worship

As I write this review, the Miracle of Mercy is happening right now at Saddleback. Although the downloadable sermon series is in progress and not yet complete, the starter kits are available now.

I love 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.

Saddleback’s Not-So-Secret Strategy of Launching New Groups in Waves

waveWhat is Saddleback’s not-so-secret strategy of launching new groups in waves? I think you already know what it is, but before I reveal the mystery, I just want to point out several features of the strategy:

First, the strategy really does launch groups in waves. This is significant because if you want to reach the point where you have more adults in groups than you do at your weekend service(s), you must understand that you cannot get from 25% of adults in groups to 100% or more by starting a new group every now and then. You must start them fast enough to more than just replace the groups that run their course and come to an end.

Second, they’ve been using this strategy on at least an annual basis for many years. This is an important understanding. Launching new groups in a wave once (or even once in a while) will not get it done. Launching new groups in waves comes with the knowledge that only a certain percentage of the new groups will continue to meet beyond the launching study (for example, 40 Days of Purpose or Transformed). This really is a wash, rinse and repeat strategy that must be applied regularly to succeed to the level we are talking about.

Third, they’ve consistently tweaked the strategy to optimize less-than-ideal outcomes. They’ve fine-tuned everything from when they begin promoting the upcoming series, to when to hold the series, to who can be a leader, to how they recruit leaders, and how they encourage and develop leaders. Although they’ve been using this strategy on at least an annual basis for many years, they really never done it exactly the same way twice. Every time Saddleback uses the strategy they are evaluating and looking for ways to optimize what worked, problems that could be solved minimized, or opportunities that were missed.

Of course, you know the strategy they use is an annual church-wide campaign. When it’s done well, it launches groups in waves.

It is the reason Saddleback has way more than 100% of their average adult weekend worship attendance in groups (they had as high as about 140%).

Want to learn how to use the church-wide campaign strategy in a way that will help you launch waves of new groups every year?

My new short course, How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign is designed to help you learn how to use this game-changing strategy.

If you’d like to learn how to use the church-wide campaign strategy in a whole new way, I’d love to teach you how to do it!

Click here for more information about How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign.

What if you could start 10 times as many new groups-

Image by Michael Dawes

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign

15124103663_4624ed4a14_bYesterday was a great start to the launch of my newest short course: How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign. Lot’s of interest. And lot’s of questions!

You may have questions and just not had time yet to ask them.

Here are the most frequently asked questions (and the answers!):

I can’t watch the live sessions. Will they be available for me to watch later?  Absolutely! All 4 sessions will be recorded and available for viewing or download at your convenience on my password-protected site.

Can I share the video content with my team? Definitely. Your purchase gives you the right to share the recorded video sessions (as well as the other supporting documents and helps) with your team. However, because there are limited openings for the live sessions, only the recorded sessions will be able to be shared with your team.

Will How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign be available later?  Like my other short courses, this one will be available later…but the special price of $39.95 increases to $49.95 on April 8th.

I live in another country. Can I take advantage of How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign? Every session will be a web-based video call and every session will be recorded and uploaded the same day to my password protected site. If the session is live at a time you can join, you should be able to join no matter where you are. If it’s not convenient for you to join live, you can watch the recording later that same day (or early the next day depending on where you are in the world!).

We’ve failed in our previous attempts to plan and launch a successful church-wide campaign. Why should we try again? A well planned and well executed church-wide campaign is the best way to launch a wave of new small groups. It is a powerful way to help your whole congregation get on the same page. And perhaps most importantly, a church-wide campaign can be a powerful ingredient in revitalizing the spiritual vitality of your congregation.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 6.07.41 AMI don’t have a Paypal account. Can I pay with my debit or credit card? Absolutely. When you click the Buy Now button you’ll see the form to the left. Click the link at the bottom of the form that says “Pay with a debit or credit card or Paypal Credit.”

Can I pay for the course with a check? You can pay for the course with a check but enrollment is limited to the first 50 sign-ups. If you need to pay by check, Email Me  to arrange payment.

Do you have a question I haven’t answered?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

Click here to take a look at How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign.

The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New

resurrected lifeI spent some time with a new DVD-driven study this week that is almost a one-of-a-kind. The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New is a 7 week study designed to be used following Easter. Part of a three study series (the Christian Life Trilogy), The Resurrected Life was developed by Rev. Charlie Holt and produced by LifeTogether. The rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lake Mary, FL, I first learned about Holt in 2004 when he led his congregation to do 40 Days of Purpose and then shared one of the most remarkable and powerful stories of community transformation.

“The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are “new creatures.” But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season curriculum provides a space in which we can discover what truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we’ll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything–for us (from the cover).”

The Resurrected Life shows you how to live every day in the hope and power of the resurrection. The seven sessions explore:

  • All Things New: Overcoming Doubt and Fear
  • New Life: Letting Go and Letting God
  • New Temple: Inviting God’s Presence
  • New Body: Manifesting Jesus
  • New Covenant: Experiencing Resurrection Power
  • New Creation: Stewarding the Good News
  • New Day: Living in the “Now” but “Not Yet”

DVD-driven, the video segments feature teaching by Rev. Charlie Holt and a powerful set of personal testimonies. At 10 to 12 minutes in length, the segments are just about right. Short enough to hold everyone’s attention and long enough to set up an important discussion.

The study guide is well-written and easy to use. Each session is designed with a simple flow that makes it very possible for newer leaders to feel confident and effective. The study guide also includes several leader resources that will help enhance the member experience.

A daily devotional with 49 focused reflections will also enrich the experience. Spending time each day, continuing the journey, will encourage members to deeply reflect seven key areas of life transformation.

Produced by LifeTogether, The Resurrected Life campaign includes downloadable templates for flyers, posters, powerpoint backgrounds, and web banners. An excellent campaign manual is available right here.

For churches planning to use The Resurrected Life as a church-wide campaign, you’ll find the complete collection of sermon audios right here.

There are two other studies in the Christian Life Trilogy (The Crucified Life and The Spirit-Filled Life). “While these studies can be done at any time of the year, many congregations use The Crucified Life and The Resurrected Life for Lent and Easter and then kick off The Spirit-Filled Life in the fall season after Pentecost (from the brochure).”

I really like the potential of The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New and this series! If you’re looking for a series that will help your congregation explore the new life available in Christ, please take a look at The Resurrected Life.  I like this study and I think it’s a great resource that will help many congregations.

The Latest on Church-Wide Campaigns – 2016

The Latest On Church-Wide CampaignsSaddleback released the 40 Days of Purpose church-wide campaign in 2002.  Although they had previously launched internal spiritual growth campaigns, this one really was a just-add-water option.  Of course, in 2002 it really was just about the only option.

Today, there are lots of options and there are more all the time.  I’ve reviewed many of them and cataloged them here for your convenience.  How to choose?  I’d highly recommend my article, “How to Choose the Right Church-Wide Campaign.”

The Nearly Complete List of Church-Wide Campaigns (as of 1/5/16)

Note: This list is alphabetical.  In most cases, I’ve linked to my own review of the campaign.

What if you could start 10 times as many new groups-

Prepare for Easter with The Crucified Life

crucified lifeI spent some time with a new DVD-driven study this week that is almost a one-of-a-kind. The Crucified Life: Seven Words from the Cross is a 7 week study designed to be used during the Lenten season. Part of a three study series (the Christian Life Trilogy), The Crucified Life was developed by Rev. Charlie Holt and produced by LifeTogether. The rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lake Mary, FL, I first learned about Holt in 2004 when he led his congregation to do 40 Days of Purpose and then shared one of the most remarkable and powerful stories of community transformation.

The Crucified Life is a study of the seven last words from the cross:

  • Forgiveness: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” Luke 23:34
  • Salvation: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise,” Luke 23:43
  • Relationship: “Woman, behold your son! Behold your mother!” John 19:26-27
  • Distress: “I Thirst,” John 19:28
  • Abandonment: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
  • Reunion: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Luke 23:46
  • Triumph: “It is finished,” John 19:30

DVD-driven, the video segments feature teaching by Rev. Charlie Holt and a powerful set of personal testimonies. At 10 to 12 minutes in length, the segments are just about right. Short enough to hold everyone’s attention and long enough to set up an important discussion.

The study guide is well-written and easy to use. Each session is designed with a simple flow that makes it very possible for newer leaders to feel confident and effective. The study guide also includes several leader resources that will help enhance the member experience.

A daily devotional with 45 focused reflections will also enrich the experience. Spending time each day, continuing the journey, will encourage members to deeply reflect “on Jesus’ seven final utterances from the cross.”

Produced by LifeTogether, The Crucified Life campaign includes downloadable templates for flyers, posters, powerpoint backgrounds, and web banners. An excellent campaign manual is available right here.

There are two other studies in the Christian Life Trilogy (The Resurrected Life and The Spirit-Filled Life). “While these studies can be done at any time of the year, many congregations use The Crucified Life and The Resurrected Life for Lent and Easter and then kick off The Spirit-Filled Life in the fall season after Pentecost (from the brochure).”

I really like the potential of The Crucified Life and this series! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if there are any studies that will help their church prepare for Easter during the Lenten season. I can finally say, “Yes!” I like this study and I think it’s a great resource that will help many congregations.

Take a Look at 40 Days of God’s Kingdom

40 days of Gods Kingdom

What do you know about the Kingdom of God? Not a foreign concept to most of us, right? But what about the members of your congregation? Considering the number of times Jesus referred to the Kingdom of God (or the Kingdom of the Heavens), isn’t it something that you might want to share with your church?

Chip Ingram recently commented that “few concepts are as misunderstood or completely ignored as the ‘Kingdom of God.'” After previewing 40 Days of God’s Kingdom Ingram wrote that “thanks to Pastor Rick Stinton, you can grasp the most central message of the Bible.”

40 Days of God’s Kingdom is a new church-wide campaign from Rick Stinton, Senior Pastor of New Hope Kailua in Kailua, Hawaii. Stinton received his Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry from Dallas Theological Seminary and has served churches in Canada and the U.S.

DVD-driven, this is a 7 session study that features the practical and insightful teaching of Rick Stinton. The video segments average 20 to 25 minutes and are fairly straightforward. Biblical truth served up simply and easy to follow.

The study guide is also very practically designed and easy to use. Every session begins with a “Kingdom Quiz” based on the reading assignment from the book by the same title. Also included in the study guide is an outline for the DVD teaching and a thoughtfully written discussion guide. Every session wraps up with a personal action plan and an opportunity to pray together.

Like many church-wide campaigns, 40 Days of God’s Kingdom also includes a book to be read along with the study. According to Bruce Waltke, Professor Emeritus in Old Testament Studies at Regent College, the book is “Comprehensive yet concise. Clear and creative. Insightful and inspiring.” I agree with Professor Waltke. At about 90 pages, I found it both an easy read and one that will help the reader absorb more deeply the powerful truths of life in the Kingdom.”

To make it easy and affordable to use 40 Days of God’s Kingdom as a church-wide campaign special pricing is available (making it affordable) and a complete set of sermon outlines and transcripts are available for purchase.

If you’re looking for a way to help your members grasp the important concept of the Kingdom of God, 40 Days of God’s Kingdom is the best study I know of. They’ll come away with much more than a better understanding, though. Once your congregation begins to live the Kingdom of God, they’ll understand why it would be worth selling everything to acquire.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 40 Days of God’s Kingdom is an advertiser on my blog and has paid a fee for this review. 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.”

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