I’ve written previously about the three best times to launch a church-wide campaign. As you probably know, January has a very different vibe than September. There are a couple main themes that make late January/early February a great opportunity to leverage a church-wide campaign to provide a toe-in-the-water for unconnected people. See also, When Is the Best Time to Launch a Church-Wide Campaign and Your Campaign Topic Determines Two Huge Outcomes.
The two main themes seem to be:
- Turn over a new leaf. You can see how this theme fits at this time of year. Christmas Eve services draw people who know that next year has to be better. They’re maxed out on their 3rd credit card. They’ve been hustling to get everything done, including hauling their kids to every party. They’ve eaten poorly for the whole month of December and haven’t been to the gym in 45 days. If there was ever a time to turn over a new leaf…it’s now.
- Build a solid foundation. Slightly different than turn over a new leaf, build a solid foundation is about establishing the kind of foundation that can help you become the kind of person God designed you to be. This is a reference to sand vs rock.
Here are my top 5* picks for January/February Church-Wide Campaigns (*I included a 6th campaign, just too good to pass up!)
Let Hope In is an easy fit for the turn over a new leaf theme. Based on Pete Wilson’s newest book, this study is extremely cross-cultural, the book is extremely readable, the study very accessible (even for a brand new host). The topic is just about spot-on.
Wilson, founding and senior pastor of Nashville’s Cross Point Church, is no stranger crafting topics that appeal cross-culturally (to both believers and seekers). His previous studies, Plan B and Empty Promises were two great examples of studies that caught the attention of people who needed to turn over a new leaf.
Available beginning in late 2013 as part of LifeWay’s Bible Studies for Life series, Let Hope In provides everything you need to launch a true church-wide campaign. Study materials for kids, teens and adults, as well as sermon outlines, marketing ideas, etc. In addition, I was excited about Pete’s recent post and offer to provide additional resources. You can read about that right here.
If you’re looking for a turn over a new leaf study, Let Hope In could be just the ticket.
Another very good turn over a new leaf candidate is Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Purpose (retitled, What On Earth Am I Here For?). Cross-cultural on steroids, everyone, no matter their culture wonders if there’s more to life; if they have a purpose. When 40 Days launched for the first time in 2004, it unleashed a tidal wave that swept through 30,000+ churches over several years.
Now in its 3rd major version, the study guide and DVD have been given a complete overhaul. It was featured on Oprah’s Life Class in the summer of 2013. Millions of people know who Rick Warren is. Even if your church has done this study in the last 10 years, it might be the perfect time to revisit this classic study.
Available materials for kids, teens and adults, there are sermon outlines, marketing ideas, and much more.
If you’re looking for a turn over a new leaf topic, finding my purpose in life is very near the top of the list! If you’re looking for an easy invite for neighbors and friends, how about, “We’re studying the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren for the next 6 weeks. Want to join us?” You can read my full review right here.
Now almost 3 years old, Craig Groeschel’s WEiRD: Because Normal Isn’t Working is another great fit for the turn over a new leaf theme. Inspired by Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:13-14 and the central idea that the “broad road leads to destruction” (normal) and the “narrow road” leads to life (weird), the study takes a look at a set of topics that will make sense to Christians and non-Christians alike (making WEIRD a very compelling option for a church-wide campaign).
One of the Church’s most dynamic and creative communicators, Craig Groeschel’s practice of looking right at the camera while preaching (making it easy for participants in one of 15 campuses and a growing number of LifeChurch.TV Network churches around the world who use the teaching video). The DVD is very compelling.
You can find some of LifeChurch.TV’s collateral resources on their Open site (which, if you have not yet discovered it, it is a goldmine!).
You can read my full review right here.
If your church needs to build a solid foundation, there might not be a better choice right now than Saddleback’s 40 Days in the Word. Released in 2012, it’s truly a church-wide study. With special curriculum for children and messages for junior high and senior high students, 40 Days in the Word is designed to be done system wide. Adults, teens and children, whole families, can be part of a single conversation; a powerful combination.
Like Saddleback’s previous campaigns, 40 Days in the Word is designed to leverage the power of alignment. With daily video devotionals, DVD-driven small group curriculum, weekend service sermon outlines and other resources, this is an immersive experience.
There’s a lot to love about this church-wide campaign. Easy to use, plug and play material. Components that will help you engage your whole congregation. Resources that make it easy to deliver a powerful weekend service experience. A step-by-step guide that will take you from start to finish. This is good stuff! 40 Days in the Word will help your members love the word, learn the word, and live the word. You can read my full review right here.
Are you truly a follower of Jesus? That is the central question of Follow Me, and takes the idea of a church-wide campaign way beyond building a solid foundation. Although this topic won’t be the best campaign topic for every church, it may be perfect for yours.
Anchored by a six session DVD, each of the sessions are classic David Platt. Great teaching. Very passionate. Packed with biblical content. And…each of the sessions is about 30 minutes in length (which would be a little long for the average attention span, but for Platt’s very compelling intensity).
An available Follow Me Church Kit, as well as Student and Preteen study materials make it possible to do Follow Me as a church-wide campaign. In addition to copies of the Student and Preteen Member books, the Follow Me Church Kit includes an administration guide, sermon outlines, and digital art files for a promotional poster, bulletin inserts, presentation slides, and more.
You can read my full review right here.
Bonus: There are church-wide campaigns and then there are church-wide campaigns. That is, some campaigns are bare bones and only include a small group study for adults and outlines of the weekend message series. Others (like 40 Days of Purpose) are very robust, providing the full range of curriculum (from Preschool Children all the way to the adult small group study) along with a book or devotional (like The Purpose Driven Life) and weekend service resources, as well as detailed implementation guidance.
The Story, a new church-wide campaign from Zondervan has a lot going for it. There are a number of great aspects that deserve mention. There are also a couple things that should be pointed out and taken into consideration.
First, this is a 31 week experience. That is not a typo! 31 weeks. And as you know, anything longer than about 6 weeks is seen as a major commitment by unconnected people. That’s the downside. The upside is that The Story is just about a perfect way to expose an entire congregation to the amazing, interconnected and immersive experience that is the Bible.
Second, The Story is available in formats for kids, teens, and adults. Truly church-wide. And that’s a very good thing. You can read my full review right here.