Review: Outlive Your Life

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I’ve been looking forward to taking a look at the new church-wide campaign based on Max Lucado’s book Outlive Your Life.  The campaign, published by Lifeway, presents some very interesting possibilities.

The theme is a challenging one.  A study of the Book of Acts, the subtitle is “Joining God’s Plan To Change the World.”  Although it might not be as easy an invite as 40 Days of Purpose or Love at Last Sight, the idea of “changing the world” will resonate with many people.  Making a difference consistently ranks as one of the most common aspirations.  Promoting participation along those lines has the potential to capture the imagination of people.

The Outlive Your Life church-wide campaign offers several powerful advantages:

First, Outlive Your Life is anchored by a DVD-driven small group study that features Max Lucado.  You’ve got to start there.  Name recognition alone is a significant factor with this campaign.  It makes invitation much easier when the speaker is known.  It is an advantage as well that each of the six sessions are just long enough to prime the discussion pump, but not so long that groups are lulled into viewer mode.  The average segment is 17 minutes.

Second, the Bible Study Workbook includes both the questions that drive group discussions and the “daily readings and Bible studies [that] will help you review that message, go deeper in your understanding, and then apply what you’re learning to your daily life.”  This is a very substantial workbook.  In fact, after a careful review, the workbook experience has potential to be a powerful experience for participants.  At 174 pages it will provide a thought-provoking devotional that is just about right.  Daily readings of three or four pages offer an opportunity to spend 15 to 30 minutes with the theme every day.  More than just a reading experience, each day is really a Bible study with questions and scripture references that drive the time.

Third, the resource CD-ROM includes resources for group leaders, sermon outlines from Max Lucado and custom dramas for each week, helpful publicity tools, and a lot more.  This is a very important aspect of a church-wide campaign, making it easy to thematically tie a lot of pieces together with visuals and media pieces.

Fourth, this is a campaign that is focused on more than just delivering a good experience for participants.  One hundred percent of the author royalties from Outlive Your Life products will benefit children and families through World Vision and other ministries of faith-based compassion.  How’s that for putting your money where your mouth is?

Summary: When I evaluate church-wide campaigns I’m looking for several elements.  Theme or topic plays a very big role in the suitability of a campaign.  Length and quality of the DVD presentations is another very important aspect.  Ease of use, the amount of leader preparation required, and the level of member engagement required are all elements that should be examined when choosing a campaign.

  • Outlive Your Life is a challenging theme, but an appropriate level of challenge.  While it’s not the highest motivation (belonging), changing the world ranks very high when people are asked about their dreams and hopes (impacting).
  • The DVD segments feature Max Lucado and the Bible Study Workbook includes several chapters from his book.  Name recognition is a very important advantage when selecting a campaign.
  • There is an appropriate level of preparation required on the part of the leader and participant.  This is not a “just show up” study.  Those members that want to dive in and engage daily will get more out of it.  And that’s a good thing for many participants.

I think you’ll enjoy this campaign.  It will be challenging and it will engage your members in a conversation that is right at the heart of the Book of Acts.  You can find out more about content, features and pricing right here.

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