After 10 unprecedented years as the best-selling non-fiction hardback in history, Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? is being re-tooled and re-released by Zondervan.
“There is an entire generation who was too young to read The Purpose Driven Life 10 years ago but are now asking the critical question of , ‘What on earth am I here for?’” said Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. “This anniversary edition represents a new approach for a new generation incorporating a new understanding of barriers that keep people from finding their purpose, based on thousands of readers’ letters I have received.”
The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For? 10th anniversary edition will feature two additional chapters addressing the issues of “The Envy Trap—I must be like you to be happy” and “The People-Pleaser Trap—I must be liked by you to be happy,” taking the book from a 40-day to a six-week individual or small group study. In addition, QR codes and Web links are incorporated, providing a video intro and 30-minute audio message by Warren for each chapter as well as access to an online community.
Over the last 10 years, The Purpose Driven Life has transformed countless lives, selling more than 32 million copies worldwide in 50 languages, including Afrikaans, Arabic, Farsi, Rwandan, Sango, Swahili and Zulu.
When The Purpose Driven Life first released in 2002, it simultaneously hit No. 1 on the four major best-seller lists, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Publishers Weekly. The hardback edition won the 2003 and 2004 ECPA Christian Book of the Year (Gold Medallion Book) Award.
In March 2005, the book was propelled back into the national news when hostage Ashley Smith persuaded a captor to release her by reading portions of The Purpose Driven Life. Immediately, the book again made publishing history by returning to No. 1 on all best-seller lists three years after its release.
With its rise in popularity, Starbucks chose to quote Warren from The Purpose Driven Life in its 2005 “The Way I See It” campaign. Of the 63 quotations from writers, scientists, musicians, athletes, politicians and cultural icons featured on Starbucks’ cups, Warren’s was the first to mention God within the campaign.
“Movie stars and political leaders aren't the only ones turning to Rick Warren for spiritual guidance,” said Time magazine of the book. “Millions of people—from NFL and LPGA players to corporate executives to high school students to prison inmates—meet regularly to discuss The Purpose Driven Life.”
Warren's book guides readers on a personal spiritual journey of discovery in search of answers to life’s most important question: What on earth am I here for? Five biblical answers are designed to transform readers’ outlook on life. The book’s famous opening line states, “It’s not about you.”
“Though its been 10 years since The Purpose Driven Life first released, individuals are still searching for purpose in life, though it is sometimes referred to by different terminology,” said Warren. “Our world has changed dramatically over the past decade, but God's Word is always relevant. I believe now more than ever, people need the hope, joy and peace that comes from living out their God-given purpose.”
Following the worldwide success of the The Purpose Driven Life, more than 30,000 U.S. churches participated in the 40 Days of Purpose module that trains their membership in the Purpose Driven paradigm. Warren also began the Purpose Driven Network of churches, a global coalition of congregations in 162 countries, working to create the essential elements of a healthy, growing, biblically based church through worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and missions.
The release of The Purpose Driven Life significantly increased Warren’s national and international influence. In 2005, Time listed him among “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” and as “The Most Influential Evangelical in America.” In addition, Forbes named him “One of the World’s Most Powerful Celebrities” in 2006, while Newsweek placed him among the “15 People Who Make America Great” and U.S. News & World Report said he was one of “America’s 25 Best Leaders.”
Consistent with his ministry calling, upon the worldwide success of The Purpose Driven Life, Warren and his wife, Kay, channeled a significant portion of the proceeds from the book to three specific foundations, including Acts of Mercy, which serves those infected and affected by AIDS; Equipping the Church, which trains church leaders in developing countries; and The Global PEACE Fund, which fights the five global giants of spiritual emptiness, self-centered leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease and illiteracy.
In addition, Warren paid back his salary to Saddleback Church for the previous 22 years since its founding and no longer receives any compensation for his work at the church. Further, he and his wife continue to be reverse-tithers, giving away more than 90 percent of their income to ministry and living on the remaining 10 percent.
Warren continues to be a voice of influence both within the media and social media spheres. A 2010 Klout study compiled by Forbes listed Warren among the top 20 most influential individuals on Twitter. He currently has more than 750,000 followers. Author of 10 books, Warren founded Saddleback Church with Kay in 1980. Located in Lake Forest, Calif., today the church is one of the 10 largest churches in America, with an average weekly attendance of 22,000.
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