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Man with a Mission

16 August 2004

He's the author of one of the top-selling books of all time, but the chances are that you've never heard of him. Rick Warren, dubbed 'America's pastor', is the author of the monumental bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life. The book has now sold a staggering 20 million copies worldwide and is currently racing out at the rate of a million copies a month. It's been on the New York Times bestseller list for a straight 70 weeks and looks like staying there indefinitely. The huge sales of Warren's book must have played a major part in the 37% growth in religious publishing in the US last year.

Warren is a man with a mission. Working through a network of American churches, he has used the book to propagate his '40 Days of Purpose' programme, which presents 'a manifesto for Christian living in the twentieth century'. This is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. He has by-passed the traditional media, particularly television, and used the Internet to build his campaign. Over 300,000 pastors across the globe have been trained in the programme. Around 125,000 of them get his weekly email, which includes his latest sermon, ready for them to deliver to their congregations.

Warren is now working through a global network of churches - more than 15,000 worldwide have already carried out the programme. By the end of the year over 30,000 churches will have completed it. They span all denominations and already include over 1,000 churches in Britain and 1500 in the Philippines. With its straightforward message, its propagation through the pastors and its enthusiastic international adoption, The Purpose-Driven Life is bound to continue generating huge sales as its author's message is carried across the world.