Rick Warren , Reader's Digest Announce Co-Branded Multimedia Resource Partnership

The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., and Dr. Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church and the author of the worldwide best seller, “The Purpose Driven Life,” today announced a partnership to produce an inspirational multimedia platform called The Purpose Driven Connection.

Together the organizations will pool their international resources to produce and publish this Purpose Driven platform to help people who are seeking their purpose in life and wish to interact with others on their spiritual journeys. The platform will provide a suite of bundled multimedia tools: “The Purpose Driven Connection,” a quarterly magazine; Small Group study materials delivered in DVDs, workbooks and downloadable discussion guides; and a state-of-the-art Christian social networking website.

“We are excited about this new partnership and its unprecedented potential for international impact,” said Warren, who will serve as Editor-in-Chief and be heavily involved in the conception of each element. “The Purpose Driven Connection represents more than simply integrated multimedia resources; it will become a platform for a movement of people to change the world.”

“We are delighted to be working with Rick Warren and the Saddleback team,” said Alyce Alston, President of RDA’s Home & Garden and Health & Wellness affinities. “This is one of our company’s most important and far-reaching ventures ever. Together we will create a category-busting multimedia suite that will help millions of people in their daily lives, including those who already follow the Purpose Driven principles as well as seekers everywhere looking for greater fulfillment.”

The Purpose Driven Connection revolves around the theme, “Your Life Matters,” and mirrors Warren’s book, which has sold more than 30 million copies since being released in 2002 and has been read by 60 million people and translated into nearly 100 languages. It also relates to Saddleback Church’s PEACE Plan, initiated by Warren, which mobilizes Christians to combat global problems affecting billions of people, including spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic diseases and illiteracy. To date, the PEACE Coalition has advanced the program among the public, profit and faith sectors in 68 countries.

The magazine, to launch early in 2009, will include stories of everyday people who have found God’s purpose for their lives. The framework for the platform will be designed to provide five practical tools to communicate five spiritual purposes – Knowing, Relating, Growing, Serving and Sharing — each through a combination of teaching and testimony.

“The magazine will be consistent with our highest editorial standards,” said Frank Lalli, RDA’s Vice President of International Editions and Magazine Development. “In the best traditions of RDA, we are commissioning extraordinary photographers, illustrators and writers to travel the world and capture real-life stories that will change how readers think and inspire them to take action to improve society.”

The multimedia elements include an online community, daily Bible text messaging, church curriculum and Small Group discussions. The website will provide readers with additional content including Purpose and PEACE Plan updates, national and international news, and forums through which visitors can share their own Purpose-Driven stories and ideas, and connect with others through the online community.

“Social networking facilitates worldwide connections with unprecedented ease,” said Alston. “The website brings together expert and reader-generated content to create a powerfully engaged community. It’s a place where people will connect with other individuals, groups, churches and organizations around the world and learn to grow, pray and share what God is doing in their lives. Christians can find and connect with new and old friends, join with others to take action and make a difference, engage with Rick Warren’s teachings, use a unique Bible search feature, support each other in rich and meaningful ways through prayer circles, support groups and personal stories, as well as enjoy videos that inspire and enlighten.”

Small Group ministry will be supported through the DVDs, Lesson Plans and workbooks and downloadable discussion guides.

“It is rare to be able to call something ‘revolutionary’ in our highly-developed world,” said Mark Affleck, Executive Director of Purpose Driven Connection. “This is just that – an entirely new and never-before-seen model for how people can not only discover their purpose in life, but also interact with others through the online community, small group network and the global PEACE initiative.”

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