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‘Purpose-Driven Life’ among 5 book-of-the-year nominees

TEMPE, Ariz. (BP)–“The Purpose-Driven Life” by Rick Warren is a finalist for the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s Christian Book of the Year Award. The award is based upon nominations by Christian retailers.

The five books nominated are:

— “The Purpose-Driven Life” by Rick Warren (Zondervan)

— “Let’s Roll!” by Lisa Beamer (Tyndale House Publishers)

— “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian (Harvest House Publishers)

— “Safely Home” by Randy Alcorn (Tyndale House Publishers)

— “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge (Thomas Nelson Publishers)

The Power of a Praying Wife, Safely Home and Wild at Heart also were finalists last year.

Warren is the pastor of one of the largest and most influential Southern Baptist churches in the world — Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif. — and author of the Purpose-Driven Church paradigm, a model for church health embraced by thousands of churches throughout the international community.

The award for Christian Book of the Year Award will be presented at the 26th Annual Gold Medallion Banquet on July 12 at the Christian Booksellers Association International Convention in Orlando, Fla.

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association is comprised of 280 member companies worldwide. Founded in 1974, it is an international not-for-profit trade organization serving its industry by promoting excellence, professionalism, sharing relevant data, stimulating Christian fellowship, raising the effectiveness of member publishing houses and equipping them to meet the needs of the changing marketplace.

Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life, released in October 2002, is closing in on 3 million in sales. It is the top-selling religion book in the United States.

The book teaches that God created individuals with five distinct purposes in mind: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and missions. It takes the same ground-breaking concepts introduced in Warren’s 1995 best-seller “The Purpose-Driven Church” and applies them to the individual, teaching that God wants people to live in balance between the five purposes.

“When I wrote The Purpose-Driven Life, I had my local congregation — Saddleback Church — in mind and all of the people in Orange County, Calif.,” Warren said when The Purpose-Driven Life reached number one on The New York Times best-seller list for hardcover advice books on April 27.

“But I also — in faith — believed the book could be an instrument of transformation across the nation, and then the world,” Warren said. “More than sales or awards, I thank God that he is using this book to transform lives.”

Many churches are using the book in conjunction with “40 Days of Purpose,” a six-week emphasis that encourages entire congregations to begin living out God’s purposes for their lives.

During 40 Days of Purpose at Saddleback, the church baptized 671 new believers, added almost 1,200 new members, and increased its average attendance by 2,000.

Warren said other churches using 40 Days of Purpose have seen similar results. “Hundreds of pastors and lay leaders are writing us, saying, ‘Our church will never be the same’ or ‘This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to our church.’ One pastor wrote, ‘I’ve seen more growth in our members in the last 40 days than in the last 13 years.'”

The next 40 Days of Purpose emphasis is planned for October. Interested churches can call 1-800-SADDLEBACK or go to www.PurposeDriven.com.

    About the Author

  • Jon Walker