Positive, Off-the-Charts User Feedback Prompts Ministry to Transition
And Expand to Interactive Services and Free Content

Purpose Driven Connection magazine, produced jointly by Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, and The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., will move to an expanded, fully Web-based, digital format in January 2010, it was announced today.

“Impressive reader feedback has prompted us to focus all our energies on our digital format, so our content can be expanded, international, interactive and free,” Warren explained. “The positive response from readers was so overwhelming we didn’t want the content to be limited only to Americans who could afford a subscription to a magazine.”

The last print issue will be the Christmas issue, due out in mid-November. Issues in 2010 will be posted free of charge on

To ensure a successful transition to an all-digital Web magazine, RDA is refunding any unused print subscriptions, and will be working closely with Saddleback Church in hosting the site through the first quarter of 2010.

“Reader’s Digest has been so helpful to us, bending over backwards, and offering expertise, in order to help us fulfill our dream,” said Warren. “From the start, we’ve been amazed by the company’s commitment to us. They believed in this magazine before we did.”

Alyce Alston, President of Emerging Businesses, who developed the project for RDA, said, “We are proud of this venture and are pleased that it is positively touching so many lives. It has been a privilege and delight working with the Saddleback team and Pastor Rick to launch Purpose Driven Connection. The customer satisfaction feedback was off the chart, and is the proof of a successful concept. We are delighted that our creative collaboration has launched a long-term result that will serve the Purpose Driven community.”

Since the launch of Purpose Driven Connection magazine in January 2009, subscribers to Daily Hope, Warren’s free, daily digital devotional has grown to over 400,000 people.

“Our biggest discovery was learning that people prefer reading our content online rather than in print, because it is more convenient and accessible,” said Warren. “Cell phones now allow us to take content everywhere. And, from our viewpoint, an online magazine allows us to minister to people internationally; provide more content and features than we could fit in a print magazine; create interaction and two-way dialogue; and offer it for free.

“So when we heard the feedback and noticed subscriptions to the print magazine lagging behind Internet usage, in spite of strong retail newsstand sales, we jumped at the chance to go all digital,” Warren concluded. “Thankfully, Reader’s Digest was willing to help us make the transition.”

Warren is a pastor, author, global strategist, and theologian, who has been called “America’s Most Powerful Religious Leader” and listed among the “100 Most Influential People in the World” (TIME); “15 People Who Make America Great” (Newsweek); “One of America’s 25 Best Leaders” (U.S. News and World Report); and “America’s Pastor” (“USA Today”). He and his wife Kay founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., with one family in 1980. Today the congregation has over 100,000 names on the church roll, a 120-acre campus, and more than 300 community ministries.

RDA is a global multi-brand media and marketing company that educates, entertains and connects audiences around the world. The company builds multi-platform communities based on branded content. With offices in 44 countries, it markets books, magazines, and music, video and educational products reaching a customer base of 130 million in 78 countries. It publishes 94 magazines, including 50 editions of Reader’s Digest, the world’s largest-circulation magazine, operates 65 branded websites generating 22 million unique visitors per month, and sells approximately 40 million books, music and video products across the world each year. Its global headquarters are in Pleasantville, N.Y.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information about Rick Warren, please visit To arrange an interview with Brian Bird, editor of Purpose Driven Connection, please contact [email protected].

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