New Series: Starting Over

We are pleased to announce the release of a new message series that’s available for Life Lessons groups.

What do you do when it all falls apart?
Your career
Your marriage
Your dream

How do you pick up the pieces and begin again?

In the four-part series Starting Over, Andy Stanley looks at why we have a tendency to repeat our mistakes . . . and what we can do to ensure that next time won’t be like last time.

I think Starting Over is destined to become one of the most popular series for Life Lessons groups.


Because all of us have had to start over at some point. And regardless of whether we’re starting over because of mistakes we’ve made, or because life has thrown us a curveball . . . starting over is hard. It’s humbling. And it hurts.

So if someone has advice that will make starting over smoother and less painful—and give us a better result?

That would be worth our while.

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New series: The Comparison Trap

There’s a new 3-part message series available for Life Lessons groups: The Comparison Trap.

I’m excited to add The Comparison Tramp to the Life Lessons catalog because it’s such a natural fit for Life Lessons groups. We all deal with the problem of comparing ourselves to those around us, trying to figure out where we stand and if we make the cut. At least, I know I deal with it. When this series ran live at North Point, I missed part 1 with bronchitis. When I listened to the podcast of it a week later to catch up, I was on a treadmill at the gym. And at the very moment Andy talked about how we look to our right and to our left… I happened to be sneaking a glance at the treadmill to my left, comparing their speed to mine. I was caught in the trap!

If I deal with the comparison trap and you do too, chances are that we’re not alone. Those in your sphere of influence, regardless of where they stand spiritually, deal with the same issue—and your Life Lessons group may be their best opportunity to find out how to escape the comparison trap!

[Visit the series page for series description, MP3 downloads, video preview, and more.]

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Choosing DVDs

What should we do next?

Have any suggestions for our next DVD?
These are among the most common questions I field from Life Lessons leaders. I love getting these questions, because it tells me you want to be intentional about what you show in your groups. I enjoy talking through the options and helping you make your selections. In choosing message series, there are 3 primary considerations that I think are key to your success:

What drives interest?
If we are to achieve our goal of reaching those who are disconnected from God and/or church, we need to consider what topics and series are going to pique the interest of our target audience.

What are the felt needs?
Outsiders might come the first time because of the offer of free food, or because a title piques their interest. But they’re only going to come back if they feel like Life Lessons is worth their time—and I think that comes down largely to usefulness. When a message hits someone right where they are—where they feel God was speaking directly to them—that’s when participating in Life Lessons becomes a priority rather than just another demand on their time.

What have we done recently?
If you look at the Series Descriptions spreadsheet, you’ll see that one of the columns of the Summary sheet lists the Category of messages. Most series fit into one of the following categories:

Once you hit a category, I would wait at least 6 months before choosing something else from the same category, even if the first choice from that category was well received. Last year, a group wanted to follow up iMarriage with Staying In Love because there had been such positive response to iMarriage. That may have been a short-term gain, but it would have been a long-term loss. Had they done 7 straight sessions (over 4 months) on the same topic, I think they would have seen a drop-off in attendance as the messages started to sound repetitive. They also would have lost the 4 weeks’ worth of opportunity to attract new people who weren’t particularly interested in a relationships series. Instead, they saw 30% growth for their next series, which was Taking Responsibility For Your Life.

I would also recommend trying to hit at least 7 different categories over the course of 2 years.  By varying the topics, you can avoid fatigue and increase the likelihood that each person in your audience will hear something that makes a difference in his or her life.

By taking these 3 considerations into account, I think you’ll set your group up well for drawing interest, keeping interest, and creating opportunities for God to get people’s attention.

What do you think? How do you select your DVDs? (Submit your comments here.)

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