Rick Warren Embarks on Follow-Up to 'Purpose Driven Life'

Megachurch Pastor Rick Warren is working on his next book – the follow-up to the bestselling Purpose Driven Life, which launched the Southern California preacher into national prominence.

"I'm in book writing mode right now," Warren reported in a broadcast to his church members Thursday. "I've gone back into hibernation to write the follow up to Purpose Driven Life now, eight years later. It's going to be called The Hope of the World, and my plan is to release that on Easter Sunday – our 30th anniversary – next year."

Warren had announced during the 2009 Purpose Driven Network Summit in May that he was going to take some time off soon to work on his next book, which will be about the Church and its role in today's times.

On Thursday, the evangelical leader asked church members to pray for him as he's writing.

"[P]ray … that God's Spirit will guide me in writing this next book just as He did with Purpose Driven Life so that it can change hundreds, thousands, and even more than of lives all around the world," he said.

Since its release seven years ago, The Purpose Driven Life has sold over 52 million copies and has been described as the bestselling nonfiction hardback book in history. The 2002 devotional book was also most identified in a Barna survey of American pastors and ministers as the book that was most influential on their lives and ministries.

Last year, Warren released The Purpose of Christmas, his first book since Purpose Driven Life. The 125-page gift book, which Warren called "the most evangelistic book I've ever written," hit the New York Times' list of top 5 bestselling Hardcover Advice books after two weeks on the bookshelves.

All net proceeds of The Purpose of Christmas have gone to benefit Warren's PEACE Plan – a global initiative created to mobilize millions of Christians in the fight against the five global "giants" of spiritual emptiness, self-centered leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease and illiteracy/education.