Archives For Pastor Rick Warren

Screenshot 2016-08-29 06.31.07

God always blesses us so we can bless others. After The Purpose Driven Life came out and became one of the best-selling books in history, it became clear that God wanted to use my influence to help others. That’s when God put the PEACE Plan on my heart. PEACE is an acronym that stands for:

  • Planting churches that promote reconciliation
  • Equipping servant leaders
  • Assisting the poor
  • Caring for the sick
  • Educating the next generation

It’s basically what Jesus did when he was here on earth. There’s not a lot that’s unique about doing these five things. Mission organizations in all corners of the globe are doing them already. Churches have done them for 2,000 years.

It’s how these five things are done that makes PEACE unique. These are the seven PILLARS of the PEACE Plan…

Promotes, plants, and partners with the local church

First and foremost the PEACE Plan is about reclaiming the primacy of the local church in its role in global missions. Why? For the last century, the church has abdicated that role to parachurch organizations, mission boards, and mission organizations. Don’t get me wrong. These organizations are doing great work, but they were never…

Continue Reading

We have a lot of haphazard ministry being done in our churches around the world. Good people, who love the Lord, aren’t thinking through what God has called them to do. Ministry is too important to be done haphazardly. We can’t just say, “I’ll give it my best shot!” We need to think through what the ministries in our church are all about. Our ministries must be good stewards of all they’ve been given. For that to happen, we’ve got to plan ministry strategically.

There are seven important questions that need to be answered when you’re planning an effective ministry. These are questions for any healthy ministry – whether it’s your music ministry, greeters, small group leaders, or any other ministry team.

1. Why are you here?

Every ministry in your church should have a clear idea of what it’s all about. That means asking two tough questions… What is the business of this ministry? And what is none of this ministry’s business?

What’s the business of Saddleback? We attract members, teach them to worship God, develop them to Christlike maturity, and mobilize them for ministry in the church and a life mission in the…

Continue Reading

PD_Essentials_Header

It’s been just over six weeks since the 2016 Purpose Driven Church Conference, and I’m still hearing stories of pastors who walked away with a renewed vision for their church and ministry. After 10 years, it was exciting to see so many new faces. We learned that 70 percent were attending the Purpose Driven Conference for the first time!

With so many people asking for more foundational training for The Purpose Driven Church, I knew the time was NOW to host Purpose Driven Essentials. On October 11-14, I’ll be sharing classic PD strategies including: establishing a foundation for growth, defining your church’s purpose, reaching your community, growing a congregation, building disciples, and much more.

This 4-day seminar is all about understanding PD strategies and learning how to move the local church body into engaged disciples for impact in the community. I’ll be teaching all the materials, with opportunities for workshops to really dig into the fundamentals of building a healthy church. This is exactly the kind of thing you’ll want to bring your core leaders and church members to, since I’ll be giving you proven systems for the local church.

No matter if…

Continue Reading

If you’re a pastor, you should certainly be striving for greater excellence as a communicator, as a leader, and as an organizer. You need a vision. You need a strategy. You need a solid, biblical theology of ministry and the church. But you can have all of these and remain stuck in mediocrity without God’s power. The greatest work you’ll ever commit to as a pastor is the work of prayer.

Praying churches, those that experience the miraculous power of God, are led by praying pastors. This is why Jesus spent time teaching his disciples how to pray. He knew that once he had ascended back to heaven, his church would need to connect with him, and the way we connect with God and receive his direction and his power is through prayer.

Jesus gave his disciples at least four reasons to keep on growing in the area of prayer.

1. Prayer is an act of dedication.

It is an opportunity to express our devotion to God as well as our dependence on God. Our biggest problem when it comes to the frequency and passion in our praying is that we don’t feel the need to…

Continue Reading

Jesus told us that he came so that we would have “life to the fullest” (John 10:10). If that was Jesus’ goal while he was on earth, don’t you think that should be a goal of the church?

Most people aren’t living life to the fullest. Sure, most people have full lives. They’re always going from one place to another, from one accomplishment to another, and often from one relationship to another. Many people’s schedules are full, but that’s a far cry from living life to the fullest.

First and foremost, living life to the fullest starts with Jesus. We cannot have a full life without him. Salvation is the starting point to a life fulfilled, but it’s not the end. There are a lot – I mean a lot – of unfulfilled Christians. And that devastates our witness to the world.

After salvation, a fulfilled life is one where four basic needs are met. God has uniquely called the Body of Christ to meet those needs. In this issue of Toolbox, I’ll share those four needs and how the church is best equipped to meet them.

1. Support

Everyone wants to know they’re not alone….

Continue Reading

Structure doesn’t cause growth; the structure of your church determines how fast you’ll grow and the size to which you’ll grow. There is no clear organizational structure in the New Testament, and I think God did that intentionally so the Church can adapt to different stages, ages, and cultures. God gives us broad principles and not narrow rules. There is no perfect structure.

As we study Scripture, we learn two general principles about organizing and structuring for growth. First, God wants us to organize around the purposes for which he created the Church. And, second, God wants us to organize around the gifts of our members. Purpose and giftedness determine how you should organize your church.

Here are some advantages to a simple, gift-based structure:

It focuses the church on ministry, not maintenance. When organization is overemphasized, a church can lose its focus on ministry. I heard about a grease factory that, as it became more and more successful, had to build more machinery to produce the grease. But, they also had to use more of the grease on the machinery they were adding. Pretty soon, they closed the marketing…

Continue Reading

Convictions Church Change World

You tend to base your decisions on one of four motivations in life: circumstances, conveniences, criticisms, or convictions. Yet only decisions that are based on your convictions will last and leave a lasting legacy.

The people who have made the greatest impact on this world, for good or bad, are those who had the deepest convictions. They weren’t necessarily the smartest people, the brightest people, the most educated, the wealthiest, or even the most famous.

If you’re going to build convictions, you need to build them on something that’s going to last. Everything changes. Fads change, fashions change. Psychology changes. Even science textbooks change. We keep learning more and more. There’s only one thing that never changes. That is the truth of God. If it was true a thousand years ago, it will be true today and it will be true a thousand years from tomorrow because truth does not change.

The Bible says this in Isaiah 40:8: “The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever” (NLT).

Saddleback has been built on six biblical convictions that are all based on God’s eternal Word. I’m willing…

Continue Reading

We all have hurts, habits, and hang-ups. What’s yours? Stress? Fears? Overwork? Unhealthy or unholy attractions? Addictions? Regrets? Worry? Bad habits? Anger? Dishonesty? The overwhelming need to control? Finances? Perfectionism? Resentment? Compulsive thoughts? And the list goes on.

Every problem in your life has the same root cause. Every problem in your life starts when you play God.

Jesus starts his most famous Sermon on the Mount by saying, I want to tell you 8 ways to be happy. And the way you think you’re going to be happy is not at all the way the world tells you to be happy. Jesus states each of these 8 ways to be healthy as what we call a “beatitude,” and we refer to them as life’s healing choices.

The first beatitude is the first healing choice, which I refer to as the reality choice, for getting rid of your habits, your hurts, and your hang-ups that mess up your life.  Matthew 5:3, the first Beatitude God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” (NLT).

And what does it mean to be “poor in spirit?” It means I…

Continue Reading

The most fundamental question that teenagers in your community will ever wrestle with is, “Why am I here?”

Unlike past generations, teens today aren’t looking for the meaning of life. Instead, they’re searching for meaning in life, a purpose for living, something that makes their lives worth living.

The fact is they’re seeking the very thing for which God made them, and that’s why it’s important you consistently teach teens about their purpose in life.

The Bible teaches that God made everyone – even teenagers – with a purpose.

For instance, in Colossians we’re told, “For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible … everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him” (Colossians 1:16 MSG).

Do you think you would see a difference in the life of your teenage son or daughter if he or she felt truly and wholly accepted by God? What if they understood – deeply – that they belonged to the family of God? Or that the hand of God will guide them – deliberately – throughout life?

How do you think your teens would react if they discovered that God created them for a specific mission in…

Continue Reading

Healthy, growing churches are outwardly-focused, always thinking about how to communicate the gospel to a lost culture and bring the next unchurched person into a thriving relationship with God. In the same way, a healthy church staff thinks about more than just how to accomplish the next team project. Great church leaders are kingdom-thinkers with a global vision for God’s glory.

Since the earliest days of Saddleback Church, I’ve challenged every staff member to think about their role in at least 3 realms.

First, you have a ministry to the unchurched.

You may have a role in church leadership related to kids ministry volunteers, creating graphics and videos, or expanding the church’s small groups ministry, but your first ministry is always to those who are lost and far from God. Every church leader needs to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5) and share the Good News about Jesus with your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.

As a matter of fact, the reason why we strive to balance the five purposes and make more disciples is ultimately so that more disciples can be made. Every facet of church ministry fits together to create a healthy body that…

Continue Reading

Spiritual maturity is not automatic. It must be intentionally cultivated. This is your role and your responsibility as a leader in your church. Every church should want its people to be as much like Christ as possible. We want them to be spiritually deep.

When you go fishing, do you want quality or quantity? I want both! It’s entirely possible to lead a church to grow multi-dimensionally, both deeper and wider.

Just as it takes certain tools to cultivate a garden so that it will grow, there are certain practical tools that you need to cultivate spiritual growth in the lives of your members. It’s not automatic. It doesn’t just happen. You have to help them grow.

There are five primary tools that Saddleback Church has been using for over three decades to cultivate spiritual growth. Really, if you want to know the secret behind Saddleback Church, it’s these five things. These are five very practical tools that we have used to develop the maturity level of people in our church.

1. Commitment cards

The commitment cards that we place in the back of every seat and that we use online with our live stream help our people respond to…

Continue Reading

The Church is the most magnificent concept ever created. It has survived persistent abuse, horrifying persecution, and widespread neglect. Yet despite its faults (due to our sinfulness), it is still God’s chosen instrument of blessing and has been for 2,000 years.

The Church will last for eternity, and because it is God’s instrument for ministry here on Earth, it is truly the greatest force on the face of the Earth. That’s why I believe tackling the world’s biggest problems – the giants of spiritual lostness, egocentric leadership, poverty, disease, and ignorance – can only be done through the Church.

The Church has eight distinct advantages over the efforts of business and government:

1. The Church provides for the largest participation.

Most people have no idea how many Christians there are in the world: More than 2 billion people claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. That’s one third of the world’s population! The Church has about a billion more people than the entire nation of China.

For example, close to 100 million people in the United States went to church this past weekend. That’s more people than will attend sporting events in the United States throughout this year. The…

Continue Reading