Archives For Rick Warren

Christmas BokehOne of the secrets of growth at Saddleback Church is that we usespecial days as an evangelism tool and to keep our members motivated toward the growth of our congregation. In a sense, Saddleback Church was built around three days each year: Easter, Christmas, and Mother’s Day.

Here are some reasons we plan for growth during Christmas:

Christmas attracts the community. You are well aware that many people who normally never come to church will come for Christmas services or Christmas presentations. In addition, your whole community is immersed in Christmas, and many people are more prepared to hear the Gospel than at other times of the year.

Christmas encourages members to bring relatives and friends. Christmas is a perfect time to make a first impression. If your relatives wonder where you’re going to church and you bring them to church on the biggest Sunday of the year, they’ll catch the excitement of the congregation. Your members will find it easier to invite family and friends to church at Christmas than any other time of the year.

Christmas enlarges the vision of your members. This is a time to help your congregation catch a vision…

Continue Reading

Rick Warren's Library

If you’ve ever been to Israel, you know there’s a real contrast between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is full of water and full of life. There are trees and vegetation. They still do commercial fishing there. But the Dead Sea is just that – dead. There are no fish in it and no life around it. The Sea of Galilee is at the top of Israel and receives waters from the mountains of Lebanon. They all come into the top of it and then it gives out at the bottom. That water flows down through the Jordan River and enters into the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea takes in but it never gives out. That’s why it’s stagnant. The point is, there must be a balance in our lives to stay fresh with both input and output. There’s got to be an inflow and an outflow.

Somebody has said, “When your output exceeds your income your upkeep will be your downfall.” There must be a balance. Most Christians get too much input and not enough output. They attend Bible study after Bible study. They’re…

Continue Reading

TargetGod is more concerned with your progress than your perfect performance. The very nature of discipleship is progressive. God’s purpose is that you become more and more like His Son, Jesus, and He will use your entire life to work that process out. As ministry leaders, we are not exceptions. We are examples. If we aren’t growing and challenging ourselves to move to the next level, personally and professionally, we can’t lead a congregation or a team to do so.

Excellence, in and of itself, isn’t a core value at our church. We’d rather launch things imperfectly than wait for perfect conditions, which never really arrive. Having said that, excelling or growing and improving is another matter. While we don’t have to have reached perfection to serve God, we must be willing to grow. Some Pastors and leaders excel and grow, while others don’t. What makes the difference? The Bible mentions at least five factors that cause us to excel…

1. People who excel work with enthusiasm.

Emerson once said “Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm.” Regardless of whether the job is big or small, give it your best. Great performers give their…

Continue Reading

PrayingYou’ll never have to earn God’s favor. God loves you and is pleased with you completely because of grace and not because of your performance. People, on the other hand, are a little different. If you want to lead people, you must establish credibility and earn the respect and the right to lead them.

Leadership is influence. The way you can tell you’re a leader is to look over your shoulder. If somebody’s following, then you’re the leader. If nobody’s following, you’re not the leader. The moment you have to say to the people in your ministry, “I’m the leader!” you are no longer the leader. Leadership is something that is earned. You earn the right to lead through six character qualities in your life.

1 Timothy 3:1, 7 says, “If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task… He also must have a good reputation with outsiders so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”

If you set your heart on being an overseer, that’s a good ambition. It’s okay to have an ambition to be a leader. But if you’re going to be…

Continue Reading

24 Hours of Hope Header

Sometimes, the pain in your brain is the worst kind of pain.

When your mind gets sick, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with painful thoughts like panic, or anxiety, or rage, or compulsive ideas that you can’t get out of your mind. Mental pain can lead to despair and even thoughts of ending your life.

THE GOOD NEWS IS
YOU’RE NOT ALONE AND THERE IS HOPE!

That’s why I urge you to join me this Friday, October 10, for 24 HOURS OF HOPE, A FREE, GLOBAL ONLINE SIMULCAST.

Watch this special message from Kay and me…

Because “mental” illness is so misunderstood, it is often stigmatized as strange or different or shameful. So we hide our hurt and suffer in silence, thinking we are “odd” or “not normal.”  But the truth is, illnesses of the brain are as common as illnesses of any other organ.

Today, one out of four adults in America is affected by a mental illness at some point in their lives. That means you know and love family, friends, and co-workers who are struggling with some type of mental illness. You may be struggling, too.

BECAUSE …

Don't FallOne of my gravest concerns about the witness of the church to our current culture is the threat to our evangelistic integrity caused by moral failures among ministry leaders. Every time a leader falls, we all suffer with that leader and his family and friends. And our collective witness to God’s truth suffers as well. For Jesus’ sake, for the gospel’s sake, for your sake and your family’s sake, decide daily that you’re going to live with integrity by God’s grace.

I Corinthians 10:13 in the Living Bible says, “The wrong desires that come into your life aren’t anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you. And no temptation is irresistible. God will show you how to escape.” I find this verse incredibly reassuring. First, it says everybody faces temptation. It’s man’s oldest problem, since Adam and Eve. We’ve all had problems with temptation. I’m tempted, you’re tempted. It’s not a sin to be tempted. It is a sin to give in to temptation. And God will provide a way out, a way of escape.

Here are six ways to take that escape, to avoid fatal attractions…

Make a…

Continue Reading

Structure is far more important that we usually realize. Every building in the world has to have the right structure to stand up and not collapse. Living things have structure as well. An animal can grow to no more than nine inches without an internal skeletal system. And every church has a structure as well. Some churches are structured for health and growth while others are structured merely to maintain and to survive.

Jesus once said, “no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins.” (Luke 5:37 NLT) His point was that nothing can expand without a flexible structure. In fact, a rigid or inflexible structure is one of the reasons many churches cannot break through some common growth barriers.

How can you tell when your structure needs to be more flexible?

1. When your growth has plateaued. When you’re going nowhere, it is often the result of a structure that is holding your church back. It must be understood that structure does not cause growth. Re-structuring will not start growth for a church…

Continue Reading

Helmets

Leaders are readers. Leaders are learners. And leaders are definitely thinkers. Your mind is a special gift from God. It’s one of the most important tools in a leader’s arsenal. Your mind can potentially store 100 trillion thoughts, yet the average person only uses 3½ million thoughts a year. We only use about ten percent of our mental (or brain) capacity.

While our minds can be the epicenter of creative and influential leadership, our minds are also battlegrounds that must be guarded. All moral failure begins in the mind. 1 Peter 1:13 says, “Prepare your minds for action. Be self-controlled.” Notice that self-control and mental preparation go together. God says that the self-controlled person is the mentally fit person. We can love God with our minds. We’ve often talked about loving God with our hearts but God says we can love Him with our mind. I believe that God wants you to make the most of your mind. As that commercial says, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

We battle an old sinful nature that often clouds our thinking. We live in a world that bombards us with false and counterfeit philosophies. And we have an…

Continue Reading

Start Over

God is a God of second chances and fresh starts. And if you’re alive and breathing and reading this post, God obviously isn’t finished with you yet. Don’t quit, and don’t give up, even when you’ve experienced failure. Instead, allow God to use failure to move you forward.

In my last article, I talked about five reasons we often experience failure, and today I want to share with you the four ways to recover from failure and move forward.

1. Accept responsibility for your own failure. 

Proverbs 28:13 says, “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.” When we refuse to admit our mistakes, they are wasted. Be honest with yourself. Be honest with others. Most of us are experts at passing blame on to others. It’s part of our natural sin nature. We blame the economy, we blame the weather, we blame fate, we blame luck, you blame your parents, you blame your spouse, you blame the government.

But God says if you want to start over — if you failed — just admit it. I don’t know where we get the idea that…

Continue Reading

Truett CathyOn Monday, September 8, 2014, Truett Cathy was called home to heaven.

Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, was a giant of a man in so many ways: a godly man, a wise husband and father, a business genius, a creative innovator, a humble servant of Jesus Christ with rock-ribbed integrity, a generous philanthropist, and one who loved greatly, cared deeply for the poor, especially disadvantaged kids, and used his life and work to benefit others.

Most people, of course, have heard of Chick-fil-A, but few got to see the Cathy family up close, and marvel at this family dynasty of Christian faith. Truett and Jeanette’s legacy will live on through the great godly character and values they instilled in their children Trudy, Bubba (Don) and Dan. It’s been my privilege and honor to be a family friend of these dear people, their wonderful spouses, kids, and grandkids.

Truett was a man truly who lived his faith, welcoming the homeless into his own home, improving the lives of thousands of disadvantaged kids , and giving them help and hope. Even after becoming a billionaire CEO, Truett continued to teach his weekly Sunday School…

Continue Reading