Archives For Rick Warren

Piggy Bank

Should Pastors ever talk about money? Only if you want to make disciples. What we worship shows in how we spend our time, our energy, and our money. So one of the roles of church leaders is to help people see the proper place of money in our lives and the potential reward in eternity when we invest our resources into eternal things.

The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:18-19, “Tell people to use their money to do good.  They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share whatever God has given them.  By doing this they’ll be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven.  It is the only safe investment for eternity and they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.” 

Notice three things:

  • Money should be used, not loved. We should love people and use money and never use people and love money.
  • Money can be invested to store up treasures for eternity.
  • You invest in eternity by using your money for God’s purposes for your life.

Since God has five purposes for your life, He also…

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Believe

The real foundation of great leadership is character, not charisma. And one aspect of a leader’s character is the convictions to which he is deeply committed. Great leaders have strongly held beliefs. An opinion is something you’d argue about; a conviction is something you’d die for. Pastors, especially, must define the convictions for which they will endure every kind of hardship, and the only way to stand for those kinds of convictions is to live from a deep sense of God’s calling.

If God has called you to the task of leadership, nothing can stop you. Your identity rests in your relationship with Him, not the approval of the people you are leading or the watching world around you. Instead of living in the comparison trap or the fear of what people will think, you must develop your convictions – theological, ethical, and practical – and stand by them.

Believe in advance that your convictions will be tested from at least eight angles…

1. Derision. When you’re in leadership, one of the first ways people will try to get you to deny your conviction is to make fun of you. Your convictions may very well…

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Rick and Kay

I received a letter once from a lady who was struggling in her marriage. She wrote,

Dear Pastor Rick, When I first fell in love with my husband I was sure, absolutely sure that he was the right person for me. But over the years as we’ve lived together through a lot of messy situations, I’ve seen many sides of my husband that I don’t like. My feelings toward him have turned from respect and attraction to disappointment and sometimes even disgust. I now feel like maybe I married the wrong person. Why do I feel this way and what can I do about it? Something has to change.”

Because you’re in ministry, you know that this story is all too common. But having mentored and trained thousands of pastors, I can also say that it’s all to common among ministry marriages. And one of the reasons why we read about so many moral failures among ministry leaders today is that we’ve failed to keep our marriages strong and to make them the priority over ministry. Success at home is way more important than success in professional or ministry leadership.

The Bible has…

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Rick Warren PreachingI believe that the best model to follow in the history of preaching is Jesus. It isn’t John the Baptist, Paul, or any contemporary speaker alive today. Jesus was THE Master Communicator. The Bible says in Matthew 7:28 that “the crowds were amazed at Jesus’ sermons.” Why? Because both the content and the delivery came straight from the Father. Jesus said in John 12:49, “The Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.”

When I’m preparing a message, I ask eight questions to help me prepare. The first two are about what to say and the final six are about how to say it.

1. To whom will I be preaching?

Jesus always started with His audience. He even knew their thoughts. So the first question in my mind is about the audience to which I will be speaking, and I try to picture them in my mind. And there are always three ways to get people’s attention with a message.

  • Speak about things people value.
  • Speak about things that are unusual.
  • Speak about things that threaten us.

All three break through the listening barriers that people naturally have. The goal of preaching may be…

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Saddleback Greeting

One of the most important factors for the growth of your church, of any church, of the kingdom for that matter, is how loving we are as Christians. It’s absolutely essential that we lead our churches to be love-filled communities. It’s love that reaches people. You don’t argue people into the kingdom of heaven. You love them into the kingdom of heaven.

How do you have a loving church? Three steps:

1. Accept everybody.

Have you ever been in a church of spiritual snobs? We get it and you don’t. Do you know why people have a hard time accepting others? They confuse acceptance with approval. There’s a big difference between acceptance and approval. You can accept somebody without approving of his lifestyle. He may be doing something totally contrary to the word of God, but you can accept him as a person without approving of the sin he’s involved in.

Romans 15:7 says, “Accept one another just as Christ accepted you.” That’s a start — acceptance. At Saddleback we are trying to cultivate an attitude of acceptance. At Saddleback, we communicate that the church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for…

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Easter at Saddleback

As I write this, millions of Christians and church leaders are getting ready for Easter weekend, and it’s a huge opportunity for the church to spring into action to invite and welcome lost people to hear the gospel. And so as we Pastors prepare to preach about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we desperately need the power of God – the same power that raised Jesus from the dead – to be at work in and through us.

The resurrection of Jesus was the greatest demonstration of the power of God in all of history. Let me explain why.

After Jesus died they put His body in a tomb. But the tombs were different in those days than they are today. Today we put somebody in a coffin and put them in the ground and we cover them up with dirt. In those days they buried people in caves. They often would use it for many, many bodies. It was not just one burial; lots of people would be buried in the cave. So they’d find a cave and they’d build a trench in front of it and they’d…

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Big EasterEaster is one of the two biggest weekends for most churches in terms of attendance. I see this as a great opportunity for evangelism to begin and for a relationship to start between your church and all of the visitors who come that Sunday. You should do everything you can to leverage Easter weekend for growth.

At the same time, it’s important not to ‘put all your eggs in the Easter basket.’ What I mean is, Easter is a great starting point for evangelism, but it’s not the finish line, at least not for a purpose driven church. In our culture, it usually takes multiple exposures to the gospel for someone to make a decision to follow Jesus. Let me explain.

Give People More Than One WEEK

Many churches offer a come-forward invitation, which by the way, I used to do myself, Billy Graham, style when I would preach evangelistic crusades. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with altar calls. But often the emphasis is on making a decision in the moment and often there is a…

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leadershipAs a pastor, you need to be able to put together projects efficiently and effectively. Whether you are starting a new church, planning a new ministry, opening a new building – or just preparing for next weekend’s services, you need to mobilize people on a common task. That’s leadership in a nutshell.

When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to help rebuild the city’s wall, he had a monster project on his hands. How he tackled that project provides us with seven key principles for getting things done —

1. The principle of simplification

Nehemiah kept his plan simple. He didn’t randomly assign jobs; he didn’t create a whole new organization; and he didn’t force any complex charts.

He organized around groups already associating together, such as the priests, the men of Jericho, and the sons of Hassenaah. The point is: don’t create an organization if you don’t need it. If an organization already naturally exists, try to work through it and with it.

Sometimes a new leader comes into a situation, and the first thing he does is start changing the whole organization. Think: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Strong organizations are often the…

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Clock

Everything rises or falls on leadership. No organization, no ministry, no church, no family, no school, no business can go any further than the leaders who are leading it. If everything rises or falls on leadership, then the quickest way for the opposition to halt any project, any family, any business is to neutralize the leadership. When the shepherd is removed, the flock scatters.

That’s true today in our churches. When Satan wants to cripple a church, he takes on the leadership. And this is not just about the pastor and the paid staff, but the church leadership’s — the lay leadership. If you want to be a leader, some people aren’t going to like you, and they’re going to attack you. Some people are going to try to make you fail.

Here are four characteristics of leaders who last long enough to accomplish big things in spite of the challenges.

1.  Leaders who last have a compelling purpose.

This is the very first element of leadership. A cause. A vision. A dream. An objective. A goal. It doesn’t drive you, it draws you. You have to have a compelling purpose.

Until…

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Rick Angel Stadium

Last week, I wrote about the 9 reasons why your church should make the most of ‘big days’ for growth. And I told you that ‘big days’ have been very instrumental in Saddleback’s growth over the last 34 years. We’ve learned the art of pyramiding growth through special days.

But how? How do we maximize those big days for all they’re worth? Here are nine ways.

1. Plan your big days around your main worship service.

You might host other special events, but if you’re hoping to enlarge your main service attendance, then you will get the most benefit out of big days if they are planned around your existing, primary weekend service(s). It’s very difficult to try to get people who attend a special event during the week to become part of your weekend service.

2.  Plan big days on a naturally high attendance day.

Have your special day on a day when people are most likely to come anyway. They include without a doubt Easter, Mother’s Day and Christmas Eve. Those are a…

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Pyramiding

Easter is coming! And it will be one of the most well-attended Sundays for churches this year. Wise church leaders will take advantage of the opportunity to present the simple but profoundly hopeful message of Jesus’ resurrection to all of the extra guests who come.

One of the secrets to Saddleback’s growth over the years is big days. There are three holidays we’ve used powerfully – Easter, Christmas Eve, and Mother’s Day – and then a few other weekends such as the kick-off or celebration of a big campaign. We plan for those days and we use them as an evangelism tool and as a stimulus to motivate our members on to growth for the rest of the year.  These days are big high points and there are some real advantages to planning big days with a special emphasis, particularly around Easter.

Here are nine reasons why high attendance days can be so meaningful. 

1. Big days build morale.

Without a doubt, people enjoy being a part of something big, something exciting. It develops unity and pride among our people. When people work together, there’s just a sense of excitement. It’s hard…

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Clay Pots

If you’re a Pastor or church leader of any kind, you most likely found yourself in that place because you want God to use you. And chances are, you want God’s help releasing and freeing other people to be used by God as well for both ministry and mission.

The question is, what kind of person must I be to be used greatly by God? 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “The eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them.”
If you want God to use you greatly, here are five things you need to do to make yourself usable by Him.

1. Keep your life clean.

The first step to being used by God is always personal cleansing. Without exception, when you find someone whom God is using in a great way, they’ve dealt with the personal sin in their lives before God.

It’s not about your past or your status in the world your your talent. God uses small vessels, plain vessels, and even broken vessels. But He will not use…

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