Archives For Rick Warren

The Post-It PrankPastors, we tend to share a lot throughout the year. Some of you are preparing two or three messages and presentations every week. When you repeat that process 52 times in a year, life gets exhausting. How do you stay motivated to keep going?

Let me share with you how I’ve managed to motivate myself. Here are seventeen things you can do to keep yourself motivated.

1. Put your plans on paper.

Write out what you want to accomplish. Spell it out. Dawson Trotman said, ”Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips.” If I can say it and I can write it down, then it’s clear. If I haven’t written it down, then it’s vague.

A lot of us go around with anxiety which is this free-floating, vague fear that I’m not getting it all accomplished. Just the very fact of putting it down, a lot of times, gives credence and relief to your mind and you’re able to focus on it.

2. Break big tasks into small steps.

When I’m preparing a sermon, I think, “What do I have to do? I’ve got to collect the verses, study the…

Continue Reading

Purpose Driven ChurchWhen I wrote The Purpose Driven Church, I predicted that church health – not church growth – would be the primary concern of the 21st Century church. I believe that prediction is proving itself true.

The New Testament says a lot about the health of the church. Consider just a few verses:

“As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow,
so that the whole body is healthy and growing. …” (Ephesians 4:16b, NLT)

“The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church.” (2 Corinthians 2:9, Msg)

“You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other. …” (James 3:18, Msg)

Church health is the key to church growth. All living things grow if they’re healthy. You don’t have to make them grow – it’s just natural for living organisms. As a parent, I didn’t have to force my three children to grow. They naturally grew up. As long as I removed the hindrances, such as…

Continue Reading

Editor’s Note: The following article by Pastor Rick originally appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of Ministry Today when he served as Guest Editor. Please continue to pray for the Warren family as they grieve the loss of Rick and Kay’s son, Matthew. 


The greatest need in the world today is to release the latent energy bottled up in believers who are doing nothing for the Kingdom of God. It’s time for the Church to rise up and be the Church. The Church is the Body of Christ; but it seems like our hands and feet have been amputated, and most of the time we’re just a big mouth. It’s time for the Church to stop being known for what we’re against and start being known for what we stand for: grace, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, salvation, and new life in Jesus Christ.

That’s why we began re-thinking our mission strategy at Saddleback. Jesus tells us to “go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15 NCV). “Go” is a key word…

Continue Reading

True MissionPastor, you’ve got a sleeping giant in your church. If you awake that sleeping giant, it’ll change your church, your community and the world. This sleeping giant in your church is your unengaged lay people.

If 10 percent of your church does most of the work, you have nine entire churches your size sitting on the sidelines each week. Fully engaged, the ministry potential of your church is mind-boggling!

Each Sunday, church pews are filled with members who are doing nothing with their faith except “keeping” it. The designation active member in most churches simply means those who attend regularly and financially support the church. Not much more is expected.

But God has far greater expectations for every Christian. He expects every Christian to use their gifts and talents in ministry. If we can ever awaken and unleash the massive talent, resources, creativity, and energy found in the typical local church, Christianity will explode with growth at an unprecedented rate.

I believe that the greatest need in evangelical churches is the release of members for ministry. George Gallup once took a survey and discovered that only ten percent of American church…

Continue Reading

StepsDo you realize that if your weekend attendance totals about 90 people, you’re an above average church (at least in the United States and when measuring by such numbers)?

If you’re wondering what you need to do to grow, here are eight steps that can help you break an attendance barrier:

1) Decide you really, really want to grow — Believe it or not, the primary barrier to church growth is desire. Do you really want to grow? If the answer is yes, then you must commit to this goal and be willing to accept changes.

And the people in your congregation must also be willing to accept changes.

The Bible says, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24, NKJV). In order for a church to grow, some things have to die. Those who had intimacy with the pastor have to learn to share him with new people. They have to be willing to let go of the control they have in certain decisions and in certain areas.

It takes an incredible unselfishness. They must be willing to die to…

Continue Reading

Matthew WarrenDear Friends,

Kay and I have been overwhelmed by your outpouring of love since Matthew’s tragic death. You are true friends, especially with the vitriol from haters we’ve received. Friends show up when others walk away.

If you missed what happened, click here to read my letter.

You’ve asked, “Is there anything we can do to help you?”

The answer is yes! We could use your help right now in THREE PRACTICAL WAYS:

1. Sign a petition that urges educators, lawmakers, healthcare, and congregations to raise the awareness and lower the stigma of mental illness, and also to support families that are dealing with mental illness on a daily basis. Thanks for adding your voice!

2. Offer your help and prayers to those around you who are caring for mentally ill family and friends. They need your encouragement more than you realize

3. Fight mental illness with an online gift to The Matthew Warren Fund for Mental Health. Your gift is tax-deductible. Or, you may mail a check to

The Matthew Warren Fund

Saddleback Church

1 Saddleback Parkway

Lake Forest, CA 92630.

We are reading every note. We’d love to hear from you here on Facebook, or you can email us at PastorRick@saddleback.com. Your prayers and words…

Continue Reading

Editor’s Note: At Pastors.com and Saddleback Church, we’ve all been in a place of mourning for our Pastor, Rick Warren, his wife Kay and their entire family after the loss of their youngest son, Matthew, who ended his own life last week after a very long battle with mental illness. You can read Pastor Rick’s words to the Saddleback family for yourself. We who are near Pastor Rick have drawn strength from his thirty-plus years of teaching biblical truth, and out of that teaching, we’ve adapted a transcript from a message delivered over a decade ago at Saddleback. Hear Pastor Rick’s words and let them speak to you in your own places of tragedy and loss…


It would be impossible, in just one message, to go into all the reasons for suffering and for why God allows tragedy. Instead I want to focus on five ways that we should respond to tragedy.

I need to release my grief.

When you go through a tragedy, which is inevitably going to happen, the first thing you need to do is release your grief.  Why?  Because tragedy always creates strong emotions.  Did you feel any emotions this week?  We don’t always know what to…

Continue Reading

Daily Hope RadioRick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor at Saddleback Church, has launched a new, national radio program called DAILY HOPE. It’s 30 minutes of daily inspiration and practical help from the Bible.

His first topic this month is “THE INVISIBLE WAR: Why Life is so Difficult.Pastor Rick will explain the forces around us, against us, and inside us, and what to do when we feel like giving up. It will be incredibly helpful.

By the end of this year, people all over America will be able to hear DAILY HOPE, but it’s airing now first on these Southern California stations:

KBRT AM 740 • 1:30 & 6:00 p.m.

Orange County/Los Angeles

KKLA FM 99.5 • 6:30 p.m.

Orange County/Los Angeles

KPRZ AM 1210 • 10:00 a.m.

San Diego/Temecula

For more cities where you can hear Daily Hope, for resources, or to listen to the program online now, go to www.RickWarren.org.  Also if you have a story of how Pastor Rick’s teaching has impacted your life, please share it with us here, it would be so encouraging.

So tune in and help pass on the good news to your friends.

Continue Reading

FAILThe amazing thing about Easter is that God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections. God loves to turn around the things that you think are absolutely hopeless. How does God take a minus and turn it into a plus? How does He take the negative things in our lives that are bad and use them for good? He makes a cross out of them.

Just because God has called you and decided to use you in ministry does not mean that you aren’t ever going to fail. You are going to fail in your ministry sometimes and you’re going to make mistakes. And when you fail, you are still God’s person. You’re still called and you’re gifted and you’re anointed and filled with His Spirit. What really matters is how you respond to your failures. Next week, I want to share with you some right ways to respond to your failures, but today I’d like to share with you three ways NOT to respond to your failures…

First, don’t clam up. Don’t take your failures out on yourself. Don’t blame yourself, become self-critical or self-destructive. If you do, you’ll walk around under a…

Continue Reading

loveI believe the most overlooked key to growing a church is this: We must love unbelievers the way Jesus did. Without His passion for the lost, we will be unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to reach them.

Jesus loved lost people. He loved spending time with them. He went to their parties. From the Gospels it is obvious that Jesus enjoyed being with seekers far more than being with religious leaders. He was called the “friend of sinners.” (Luke 7:34) How many people would call your church that?

Jesus loved being with people and they felt it.  Even little children wanted to be around Jesus, which speaks volumes about what kind of person he was and what kind of pastor he’d be. Children instinctively seem to gravitate toward loving, accepting people.

The honest reason many churches do not have a crowd is they don’t want one! They don’t like having to relate to unbelievers. Attracting a crowd of unbelievers would disturb their comfortable routine. Selfishness keeps a lot of churches from growing.

The command to love is the most repeated command in the New Testament, appearing at least fifty-five times. If…

Continue Reading

easter2For many people in your community, Easter is the only day of the year they’ll show up at church. It’s a great opportunity to reach out to those who don’t think about church the other 364 days of the year.

You’ll want to reach out to your visitors and thank them for coming. Depending upon the size and culture of your church, you may make a personal visit, call them or write them a letter (whether through the mail or via e-mail) — or very possibly do all three.

In fact, if you visit them or call them, sending them a follow-up letter is an appropriate next step. It’ll allow you to give them some more details about your church and guard against the possibility that you’ll forget something important.

Here are few thoughts to remember when writing to church visitors — at Easter or any other time of the year.

Use a warm, personal style. That means write how you talk not how you wrote your seminary papers.

Communicate love and care. People don’t handle rejection well. They want to know that you want them to return to your church no matter…

Continue Reading

TargetWhat do you do when your church no longer looks like the community that surrounds it?

  • Focus on what your church does well.  Don’t try to be something you’re not.  If your church is primarily made up of elderly folks, decide to become the most effective ministry to senior citizens in your community that you can possibly be.  Don’t try to be a church for young families.  Strengthen what you’re already doing and don’t worry about what you can’t do. Keep doing what you’ve been doing—just do it better. Chances are that there’s an unchurched pocket of people in your community that only your church can reach. Find those people—and reach them.
  • Add a worship service. Start a new worship service that better matches the people around you. If you have an older congregation, try a worship service with music that’ll attract younger people in your neighborhood. Encourage the younger people in your congregation to attend and invite their unchurched friends. Try using a more modern translation (or translations) of the Bible. In time it’s likely this service will become your larger service.