Archives For Rick Warren

The quickest way to destroy a team is to burn them out. And you don’t have to look around the field of ministry very long to realize that the ministry is filled with burned out leaders. But it’s possible to find a healthy working rhythm and ultimately increase the effective energy with which your leaders serve without causing them to burn out.

Every minute of every day we are using up energy, and every person has a limited amount of energy. If we keep the pace high all the time, we use up the energy people have to give like the way a car with its lights left on will wind up with a dead battery.

This is especially true in times when your ministry is growing. Growth brings change, change brings problems, and problems consume a lot of emotional, physical, and spiritual energy from your leaders.

Here are seven ways to discover a good working rhythm and raise the energy level of your team.

1. Don’t expect every leader to work at the same energy level…

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Rick Warren PreachingHopefully, by October, you’re already thinking through your preaching calendar for next year. Part of shepherding a congregation toward long term health is offering a balanced diet from the pulpit. Your preaching over a twelve-month period should be pre-planned with certain factors built in.

Before a new year begins, I try to identify eight to twelve series’ that I’m going to do for the year. What I’m looking for most is balance. There is no way I’m going to be able to use all of the themes that I come up with, but I want to be balanced. And I want to look at several factors as I seek that balance.

First I want to be balanced in content.  That means I need to do a doctrinal series, a relational series, and an ethical series. I want to strike a balance between Old Testament and New Testament. And I want to preach to people at various stages of spiritual growth.

Second, I want to have balance in terms of style. I may do a character series such as a series on Moses, Joseph,  or Joshua from Hebrews 11. I may also do a…

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If you want your church to grow, you must learn how to motivate believers to invest their resources into the kingdom for ministry and for facilities. It is a key responsibility of leadership. Whoever writes the agenda must be able to underwrite the agenda. If you’re going to form the vision you also have to be able to fund the vision.

A lot of pastors, a lot of elders, lot of church leaders have a real hangup about asking people to give. They allow personal insecurities and personal fears to limit the ministry. You don’t need to be embarrassed about asking people to give. There is nothing greater than the kingdom of God. There is no more significant cause than the church.

I am very much against fundraising, but I am in favor of teaching people to give.  Fundraising is what I call collecting money from other people in return for a product, service, reward or recognition. But in giving, we simply challenge ourselves to give out of our own resources for spiritual reasons. The result of fundraising is that funds are collected.  The results of…

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If you want your church to grow, and if you want the Kingdom to grow, you’re going to need to develop many more leaders. In the early church, an interesting turn of events happens when the apostles shift from simply preaching to releasing leaders.

The Bible says in the early chapters of Acts that God was “adding” to the church daily. Shortly into the life of the Jerusalem church, there arose a conflict between Hellenistic Jews and Hebraic Jews over the care of orphans and widows. The apostles asked for leaders from the church to be pointed out and then they released seven men to oversee a new area of ministry. Suddenly, the terminology changes from God “adding” to the church to the church “multiplying.”

Out of Acts, chapter 6, we can take away at least seven lessons for churches that want to grow by empowering and releasing more leaders.

1. A growing church is a Biblical idea.

It says, “In those days the number of disciples were increasing.” If a church is not growing, it is often because something is unhealthy. Healthy things grow. Unless the community…

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B. H. Carroll, a famous Bible scholar, in his commentary, estimates that there were probably a hundred thousand members in the Jerusalem church after 25 years. Peter Wagner and many have agreed. G. Campbell Morgan estimates a minimum of 60,000. In any Bible dictionary it will tell you that in New Testament times that the city of Jerusalem was approximately 200,000 people. What we have here is a church with 100,000 members in a city of 200,000 people. Half the city had come to Christ. No wonder they said, “you’ve filled Jerusalem.”

When you look at the book of Acts, you find at least 8 characteristics of the early church that positioned them for this kind of blessing from God. If we echo the actions of the early church, we can expect God’s blessing on our church as much as those ancient leaders saw a blessing on the church in Jerusalem.

1. We must minister in the Holy Spirit’s power.

Acts 1:4 says, “Don’t leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift My Father promised which you’ve heard Me speak about. John baptized with water but in a…

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It’s a waste of time to fish in a spot where fish aren’t biting. Wise fishermen move on. They know that fish eat at different times of the day in different places. To apply this to ministry, you need to focus on the most receptive people in your area.

This is not a marketing principle. It’s a basic New Testament principle. Jesus told it in the parable of the sower. When you sow seed, some of it falls on rocky ground, some on stony ground, some on hard ground, and some on good soil. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew what the good soil was and sowed all your seed there? Why waste seed, time, effort, energy and money? It’s God’s job to prepare the soil. It’s our job to sow the seed. You don’t do the soil preparation. God uses all kinds of sovereign things like divorce, crises, death, economic problems, government shutdowns, being out-of-work, a new baby, and a new job to prepare the soil. But God uses you to sow.

The fact is, receptiveness to the Gospel varies widely at different…

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Fellow Pastors and church leaders, we are in a battle for souls. The Bible encourages us to “endure hardship as a soldier.” This is not to say that we are at war with people, and we need to be very careful to realize that the war we are involved in is spiritual in nature. In fact, the war we are engaged in is far more important than any earthly one. The implications of our war are eternal. Victory is not a matter of who will be in charge politically or who will control natural resources. It’s a battle that will determine how many people we can rescue from sin forever. We’re talking about souls for eternity.

In any war, in any battle, there absolutely must be a strategy before the engagement starts. I want to share with you seven aspects of the strategy that any local church needs to adopt to take their communities by storm.

1. Your church must share a single concept of operation.

Unity is vital to winning. No matter its size, a local church is the body of Christ,…

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In their return to Saddleback Church after the death of their son, Pastor Rick and Kay share the very personal story of Matthew and his battle with mental illness. They explore the stages of loss that they are walking through with honesty and transparency, teaching us how to do the same in the tough and tragic times of our lives, reminding us that through it all, God is with us and loves us, and urging us to follow Paul’s teaching in 2 Corinthians 1:4-6 — to comfort others in their troubles as God comforts us.

More About This Series

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Piers, Rick, and KayAfter teaching How to Get Through What You’re Going Through” for the past eight weeks, Kay and I felt it was time to grant the first media interview since Matthew’s death. We chose CNN’s Piers Morgan Live because it offered a full-hour for us to share our thoughts, rather than just short sound bites.

What happened in the taping surprised us all. Several members of the tech/camera crew were in tears, hugged us, and told us that their lives had been profoundly impacted by the experience. Piers Morgan was unusually sensitive to the moment, allowing us all the time we needed without interruption. At lunch, Piers shared that it was the most moving interview he’s ever done.

In kindness, the CNN team came to us, taping the interview at our Acts of Mercy family foundation office. In our conversation, we discussed:

  • What it was like to parent a child who battled mental illness all his life.
  • What it has been like to grieve our son’s suicide as public figures.
  • Mental illness, depression, guns, grief, and God.
  • What needs to change in our culture, including removing the stigma from mental illness.
  • How to support the mentally ill and the families who care for…

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Pastors and leaders, I’m going to give you a sneak peek at your final exam.  You’re going to stand before God one day and He’s going to evaluate your faithfulness.  He’s going to look at eight different aspects of your life to judge your faithfulness and you should be highly interested developing these areas of your life and leadership.

1. Do you possess the right values?

A faithful person knows what’s important in life and what isn’t important in life.  A faithful person knows how to invest his or her life.  A faithful person makes their life count.  A faithful person knows the significant apart from the trivial.

Proverbs 28:20 says, “A faithful man will be richly blessed but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”  This verse contrasts faithfulness with a desire to get rich quick.  He’s not talking about making money.  He’s saying that what we have to realize is there is more to life than just the accumulation of things.  The Bible says we’re to live like fish swimming upstream in a very materialistic world.  Faithfulness is proven by our refusal to buy into the system that says the almighty…

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Keep Your IntegrityLast week, I wrote about the three greatest temptations of leadership. This week, I want to talk about the three ways we can keep our integrity and prevent those temptations from destroying our testimony and diminishing our influence.

First, deepen your reverence for God.

Never forget that God put you in the position you’re in today. Psalm 75:6 says, “For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God.  He promotes one and deposes another.” Great leaders realize that they are stewards.  They realize that it’s not their world, their church, their business; they are just the manager, the stewart.  Promotion comes from God, not from other people.

You also much realize that God is holding you accountable. One of the reasons I think leaders try to get away secret sin it is that they don’t fear God. But the Bible says, “Obey your spiritual leaders and be willing to do what they say.  For their work is to watch over your souls and God will judge them on how well they do.” That verse ought to put the fear in leaders….

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Temptations of LeadershipDo you think it’s easier handling success or failure?  Thomas Caryle once said, “For every one hundred people who can handle adversity there is only one who can handle prosperity.”  I think most people can’t handle being at the top.  It changes them.  In fact, success destroys some people. There are several legitimate benefits of being in leadership.

  • Position — you can become more
  • Power — you can do more
  • Privilege — you can have more

The extra effort and work you put in you get more position, more power and more privilege.  With each one of these comes a very great temptation that can be your downfall as a leader if you misuse it.  I Cor. 10:12 “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

We’re going to look at the temptations of leadership, an appropriate thing if you read the newspaper.  The three greatest nations of the world often face turmoil because of the abuses of leadership. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Today we’re going to look at the temptations of leadership and the antidote.

1.  You will be tempted to misuse your position. 

Have you ever…

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