Archives For Rick Warren

We all find ourselves in a rut at times. Whether it’s in our relationships, our ministries, or our spiritual lives, we might be just sitting still and not moving toward the goals we’ve set for ourselves.

But the good news is we don’t have to stay in the rut. There is a way out. Throughout the years, I’ve used six specific steps to help myself and others get out of a rut. If you’re in a rut right now in your ministry or you are helping someone in a rut, these six steps will help anyone get out of the rut.

1. Assume responsibility for your own life.

You can divide most people into three categories. Accusers blame everyone else for not moving toward their goals. Excusers justify their failure and rationalize their inaction.

But you want to be a chooser. Choosers accept responsibility for their own happiness. When they make a mistake, they admit it. Proverbs 28:13 says, “If you hide your sins, you will not succeed. If you confess and reject them, you will receive…

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“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: . . . ‘But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.’”

Acts 27:20-22 (NIV)

When everything in your life is falling apart, you can trust God’s promises.

The apostle Paul and his shipmates were battered by a storm, and it looked like all hope was lost. God had told Paul they would be safe, so he told the others to take courage and trust God. Paul didn’t place his faith in the ship or the captain. Though Paul knew the storm would destroy the boat, he believed that the promises of God would last.

Paul trusted God’s promises as his anchor.

When you are in a storm, do you put your trust in a puny lifeboat? Maybe you think your personality can get you through. Perhaps your looks have always been the key to your success. Are…

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How God Spells Success

By Rick Warren

God wants you to succeed. He didn’t call you into church leadership to fail in what he created you to do. But here’s the catch—he doesn’t define success like the rest of the world defines it.

The world measures success by how you look, what you have, or who you know. But God says success is measured by who you are—your character.

The apostle Paul is a great example of success in the Bible. He models for us seven attitudes we need to have in our ministries, as shown in the acrostic: SUCCESS.  

1. Sense of direction. “My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else” (Romans 15:20 NLT).

You can’t succeed if you don’t know where you are headed. You may have heard the saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.” That’s true in our ministries and in every other area of…

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For many of us, January is a time when we reflect on our life and question whether we’re fulfilling God’s purposes for our life. The most fundamental question in life is, “Why am I here?”

The Bible is very clear on why we’re here. “For thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11 KJV).

Nothing you do matters more than bringing pleasure to God. There’s a much-misunderstood word we use that describes bringing pleasure to God: worship. 

Worship is so much bigger than the songs we sing. Church services can be worship experiences for your congregation, but we’re called to worship throughout our entire week—not just on the weekend.

God says worship isn’t what you do with your lips; it’s what you do with your life. You can preach the greatest sermons or sing the most beautiful songs with Christ-centered lyrics and still not worship God.

I like how Eugene Peterson describes worship in his paraphrase of Romans 12:1: “So here’s what I want you…

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2023 will be full of decisions, and those decisions will largely define your success. But with every decision, there is a risk.

Paul was a professional at making decisions and taking risks. In Acts 15:26, the Bible describes Paul and Barnabas as those “who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NLT). Because Paul took risks, he accomplished so much in his ministry.

Many of you have great dreams for your ministry in 2023. You want to start something new. You want to finally reach a goal you’ve longed to accomplish. But you’re afraid to get started.

The Bible gives us eight great principles for making wise decisions. These are eight practical principles pulled straight from the book of Proverbs that anyone can use.

1. Pray for guidance (Proverbs 28:26). Don’t just depend upon your opinion or intuition. None of us are 100 percent right all the time. Often intuition leads us to the wrong decision. As James 1:5 tells us, we need to ask God for wisdom to make the right decisions.

2. Get the…

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I have no idea what 2023 holds for you. But whether it’s a year where you reach your goals or not has nothing to do with your circumstances. It’s all about your perspective.

The economy might tank. Your church might struggle. Your family may face challenges.

Yet the most important question you’ll face in 2023 is, will you look at the year with faith rather than fear? The choice is in your hands. 

The Israelites had the same choice in Numbers 13, a story most of us are familiar with. Moses had led the Israelites out of Egypt, where they had been slaves for 400 years. They had already spent two years in the desert. Moses then sent 12 spies, one from each of the tribes, into the Promised Land to see what was in store for the Israelites when they arrived. 

Ten of the spies came back with reports of fear. They told the Israelites the land was full of enemies the Israelites couldn’t beat, whereas, in reality, the Promised Land was as incredible as God had promised, truly a land “flowing…

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Starting around Thanksgiving and through Christmas morning, we talk a lot about gifts this time of year. Many people think that the wise men invented gift-giving for Christmas.

But that’s not true. It was Jesus. The Bible tells us that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son for us. God gave himself to you on the very first Christmas so you would have your sins forgiven, a purpose for living, and a home in heaven. Jesus is the original Christmas gift. 

The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of generosity. Acts 15:11 says, “We are saved because the Master Jesus amazingly and out of sheer generosity moved to save us” (The Message).

God wants us to become generous, not just for one season a year, but for our entire lives. And being generous isn’t easy because we live in a very materialistic, self-centered world. 

When we conform our hearts to the selfish ways of this world, we won’t enjoy the outcome. It’s no accident that the word miser comes from the same root…

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Don’t Fear the Shadows

By Rick Warren

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Psalm 23:4 (ESV)

In life’s dark valleys, there is loss. When people go through loss, there are two common reactions. One is fear, and the other is grief. Grief is good. Grief is the way you get through the transitions of life. In fact, if you don’t grieve, you get stuck! Grief will only hurt you if you don’t let it out. 

On the other hand, fear is a bad thing. Not once in the Bible does it say, “Grieve not,” “Sorrow not,” “Weep not,” or “Cry not.” What it does say is “Fear not.” And it says that 365 times! 

For example, shepherds carried a rod and a staff to guide and protect their sheep. In the same way, David knew that God had the tools to protect him, and he trusted God—even in the darkest valleys. 

Perhaps you are going through the valley of the…

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We have a leadership shortage in this world. We have plenty of people in charge, plenty of people with opinions, and plenty of people bent on abusing power—but we have a shortage of godly leaders committed to serving other people and helping them become who God has called them to be. 

God wants you and me to be a part of the solution, just as Paul writes to Timothy: “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (2 Timothy 2:2 NLT).

In Part 1 of this article, I shared with you two principles you can put into practice to help you bring out the best in others: Accept their uniqueness and affirm their value constantly.

Here are three more ways you can bring out the best in the people in your life and ministry.

  1. Trust them with increasing responsibility. 

You can find a million books and resources on how to become…

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Every leader is a steward. God has given you a ministry team made up of people with specific gifts and talents. He hasn’t only done that for your benefit or for your church’s benefit. He wants you to help them grow and develop.

You’ll never know what God wants to do through the people you lead. But you do know that God has given you an opportunity to shape their lives and ministries while they are in your life.

So how can we bring out the best in the people we lead?

During my years in church ministry, I’ve seen good leaders—the kind of leaders who make others better—consistently show five traits in their leadership. I’ll share the first two in this article, and three more in Part 2.

  1. Accept their uniqueness completely.

Start by recognizing the unique value of each person on your team. It’s not an accident that God made each of us different. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for…

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If you want to know what matters most to someone, listen to their last words. 

Jesus shared his most intimate words in the upper room discourse in John 13-17. Those five chapters are packed with powerful spiritual truths. Two in particular stand out: How much God loves us and how we should love one another. 

Over and over, Jesus comes back to these truths and ties them together. He says, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you” (John 15:12 NLT). And as he prepared to die, his primary concern was that his followers would be unified. 

The following 12 statements, made by Jesus, Paul, and other New Testament writers, summarize the Bible’s message about unity.

  1. Unity proves we’re saved (John 13:34-35).

You don’t prove your salvation by having a Christian bumper sticker on your car. You prove it by how you love other believers.

  1. The Trinity is our model for unity (John 17:11).

The Bible tells us that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in perfect harmony with…

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As Christians, we should be the most grateful people on the planet. We know that God has given us life (John 5:21), has saved us (Psalm 13:5), and will never stop loving us (Psalm 107:8).

What incredible reasons to celebrate! 

Although thanksgiving and gratitude should be a part of our lives all throughout the year, this week we’re given a special opportunity to minister to people who have Thanksgiving at the top of their minds. 

As you study what the Bible says about being grateful this week, you’ll find many different ways to express an attitude of gratitude. Three of those ways appear more often in the Bible than other expressions of gratitude. In fact, it seems clear to me that they are God’s favorite ways for us to say “thank you.”

You can incorporate any—or all—of these expressions of gratitude into your worship service this weekend. They are everyday habits of a grateful heart.

What are these three habits?

  1. Singing to God.

Did you know God sings? The Bible says, “He will rejoice over you with joyful songs”

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