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  1. Inclusion and relationships are what many of my brothers and sisters seek. This speaks more to constant contact and connection…without which leaves people feel alone and lonely, self-conscious and inhibited by their own thoughts. We must force ourselves into being outgoing and inviting, always approaching others with open hands and arms, offering what resources we have, and genuine interest in what they are doing and what they are thinking.

  2. Mark G. Brotton August 24, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Dear Rick,
    Thank you for this message! In my opinion you’re right on. There are definitely so many different answers to this question.

    I just had lunch with my senior pastor in which he asked me what do people need the most in this life. I responded Love, Acceptance, & Purpose. He continued to let me know he agreed with two of my points but changed purpose to forgiveness; Love, Acceptance, & Forgiveness. He is working on a sermon about Jacob, Rachel, & Leah’s love triangle about how Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah Gen 29:30. Leah was able to have children but Rachel was not. Rachel & Leah both wanted Love from Jacob. They both had children and their servants had children with Jacob to find favor(Love). Quite a story with so many “Truth Diamonds”. It has points of our four deepest needs intertwined in & throughout from your message.

    I shared your message with my pastor to give him another perspective & pray it encourages him as much as it did for me.

    On another note I just attended the Celebrate Recovery Summit West at your church. I was so Blessed by Kay’s & your message to us. It also was so touching to me to hear how John & Cheryl Baker have touched your elder team and your body through the last 25 years. I’m a pastor’s son and to see the unity you displayed on stage in front of so many of us is rare!

    Thank you Rick for supporting, mentoring, & befriending the Baker’s in your life. Celebrate Recovery is changing my life, my wife’s life, & my children’s life. I’m committed to seeing lives changed through Celebrate Recovery one life at a time at my home church in Santa Fe, NM.

    Blessings & Hope IN Christ,
    Mark

  3. GILBERT CHEPKWONY August 16, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    THANKS,IT IS DIVINE PROVIDENCE THAT I CAME ACROSS THE BOOK YOU WROTE:PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH THIS MONTH OF AUGUST IN STREETS OF NAIROBI ,KENYA .I SHOULD ADMIT THAT YOU INSTANTLY PLAY A ROLE OF A MENTOR TO ME.ASKING WAYS WE CAN PARTNER MORE WITH YOU?

  4. Couple of questions to each point:

    1. How can the modern church be compared to a family while we have two classes of people, the clergy and the laity? Seems to be more like a customer/service-provider relationship.

    2. Why must the Bible be foundational? Christians don’t seem to agree on how to read and understand it to the point we create separate denominations to avoid discussion or living in the tension of ambiguity.

    3. The modern evangelical church leadership seems to be dominated by Type-A extroverts. How do quieter, introspective people contribute when they’re constantly being over-looked and talked over by louder people?

    4. Why does the modern church feel like building man’s kingdom rather than God’s kingdom? With all the big buildings and programs and scheduled events, how is this any different than attending sporting events, movies, concerts?

    • 1.) By faith.
      2.) By exalting Christ and others above self the need to be right dies with the division it creates.
      3.) Through prayer. Humble servitude is praised by Jesus the King Himself. Being looked and talked over is fine when our heart and conscience is pure before the Lord. In fact it’s the meek that shall inherit the Earth.
      4.) A city on a hill cannot be hidden. These buildings invite the elect to gather together and promote the gospel by serving eachother. Does anything happen outside of God’s will? Do these buildings promote their builders or their savior? Just because something is big, detailed, structured, and organized does not mean it is without conviction. It just means you have a few more people, a little extra room, and a few more activities to join alongside a family of believers to seek our loving, forgiving, Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Jesus is here. His message is clear and His purpose is redemption. Don’t let the size of a church or the volume of a preacher distract you from that. Bless you.

    • 1. You’re absolutely right, Mike. Rick’ Warren’s church is the only one I’ve ever seen (in my very limited experience) where the clergy elevated the laity to ministerial functions, thus eliminating the class distinction. Seems most pastors are too jealous of their superiority to do this.
      2. The Bible is not the problem, it’s our ignorance. Also, many denominations don’t differ all that much, they just fight over trivialities. Further, denominationalism serves in much the same way as nationalism by preventing groups from getting big enough to destroy freedom of thought.
      3. I couldn’t agree more, but refer back to #1. The leadership has to deliberately include us introverts.
      4. Probably just because we’re all human so we tend to work for what we can see, rather than what we can’t see. Thus, in so many cases there’s no difference; and using the name of Jesus to entertain the crowds does not make it a spiritual experience. Again, refer back to #1. It has to be the intentional policy of the individual church to make the difference we’re looking for.