I had an awesome opportunity a few weeks ago to spend a couple hours with Rick Warren and a dozen or so other pastors. Rick was in town to speak to a conference and Ed Stetzer arranged for him to meet with us. Obviously, this man is a mega-influencer just because of the book, the publicity he has received, and the impact he has in the church world and society. He is becoming a statesman for the church around the world.
It was a humbling experience. I didn’t choose the seat of honor (I promise), but I ended up sitting next to him in the meeting. Rick talked randomly and conversationally with us and I took notes as fast as I could. There are so many principles I took from our time, but here are 12 random things I gleaned from him: (Some are quotes…I put them in quotation marks…some are random points of information I heard from Rick’s talk.)
“We need to be reproducing churches. We need to reward multiplication of churches, not size of churches.”
“The model of Saddleback is to take people from “come and see” to “come and die”…as Jesus modeled.”
“You only listen to people you like. Be likable.”
Rick has the gift of faith. He sees things God wants to do that others can’t and has faith that it can happen. (That’s what leaders do!)
Until a few years ago, Rick read a book a day. He is a consummate learner.
Rick Warren is passionate about equipping pastors and leaders for the next generation and wants to spend the rest of his life equipping pastors.
“The ministry is not hills and valleys, but like a railroad passing through two extremes all the time.”
When he wrote “Purpose Driven Life” God told him “It’s not about you”. He never knew how many times he would be tested by that word from God.
Rick’s prayer every Saturday and Sunday before he preaches is, “Remind me that I belong to you…not this church…and this church does not belong to me”
“Jesus hung out with lepers…today that would be people with full blown AIDS”
“If you want your ministry to last, pastors need integrity, humility, and generosity.”
“Satan tempts us to use the strengths and gifts we have in a way that gives us glory instead of God.”
I realize Rick has his critics. Honestly, until you’ve sat where I sit and had a chance to hear his heart, I wouldn’t judge his ministry. He has some incredible plans for the next phase of his ministry and the influence of Saddleback Church in the years to come. I left more impressed than before I arrived. He’s the real deal.
Has the ministry of Rick Warren had an impact on you, your ministry or church?