Ministry News

Steve Strang: Rick Warren’s Higher Purpose





Rick-Warren-Saddleback-Church-smallEditor’s Note: Daily during January and February, MinistryTodaymag.com will feature an article from pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren and his staff in conjunction with his new book, What on Earth Am I Here For? Warren is the guest editor for Charisma’s Ministry Today magazine for its January/February issue.

Rick Warren knows it’s not about him.

Because of this, it wasn’t a stretch for the pastor to begin The Purpose Driven Life with the now-famous line: “It’s not about you.” Indeed, as author of the No. 1 best-selling hardback book in American history other than the Bible, he’s reaped enormous rewards. Yet he’s also used that wealth to further God’s kingdom rather than his own.

First, reimbursed his Saddleback Church for his salary since day one; and for years, he has since “reverse tithed,” which means he gives 90 percent and lives on 10 percent. Rather than neglect his church, as many pastors tend to do, he remains very much hands on—and that was obvious the day I visited Saddleback’s main campus in Lake Forest, Calif., a few months ago. That day, Rick preached an inspiring message and then baptized about 50 people after the service.

He remain’s a pastor’s pastor, which is why I invited him to be guest editor of our January-February issue of Ministry Today magazine on knowing your life purpose. In a day when scandal among clergy is far too common, Rick is a shining example of what can be accomplished when a man knows his purpose in life. I hope you’re inspired as you read the articles in the January-February MT issue—either in print or online. In addition, we want to do our part to enlist your participation and thousands of others’ in his PEACE Plan to:

Plant faith communities

Equip servant leaders

Assist the poor

Care for the sick

Educate the next generation

To mark the 10th anniversary of The Purpose Driven Life’s release, he’s rereleased the book for a new generation and is focusing on encouraging the church to truly be the church through projects such as the PEACE Plan.

In a culture increasingly gone haywire, and at a time when most “successful” pastors are seemingly more concerned with being liked and making people feel good rather than sounding a prophetic alarm, Rick is a role model. He isn’t afraid to speak out. Though the liberal media doesn’t favor him more than any other Bible-believing leader, at least they can’t blast him for saying off-the-wall things. He’s savvy yet sticks to the Word of God. And he does this while battling behind the scenes some enormous challenges that would crush many men or neutralize their influence.

I believe part of this favor is because Rick doesn’t just rail against the culture but offers solutions. He pastors one of the nation’s largest churches in arguably the most liberal state in the Union. Yet by every indication—in reading about it and visiting firsthand—Saddleback is growing, healthy and making a true difference.

The articles in the January-February issue of MT from Rick and his staff are meant to inspire you to do the same wherever you are. I ask you not only to read them but also devour them, meditate on how they apply to you and resolve to put them into practice. You can read fresh content each day during January and February on ministrytodaymag.com with the theme of knowing your life’s purpose.

You can also get this 24/7 on our free Charisma News app, available at any app store or by texting “charisma” to 24587. Once on the app, click the “Ministry” tab to read content directly related to the ministry world. In addition, you’ll have access to breaking news and spiritual insight from Charisma News, daily devotions and other good stuff. We recently added this tab to the app and are experimenting to see how many people use it. Eventually we may develop an app exclusively for Ministry Today. So, let us know what you think by downloading the app, using it and giving us your comments.

You’ll also be interested in Daniel Kolenda’s article on finding God’s will (page 44 of the magazine). Though it’s the lone entry from a non-Saddleback contributor, it fits perfectly with the January-February issue theme. Look for more from Daniel, who is Reinhard Bonnke’s successor at Christ for All Nations, online at ministrytodaymag.com, where we’re also giving away copies of his new book, Live Before You Die.

Ultimately, I hope all these resources help you either discover or reaffirm your life purpose.

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