Rick Warren

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Rick Warren
Pastor Rick Warren Crop.jpg
Born Richard Duane Warren
(1954-01-28) January 28, 1954 (age 60)
San Jose, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Pastor, Author
Religion Southern Baptist, Evangelical
Spouse(s) Kay Warren
Website
www.rickwarren.org

Richard Duane "Rick" Warren (born January 28, 1954) is an American evangelical Christian pastor and author.[1][2][3] He is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch in Lake Forest, California, that is the eighth-largest church in the United States (including multi-site churches).[4] He is also a bestselling author of many Christian books, including his guide to church ministry and evangelism, The Purpose Driven Church, which has spawned a series of conferences on Christian ministry and evangelism. He is perhaps best known for the subsequent devotional The Purpose Driven Life which has sold over 30 million copies, making Warren a New York Times bestselling author.[5][6]

Warren holds conservative theological views[7] and holds traditional evangelical views on social issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, abstinence-only education over the use of condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS, and embryonic stem-cell research.

During the 2008 United States presidential election, Warren hosted the Civil Forum on The Presidency at his church with both presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama. Obama later sparked controversy when he asked Warren to give the invocation at the presidential inauguration in January 2009.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Warren was born in San Jose, California, the son of Jimmy and Dot Warren. His father was a Baptist minister, his mother a high school librarian.[clarification needed] He was raised in Ukiah, California, and graduated from Ukiah High School in 1972, where he founded the first Christian club on the school's campus, The Fishers of Men Club.[9] His sister Chaundel is married to Saddleback pastor Tom Holladay. His brother Jim C. Warren died in 2007.

Warren received a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist University in Riverside, California; a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1979) in Fort Worth, Texas; and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.[10]

Personal[edit]

Warren has been married to Kay Warren since 1979. They had three adult children (Amy, Josh, and Matthew) and four grandchildren. He considers Billy Graham, Peter Drucker and his own father to be among his mentors.

Due to the success of his book sales, in 2005 Warren returned his 25 years of salary to the church and discontinued taking a salary. He says he and his wife became "reverse tithers", giving away 90% of their income and living off 10%.[11]

Career[edit]

Warren says he was called to full-time ministry when he was a 19-year-old student at California Baptist University. In November 1973, he and a friend skipped classes and drove 350 miles to hear W.A. Criswell preach at the Jack Tar Hotel, in San Francisco.[12] Warren waited afterwards to shake hands with Criswell who focused on Warren, stating, "I feel led to lay hands on you and pray for you!”[12]

During his time at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Warren worked at the Texas Ranch for Christ, a ministry facility of Billie Hanks, Jr., where he began writing books. He co-wrote two books, The Victory Scripture Memory Series and the Twelve Dynamic Bible Study Methods for Laity, with Billie Hanks, Jr. and Wayne Watts.[13]

In April 1980 Warren held Saddleback Church's first public service on Easter Sunday at the Laguna Hills High School Theater with 200 people in attendance. Warren's church growth methods led to rapid expansion, with the church using nearly 80 different facilities in its 33-year history.

Saddleback did not build its first permanent building until it had 10,000 weekly attenders. When the current Lake Forest campus was purchased in the early 1990s, a 2,300-seat plastic tent was used for worship services for several years, with four services each weekend. In 1995 the current Worship Center was completed, with a seating capacity of 3,500. A multi-million dollar children's ministry building and a staff office building were completed over the next few years. In June 2008, a $20 million student ministry facility called the "Refinery" was completed, housing the "Wildside" middle school and "HSM" high school ministries, consisting of 1,500 students. Saddleback Church averages nearly 20,000 people in attendance each week.[14]

Rick Warren speaking at TED in 2006

Warren has been invited to speak at national and international forums, including the United Nations, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the African Union, the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, TED, and Time’s Global Health Summit. He has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) since 2005.[15]

Warren was named one of "America's Top 25 Leaders" in the October 31, 2005, issue of U.S. News and World Report.[10] Warren was named by Time magazine as one of "15 World Leaders Who Mattered Most in 2004" and one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" (2005).[16] In 2006 Newsweek called him one of "15 People Who Make America Great".[17]

In August 2008, Warren drew greater national attention by hosting the Civil Forum on the Presidency that featured senators John McCain and Barack Obama at Saddleback Church.[18] Warren said the goal of the forum was to “restore civility in our civil discourse.”[19] The forum marked McCain and Obama's first joint appearance as the presumptive Republican and Democratic presidential nominees, and was broadcast live on national television. During the two-hour event, each candidate took the stage separately for about an hour to respond to Warren’s questions about faith and moral issues including abortion and human rights.

In December 2008, President-elect Obama chose Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration ceremony. The decision angered pro-choice and LGBT advocates and led to criticism of both Obama and Warren.[20] Obama defended his choice of Warren, saying that although he disagreed with the minister's positions on abortion and same-sex marriage, there should be room for dialogue on such difficult social issues.[21] More controversy ensued when it was announced that Warren would be the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service on January 19, 2009, the day prior to the inauguration.[22] On January 20, 2009, Warren delivered the Invocation, which was generally praised for its positive message.[23]

In January 2009, Warren and the Readers Digest Association partnered in the launch of the Purpose Driven Connection, a quarterly publication sold as part of a bundle of multimedia products.[24] In November 2009, the partners announced that the magazine had not drawn enough paying members and would cease after publication of the fourth issue that month.[25]

Warren spoke at John Piper's Desiring God Conference 2010 in Minneapolis, MN.[26]

Ministries[edit]

Warren and his wife are directors of the following non-profit organizations:

  • Acts of Mercy
  • RKW Legacy Partners
  • Equipping the Church

Purpose Driven[edit]

Purpose Driven comes from the teaching of Warren, and came into use as a paradigm taught to pastors and other Christian leaders worldwide to help them be more effective in leading their churches. The teaching is embodied in Warren’s best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Church, first published in 1995. Over 400,000 pastors and church leaders from around the world have attended a seminar or conference led by Warren and other pastors who seek to be more effective in fulfilling the Biblical Great Commission and Great Commandment.[citation needed] Purpose Driven refers to these pastors' attempts to balance the five "purposes"; worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism in their churches. Warren says his organizations have trained 400,000 pastors worldwide.[27]

Others express concern over what is described as the divisive nature of Warren's techniques. Wall Street Journal writer Suzanne Sataline cited examples of congregations who have split over the growth strategies and congregations that have expelled members who fought changes. She wrote, "Warren acknowledges that splits occur in congregations that adopt his ideas, though he says he opposes efforts to expel church members."[27]

P.E.A.C.E Plan[edit]

The P.E.A.C.E Plan is an initiative begun by Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Senior pastor Rick Warren's stated intention in launching the P.E.A.C.E Plan is to involve every Christian and every church in every nation in the task of serving people in the areas of the greatest global needs. The tagline is 'Ordinary people empowered by God making a difference together wherever they are'. P.E.A.C.E. is an acronym for the stated methodology for achieving the plan: "Promote reconciliation - Equip servant leaders - Assist the poor - Care for the sick - Educate the next generation."[28]

Political and social views[edit]

Kay and Rick Warren (left of picture) President George W. Bush, with Laura Bush at his side, with the International Medal of Peace at the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health in Washington, D.C.

Warren has a five-point plan for global action, the ''P.E.A.C.E. Plan." P.E.A.C.E. stands for: Plant churches that promote reconciliation; Equip servant leaders; Assist the poor; Care for the sick; and Educate the next generation [Citation needed.] In February 2006, he signed a statement backing a major initiative to combat global warming, thus breaking with other conservative, high-profile evangelical leaders, who had opposed such a move.[29]

Warren's tone on political issues central to U.S. evangelicals and his concern for social issues more commonly associated with the political left have resulted in the characterization of Warren as one of a "new breed of evangelical leaders."[30] But it has also been misunderstood by the media, according to Warren, as indicating a shift in position on traditional evangelical issues.[31]

In a conversation with atheist author Sam Harris in Newsweek magazine, Warren spoke out against evolution and in favor of creationism. He also said that brutal dictators such as Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, and Pol Pot were all atheists, when questioned on whether religion is beneficial to society.[32] In 2005, during the Terri Schiavo controversy, Warren stated that withholding feeding to Schiavo, a woman in a persistent vegetative state, was "not a right to die issue." He then called Michael Schiavo's decision to remove her feeding tube, "an atrocity worthy of Nazism,"[33] and while speculating about Michael Schiavo's motives, he put forward the idea that Schiavo wanted Terri to die because, if she regained consciousness, she might have "something to say that he didn‘t want said." [34]

Two weeks before the 2008 U.S. general election, Warren issued a statement to his congregation endorsing California Proposition 8, which would amend the California Constitution to say "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California," thereby eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry.[35][36] Warren's position was consistent with the official position of his church's denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, and reflected his belief that this definition of marriage "has been supported by every single culture, and every single religion for 5,000 years."[35][37] Warren stated that the measure was necessary because the Supreme Court of California "threw out the will of the people" in May 2008 when it found, in the In Re Marriage Cases decision, that the previous statutory ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.[35] After the measure passed, Warren's church and others were targeted by protesters.[38]

In an interview with Beliefnet in early December, Warren again sparked controversy by appearing to equate same-sex marriages with marriages between siblings, marriages between multiple partners, and marriages between adults and minors.[39][40][41] He later released a video message saying that he does not equate gay relationships with incest or pedophilia, and that, as he had stated during the Beliefnet interview, he opposes the redefinition of marriage.[42]

Bibliography[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Date of birth found on the California Birth Index 1905-1995, under Warren, Richard Duane, on 28 January 1954 in Santa Clara County.
  2. ^ "TIME 100: Rick Warren". Time. April 18, 2005. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ "25 Most Influential Evangelicals Photo Essay". Time. July 2, 2005. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ The Outreach Magazine Top 100 Largest Churches
  5. ^ Rick Warren: Purpose-Driven Strife
  6. ^ Goldman, Lea (December 8, 2006). "By The Numbers: Top-Earning Authors". Forbes.com. Retrieved January 10, 2009. 
  7. ^ http://www.dallasvoice.com/artman/publish/article_10314.php
  8. ^ Mooney, Alexander (December 18, 2008). "Obama's inaugural choice sparks outrage". CNN. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  9. ^ Mair (2005), pp. 34.
  10. ^ a b Sheler, Jeffery L. (October 31, 2005). "Preacher With A Purpose". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  11. ^ Nussbaum, Paul (January 26, 2006). "New purpose drives evangelical Warren". Knight Ridder News Service. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  12. ^ a b "Interview with a Missions Leader". Woman's Missionary Union Website. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  13. ^ Mair (2005), pp. 59-60.
  14. ^ "The Outreach Magazine Top 100 Largest Churches"
  15. ^ CFR Members
  16. ^ Steptoe, Sonja (April 18, 2005). "Rick Warren: A Pastor with a Purpose". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  17. ^ Adler, Jerry; Karen Breslau, Sean Smith, A. Christian Jean, Lisa Miller, Catharine Skipp, Arian Campo-Flores, Jonathan Darman, Barbara Kantrowitz, Keith Naughton, Daniel McGinn, Debra Rosenberg, Daren Briscoe, Claudia Kalb, Peg Tyre, Matthew Philips (July 3, 2006). "The giving Back Awards: 15 People Who Make America Great". Newsweek. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  18. ^ Reston, Maeve; Mehta, Seema (17 August 2008). "Contrasting styles, views in sharp focus". Los Angeles Timees. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  19. ^ Chan, Kenneth (August 17, 2008). "Church-Hosted Forum Reveals Hearts, Minds of White House Hopefuls". The Christian Post. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  20. ^ Paulson, Michael (December 17, 2008). "Obama taps evangelical for inauguration". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  21. ^ Salmon, Jacqueline L.; Slevin, Peter (December 19, 2008). "Obama Defends Call on Invocation". Washington Post. 
  22. ^ Quinn, Christopher (December 23, 2008). "King Day speaker’s gay marriage stance attacked". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  23. ^ OC Register "Warren's invocation praised but some still call the choice inappropriate"
  24. ^ Adams, Russell (January 27, 2009). "Top-Selling Pastor Goes Quarterly". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  25. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (November 4, 2009). "Reader’s Digest Closes Rick Warren Magazine". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  26. ^ Rick Warren at Desiring God 2010 and Why It’s Awesome « Modern March | church theology culture
  27. ^ a b Sataline, Suzanne (September 5, 2006). "Strategy for church growth splits congregants". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  28. ^ The PEACE Plan Saddleback Church - The PEACE Plan, retrieved 8/22/2010.
  29. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (February 8, 2006). "Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  30. ^ New York Times, "Emphasis Shifts for New Breed of Evangelicals"
  31. ^ Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB121944811327665223.html
  32. ^ "The God Debate". Newsweek. Retrieved January 10, 2009. 
  33. ^ "Larry King Live: Interview With Rick Warren (transcript)". CNN. March 22, 2005. Retrieved January 10, 2009. 
  34. ^ "Hardball with Chris Matthews (transcript)". MSNBC. March 23, 2005. Retrieved January 10, 2009. 
  35. ^ a b c Warren's Video Message to Saddleback Church on October 23, 2008
  36. ^ Proposition 8 - Title and Summary - Voter Information Guide 2008
  37. ^ SBC Position Statement on sexuality
  38. ^ New York Times "In California, Protests Over Gay Marriage Vote"
  39. ^ Beliefnet, "Rick Warren Interview: On Gay Marriage and Divorce"
  40. ^ Fox News "Pastor Rick Warren defends invite to inauguration"
  41. ^ Beliefnet, "Steven Waldman Interviews Rick Warren"
  42. ^ Warren's video message to Saddleback Church on 12/22/2008
  43. ^ Amazon.com: The Purpose of Christmas (9781416559009): Rick Warren: Books

References[edit]

  • Mair, George (2005). A Life With Purpose. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-20174-0. 

External links[edit]