by Rick Warren
Zondervan Publishing; 1995
Rick Warren's research and shared enthusiasm bring us right up to the beachfront of seeker-active church life.
Within 399 pages, pastor Warren provides us with hundreds of
insightful observations & exhortations...
Would the Saddleback experience best furnish us
a model for the Church today?
|Brother Warren's preface to catch those surfable waves near pop-cultural or generational eddies tempts the reader to invest in paddling out for the next |
Can you imagine what the kids would be like in a family where they got a new daddy every two or three years? They would most likely have serious emotional problems. In the same way, the longevity of the leadership is a critical factor for the health and growthAlthough the members of Christ are much as children before God, analogy depicting a pastor as the new daddy remains inappropriate, even to supporting an inference in that some shepherds find impractical or implausible the holding of
of a church family.[p.31]
An important distinction to remember is that people respond to passionate vision, not need. That's why many stewardship campaigns don't work: They focus on the needs of the church rather than the vision of the church.[p.345...]and also...
I've read a number of articles and books that state that theShould passion be required in bringing individuals to commitment, it may be that those same people yet lack the passion of Christ within
baby boomerand baby bustergenerations will not commit to anything. This simply isn't true! What they do expect is to receive value equal to their commitment.[p.348]
What is desperately needed today are pastors and teachers who will clearly teach God's perspective -- about work, money, pleasure, suffering, good, evil, relationships, and all the other key issues of life. When we have perspective, "we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different, or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth"Perspective? Or greater, the presence of God by His Spirit, with His perspective? Are we clearly teaching God's perspective in all things, for Saddleback and beyond?
(Eph. 4:14 LB)Perspective is what produces stability in people's lives.[p.355]
The greatest need in evangelical churches is the release of members for ministry. A Gallup survey discovered that only 10 percent of American church members are active in any kind of personal ministry and that 50 percent of all church members have no interest in serving in any ministry. Think about that![p.365]What do we have when a gifted evangelist acquires church assembly as a venue and form (and forum?) in his holy mission?
From The Center For Church Growth:...many churches have begun implementing the [Saddleback] model, hoping that it will produce the same results in their congregation. However, many are finding that it is not as effective as they had hoped. The difficulties lie in the fact that, unlike Saddleback, these churches are trying to implement the model into long-standing congregations with mature memberships. This presents far more difficulties than implementing the model within a newly-planted church made up almost entirely of new converts. As a result, many established churches find themselves disappointed and frustrated with the Purpose-Driven model.
From Kirk Wellum:...the CGM [church growth movement] has adopted a phenomenological hermeneutic or a pragmatic principle of interpretation. Although they affirm that the Bible is inspired by God and has power to save and is the final authority when it comes to evaluating the truth claims of all other sources, when it comes to interpreting the Bible, they are directed by something called
'growth pragmatism'.This means that those doctrines that receive the greatest attention are those which actually work to make the church grow numerically. They believe that theological findings should always be validated by experience, if possible and adjusted to fit experience, if necessary. Their key Scripture in this regard is 1 Cor. 9:22bwhere Paul says, "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." For those in the CGM, this validates the use of sociology, demography and the fruits of marketing research to determine what part of the Bible they should concentrate on in order to have the greatest impact on the people they are trying to reach.
From Jim Delany, Salem Bible Church (Salem, New Hampshire):Perhaps the title "Market Driven Church" would suffice as well as "Purpose Driven Church." While he SAYS he is not "pandering to consumerism" (p. 200), his own words seem to contradict that. He states that church, in order to be successful, must target its audience, and then appeal to that audience. He even goes so far as to claim that Jesus targeted the audience of Israel "in order to be effective, not to be exclusive" (p. 158).
From Robert E. Klenck:Some of the most disturbing words from Pastor Warren regard his overview of
"Saddleback is kind of the Research and Development department of the church at large. We're not afraid to fail. We've always tried more things that didn't work than did. Every once in a while we find - usually by accident-something that works. Then we teach the seminars and pretend like we planned it all along, when really it was just the result of
trial and error."
-- Rick Warren, http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/1997/summer/7l3022.html
What scripture could possibly be utilized in order for a pastor to justify social experimentation on his congregation?