The Purpose-Driven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message & Mission

 
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This is a five-point strategy for attracting and spiritually maturing the unchurched, from the pastor of Saddleback Church.

The thesis of The Purpose Driven Church is that when churches think first about their health, growth is sure to follow. "If your church is healthy," writes Rick Warren, "growth will occur naturally. Healthy, consistent growth is the result of balancing the five biblical purposes of the church." These five purposes are to "Love the Lord with all your heart," "Love your neighbor as yourself," "Go and make disciples," "[Baptize] them," and "[Teach] them to obey." And those purposes can only be accomplished, argues Warren, when church leaders stop thinking about church-building programs and shift their focus to a "people-building process" involving fellowship, discipleship, worship, and evangelism. Warren, the founder of the fastest-growing Baptist church in American history, has taught seminars to thousands of pastors from all over the world, many of whom have successfully implemented his techniques.

Customer Reviews:

  • Finally, A Balanced Approach
    Maybe I found this book to be a gift from God because it met my needs. I carefully read this book 3 times cover to cover before attending Rick Warren's seminar in Va. Oct.'03. Two things stood out: 1) The book is great but one should follow up with seminar to get the most out of it. There are gaps in the book that the seminar takes care of. 2) Do NOT attend a seminar till you have first the book or you will be lost. I have read many church growth books over 30 years and can say that this is finally a balanced approach to the subject. A balance between God's Word; man's methods and the Holy Spirit leading....more info
  • The Purpose Driven Church
    In The Purpose Driven Church, Rick Warren gives church pastors and leaders suggestions for making their church the church God intends it to be. Unfortunately, his suggestions require effort by those church leaders which they may not be willing to give. Instead of endless brainstorming to involve those in the church who never do more than attend worship services, Warren suggests going out into the community to find the unchurched and invite them to the church. He suggests being open to new ideas and having vision.
    The book is easy to read, well-organized and provides many other suggestions and examples for making churches more dynamic, inviting, mission-oriented, and more aligned with God's purposes for it. If you feel that your church could be more than it is, you might want to read this book.
    ...more info
  • The Razor's Edge
    My recent reading infuriates me. The book is "The Purpose Driven Church" by Rick Warren. At times, my heart breaks as I consider the misleading, misquoting and misrepresentation of Christ and His Word. At other times, I am furious and amazed that a preacher with a doctorate (albeit from Fuller) can handle God's Word so cavalier. How daring to quote Christ out of context! How brazen to emphasize words that aren't even in the text! How bold to pick and choose particular translations to prove your point! All this is from a revered pastor of the largest church in America. I suppose I am at most times simply aghast.

    But at the same time, other portions of the book are touching and sincere. There is a palpable desire to reach the lost. This is why I believe this current pragmatic church movement - "reach the lost at any cost" coupled with "never criticize what God's is [sic] blessing" - is the razor's edge of Christianity. It is a watershed, but that doesn't make it novel. This episode reminds me of Sir Thomas Moore in A Man for All Seasons who realized that if you concede your beliefs, you lose your being. It reminds as well of Charles Spurgeon's battle with his United Baptists or Francis Shaeffer's battle with his heretofore-conservative Presbyterians. This is our defining moment. Yet at this moment, with the exception of John McArthur, most acquiesce while others remain mute - perhaps confused, perhaps uncertain. To be sure, there is a shrill wing that cries foul when Warren uses any translation but King James with shrieks of "Heretic!" I want nothing to do with them. And it may be too late anyhow. The pragmatic movement has formed deep roots - as textual criticisms and intellectualism did a century ago. The impact has already radiated through Christianity although the full affect on the Church is yet to be calculated. I fear it will be many millions.

    You may recall a gent named Charles Darwin, a little periodical called The Origin of Species and the ensuing shockwaves delivered and still felt to this day. For the pragmatists, their Darwin is Peter Drucker, expert business evangelist and marketeer. I don't recall the pivotal figure that drank in Origin and transformed Hyde-like into this hideous beast of Christio-modernism. But the hand and draught of pragmatism today is George Barna and Rick Warren.

    Barna is particularly astonishing. His own surveys reveal "just 38% of the adult public have confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their savior, [yet] 99% claim they will not go to Hell after they die. In fact, a majority of Americans do not believe that Satan exists and most adults are leery about the existence of Hell." Still, he has promoted a seriously watered down (if not devoid) Gospel that caters to unbeliever's "felt needs". Warren, who's book prompted me, genuinely desires to reach the lost. But he too has turned off the path, also "targeting" the "felt needs" of unbelievers all under the guise of a successful ministry. Would that Warren remember God's admonishment to Joshua: "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." (Joshua 1:8)

    Would that he imitate Paul: "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel - not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.... For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1 Co 1:17,2:2)

    Warren on one page claims to be drawing a line of which he will not cross - never compromising the Word - and pages later crosses the line and encourages you to come along for the ride. The subtitle of the book is subtly revealing: "Growth without Compromising Your Message & Mission." Notice it is your message and mission that is not compromised, not God's. And your message is left decidedly up to you. Warren's message is intentionally compacted into five "purposes" which he draws from a few passages in Scripture. No biblically based Christian would on the surface disagree with them - they are attractive, satisfying, and ring true. But they are intentionally weakly defined. So it should be no surprise that "hundreds of churches" from "dozens" of denominations have adopted this method and (presumably) purposes. It is easy, inoffensive, and energizing. It is pragmatic in the fullest sense of the word.

    It is pragmatic and successful. The book has sold over a million copies, his Saddleback church is packed with well over 15,000 "Saddleback Sam's and Samatha's" in attendance each week. He has launched a web site to "encourage pastors, ministers, and church leaders with tools and resources for growing healthy churches." Apparently everything Warren does has a purpose - and pastor.com charges for it. One wonders how honestly Warren wishes to help others when he charges $4 a sermon (and $4 extra for the accompanying PowerPoint slides). Even "Purpose Driven" is now a registered trademark. Pragmatic to the end, eh?...more info

  • Church Changing
    I read this book over a decade ago. It literally changed how I, a pastor, now "do church." The church I serve has been transformed and now is a joyful, healthy place to be. We are impacting our community for Christ and seeing lives changed. Warren's concepts are simple yet profound....more info
  • Warren's Strategy For a Successful Ministry
    In his book, The Purpose-Driven Church, Rick Warren offers a comprehensive model of evangelizing a community through a principle-guided approach to planting and growing a church. His writing is well organized and easy to understand. The tone of the book is both instructive and inspirational as Warren speaks in a friendly, engaged tone.
    The strength of the book is its clear vision and step-by-step process to aid a minister to think biblically and to strategize his approach. His approach begins with a simple concept to develop a vision and a purpose for the Church. In various ways, Warren demonstrates how a minister also acts as a guide for the church by first communicating a vision and purpose for the church, gaining the members' enthusiasm for this vision, and then calling for their commitment to serve the purpose of the church.
    Warren provides a biblical basis for the importance of strategizing with Paul as his role model. He believes Paul's example of ministry was strategic because he "allowed his target to determine his approach" (Warren, 197). The Purpose-Driven Church expresses that having a strategy for evangelism is vital for successful ministry. Identifying one's target audience provides greater accuracy for ministry. A research of the geography and demographics of a community helps describe the residents. Although Warren recognizes the need for researching the intended target audience, he warns against spending too much time on research alone (Warren, 163).
    Once a community is researched and the target audience is identified, Warren then explicates on the organization of the services offered within the church for members as well as visitors. He offers the model of the "5 Circles of Commitment" to describe the purpose of the church to draw in new Christians, and the model of "the Life Development Process" to communicate the purpose of transforming visitors into committed members (Warren, 130). He suggests the implementation of "Seeker Services" provide a better opportunity to evangelize the community with specific times set aside for visitors. The Seeker service centers its message on the needs of visitors (Warren, 142).
    The model of Saddleback provides a realistic and plausible account of one church's growth from only a few members to a growth to more than 10,000 members. Rick Warren provides the Saddleback model for other ministers to learn from. The drawback for using Saddleback as a model is the danger of applying this model to an already established church. Churches that have had a faithful handful of members may not share the same excitement for Warren's approach. The Saddleback Model begins with new Christians who are open to change. Many churches today are loyal to their established tradition of worship. Perhaps a minister eager to implement some of Warren's suggestions might overlook the need to be sensitive to the needs of faithful members, thus applying these suggestions to a church with some destructive results. Although Warren includes some cautionary words, it would be more helpful if he expanded upon the need for caution, and focused a whole chapter on the subject.
    Overall, I highly recommend this book to serve ministry by encouraging ministers to seek the vision of God, and to consider the application of strategies for church growth....more info
  • The entrepreneurial evangelical
    Yearbooks of American and Canadian Churches reveal stagnation and decline in mainline church memberships over the period 1991 - 2003: Catholics 0.0%, Southern Baptists -6%, Lutherans -17%, Methodists -18%, Episcopals -18%, and Presbyterians -25%. In fact the decline started in 1960, almost a half-century ago.

    Rick Warren was either unaware of these facts or was just unfazed, when he started Saddleback Church, now the largest church in the United States. Not a few pastors would like to know his secrets of success.

    This book reveals that Warren is a strategic thinker with exceptional intelligence, high aspirations, and remarkable organizational skill. This book is a well-written handbook for the pastor of a Southern Baptist church and probably for pastors of many other denominations as well. His success has undoubtedly earned him the admiration and jealousy of other pastors.

    He is much more focused or "purpose driven", if you will, than most of the several corporate CEO's I have known; they could learn from him.
    ...more info
  • Scripture-twisting at its worst
    The Purpose Driven Life misused Scripture by taking it out of context and twisting it to mean things it was never intended to. The Purpose Driven Church is even worse. I bought this to see if I could figure out what was happening to my church and I did. While the book is subtitled "Growth Without Compromise", Warren's whole focus seems to be "growth at any cost." Any method that draws a crowd is considered successful. The Bible says that the world will hate you if you truly follow Christ. Warren is loved by the world and rightly so. He sings the world's song of giving people what they want and trying to make them feel "comfortable". The Bible shows a true encounter with God to be anything but "comfortable" as any number of passages show (Isaiah 6:1-5 for example) He tries to use the verse that says "sing to the Lord a new song" to show that we should no longer sing older hymns and uses Psalm 40:3 to "prove" that music is necessary for evangelism, totally ignoring the fact that this verse doesn't say that, as a cursory reading of verses 1&2 will quickly show. If you want to grow a church fast, this is the book for you. If you want to grow a church that is deeply rooted in the Word of God and founded on uncompromising truth, steer clear of the methods in this book. As someone once said, "God takes 200 years to grow an oak tree. He can grow a mushroom overnight. What kind of Christian do you want to be?" By his standards, the most God-honoring "churches" would be pro football teams and NASCAR -- they draw a larger crowd on Sundays than any church I know....more info
  • quite satisfied
    The book I ordered was delivered to me very rapidly and in excelent condition. I am quite satisfied ...more info
  • If you want to read a history of Saddleback....
    There may be some valid, useful points in this book, however, to find them you have to wade through the history of Saddleback. While Saddleback may be a very good example of a growing church, and a very good example of successful redemption of non-believers, there are very few, if any, examples given of things that didn't work and why they didn't work. Reading this book it makes it look like Saddleback has never had any failures, that the way that Saddleback has been organized and is operated is the best way to operate a church today. There are few examples of options of doing things other than the way Saddleback has developed. If you would like to have yet another Saddleback clone, read this book and follow the programming suggestions. If you would like to grow your own church, take the information given in the book, adapt it to your purposes and create your own programming....more info
  • I'm Sure It's Meant To Help, But
    I see alot of churches popping up based off this book and I have even attended. But I've noticed that many are trying to be "pop" churches, some to the effect of making the church seem cheap. And they are all looking more to this book than the actual Bible, which should be the real insperation for church building....more info
  • A great book for all Christian leaders
    If your church is interested in winning the lost to Christ, everyone in leadership should read this book and then decide together what they should do to build on the great ideas here. Warren has many critics who claim his methods aren't biblical. It's clear they haven't read this book. This is the most biblical book about how to "do church" that I have read. Full of good ideas, many of which I hope our church will implement or at least consider....more info
  • Planting
    This book is a true gem of modern Christian thought. With the eye of an ethnographer, the mind of a military tactician, and the heart of a Christian, Rick Warren draws the ground-plans for the modern church. For decades, traditional minds have been challenged by the task of showing the timeless relevance of the Bible to the modern man and woman who were raised in the age of airplanes, not Aramaic. This book shows how careful planning and strategic adjustments enable the truth of the Bible to be evidently relevant to the modern reader without sacrificing theological integrity. Warren is the pastor of Saddleback Church in Orange County, California-not exactly the Bible belt! This book traces the planning and growth of Saddleback to an average weekly attendance of 10,000 people. The Saddleback story acts not as a model for outcome but as a model for practice. Warren makes it very clear that how his church looks now is a direct result of its physical and spiritual circumstance, but that the methods that engendered Saddleback's growth can be transposed onto any geographical location.
    Noting that God loves variety, Warren shows that it is "OK" to use a variety of techniques to spread the gospel (variety implies difference). One of Warren's main themes is "catching fish on their own terms." He was not afraid to make small concessions in matters of style in order to communicate the saving grace of the gospel. Warren gives practical advice on topics ranging from community research to church music to the preparation of a sermon.
    However, this book is not just for the Church planting Christian. Blatantly hidden in these pages is a picture of love, understanding, and passion that inform the soul of the reader as much as his notepad. The observations that Warren relates regarding the methods of reaching unbelievers work as well on the personal level as they do at the church planning level. Critical is Warren's realization that the key to reaching unbelievers is loving them. Included in this loving is an understanding that sanctification comes after salvation. Warren accepts and loves individuals as they are, invites them into the body of Christ, and in that process they are inexorably changed. Underlying this process is the fact that it is God working, and not man. It is a beautiful thing that in a book on church growth Warren spends the first few pages discussing the fact that it is the hand of God that grows a church and then concludes his book with the imagery of the dry bones of Ezekiel 37. Though Ezekiel was commissioned to act, it was the breath of God that brought the bones to life. I recommend this book not only to individuals who plan on planting a church, but to any individual interested in planting Christ.
    ...more info
  • Good book
    I enjoyed this book better than the Purpose Driven Life. Good sound strategies or a seeker service style program....more info
  • Church Health
    This is the standard text of church growth in our day. Like it or not, churches that are growing and changing lives use some form of the ideas in this book as their template. The ideas are not new, they are biblical and taught with Warren's great talent to make the difficult into something we all can understand.

    Anyone that cares at all about fulfilling the Great Commission of Christ and changing the world in which we live should read this. The first time I read it I agreed with many of the other reviewers here; a few years later when I reread the book I was shocked at how much of it had become a part of my ministry. After 15 years, this is the single most important read (next to the Bible of course) in my ministry. I couldn't have done what I have done without it. ...more info
  • The Best Book Ever Written on Church Growth
    This is easily the best book ever written on Church Growth. Rick Waren does a great job of dispelling the myths about "Mega Churches" and explaining the biblical principles that drive the growth of large churches....more info
  • Author, "Maybe God Is Trying To Tell You Something..."
    Many people live their lives so caught up in obtaining the things that serve to satisfy themselves, that they never take the time to fully analyze Rick's question. I recently discovered my purpose(s) and this book confirmed that I truly heard from God. One of those purposes was the book I recently completed, "Maybe God Is Trying To Tell You Something". We are all here to serve one another and to help each other through this journey we call life. It's not about "us" and the things that make "us" happy. Sure, that's part of it. But God has a much bigger plan in mind.

    How sad it is to spend our entire lives going after things. How shallow it is to think we need certain relationships to feel whole and complete. What happens after we've acquired the "things" and we're still miserable? What do we do when we've gotten that special someone and after time, realize the relationship is not what we thought we wanted?

    Rick's book will cause you to re-evaluate not only "who" you are, but "why" you are.

    This is a must read!...more info

  • A Purpose-Driven Best Buy!
    The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren is a practical explanation of how to build and maintain a healthy church that is founded on purpose. Through years of experience and hard work, Warren has created a church model that provides "a biblical and healthy alternative to traditional ways that churches have operated and organized in the past." This book shifts the focus away from church building programs and instead emphasizes people building programs in order to strengthen the "core members" as well as bring multitudes of "seekers," or "unchurched," into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
    This is done using a multitude of practical models, such as Warren's own "5 Circles of Commitment" which is used to describe the purpose of the church to draw in new Christians. Another model is the "Life Development Process" which communicates the purpose of transforming "seekers" into committed members (Warren 1995: 130). Warren also provides countless pages of insightful advice taken from years of ministry experience. In fact, Warren admits that he waited 20 years to write this book because he did not want to write it prematurely (Warren 1995: 18).
    While many readers may discount Warren's church building model, calling it "unbiblical" or "watered-down," fail to realize the underlying theme and major strength of the text which is the Christ centered attitude. Throughout every section, the author strives to makes his intentions clear by constantly looking to Jesus as the ultimate example in illustrations as well as pointing to biblical references when applicable. One obvious example of this is found in chapter 12 which is entitled "How Jesus attracted Crowds." This entire chapter uses the ministry of Jesus as the primary example for attracting large crowds of unbelievers and teaching them His saving Gospel.
    However, this book is of course not without faults. I can easily understand how, by reading the book, one might get the impression that the Warren describes his church model with some semblance of arrogance because of its great success. I am not implying that he is not a Godly man, in fact one can easily see the mark of Christ in him throughout his writing and I believe that his intentions are pure and well guided. However, when Warren reminds the reader for the tenth time how he did all the research on church planting communities, he planted a church in a place that he had never visited, his church grew to 10,000 people in 15 years, and using his methods 7,000 people came to Christ in those first 15 years, one might begin to come under that impression that this kind of repetition serves as little more than a subconscious and arrogant reminder of the works of the author and his greatness, not the greatness of Jesus Christ.
    Overall, I would recommend this book to Christians who need fresh ideas for reaching their community. I especially recommend this to pastors who feel that they are losing touch with their community and/ or congregation as well as Christians interested in starting a ministry of their own.
    ...more info
  • This is a concerning book
    I read this book to try to understand Purpose Driven Life. Warren's use of Psychological methods, software watching, and even contracts. Where is this in scripture? This is concerning.

    Warren heavily uses the Living Bible. I can understand some Paraphrasically type translations in Life. But, Church is written to Elders and Pastors.

    Warren as in Life misuses scriptures. He treats transfer members differently than new converts. Where is that biblical. Maybe the people had a good and scriptural reason to leave. He works them harder. Since God is not a respector of persons we are supposed to be?

    The final and most disturbing thought. Is the Kool-Aide mentality of don't question or make waves. In fact tells the pastors to either marginalize or publically humiliate the discenters regardless of if they are right or not. This is dangerous and unscriptural. We must be faithful Bereans and check for ourselves.

    Warren is after the money plain and simple. This is the new Prayer of Jabez etc... It will come and go. I just hope not doing too much damage as churches have split over these books. All I can say is Woe to the shephard who doesn't care for the sheep....more info
  • The Bible Driven Church
    Dr. John MacArthur's new book, The Bible Driven Church, reminds us that it's not new programs or styles that makes for a successful church, but adherence to the preaching and teaching of the pure word of God. Gimmicks do not belong in the operation of the church. ...more info
  • For church builders... in other words YOU not just Pastors
    It's sad that a lot of people will read Warren's Purpose-Driven Life book (and they should) and get so much out of it, and then they might even pick this one up but then... they may put it back thinking it's for a Deacon board but not for the average Christian.

    WRONG!

    Yes, this entire book is about building a church. yes, a Pastor will richly receive incredibly useful, hands-on advice on the best way to grow a congregation, but what often is overlooked here is that the congregational members should ALSO understand how to grow the church! The church IS the congregation!!!

    I assure you that if you are a church member and hold no position of authority in that church, and if you are the ONLY one who reads this book, you STILL will be able to grow your church in many ways. Wouldn't it be nice to know that you helped to increase the congregation, NOT to add to numbers but to add to God's Kingdom?...more info

  • PRACTICAL
    I've been in the ministry for 12 years and most of that time felt lost in terms of allowing God to grow His church. I would pray and seek His face, but it just seemed that when things would happen, it would kinda happen haphazardly.

    Purpose Driven church gave me the tools to think through and be intentional about the purposes of the church. It provided an important model for me to be proactive in helping the church do what it is called to do. Thanks Rick!

    P.S. (...)...more info

  • Church Growth: Traditional vs. Upstart
    I found this book to be quite useful and in depth in the field of church growth. This book however is not for everyone. This book should only really be considered for those who are willing to take risks in their own, already established, churches and those who are looking to start a church of their own. This book is not for those who feel that a change in their church would destroy the whole infrastructure and cause a split in their church. Rick Warren does stress the fact that one should only challenge the traditions of the church if they really feel they are being called by God to do so. For those who are about to start a church themselves, this book contains many useful ideas. Those who are not restrained by tradition and history of a church can look at this book for guidance. It contains great ideas for a church and many great ideas of how to help your church grow. If you are looking for a practical outlook on how to start a church then this is the book for you.
    I did have several problems with the book however. Warren seems to not give the Holy Spirit enough credit. Warren tells those who read this book that they must reach out to those who are most like them. He makes it sound as if you can not reach out to those who are different, not relying on the Holy Spirit to work through you. He also relies a whole lot on you changing and fitting your church for the needs of others rather than relying on the Holy Spirit to move them. This brings me to another problem I have with the book. Nowhere in the Bible do you find a church having separate church services for non-believers. When Paul speaks of church in his Epistles he speaks of it as believers and non-believers communing together. The whole point of church for him is to edify and build up the believers and through that non-believers themselves would be edified. Warren relies strictly on separating his believers from non-believers. Warren's relaxed attitude toward believers also worries me. It seems at times that does not worry about whether he keeps or loses his members but is only focused on gaining more.
    Once again this book works fine for those who are just starting a church. It gives great ideas for how one can go about this. I would not recommend it for churches already well established however for Warren does not give much attention to current members and to edifying them. There is definitely a leaning toward churches that are just starting because that is what Warren knows. ...more info
  • Not very good..
    I could only read an hour of this. I really liked, 'Purpose Driven Life' but this is hardly as good....more info
  • A Church Dichotomy
    Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Church is a church model/church-help guide that I still cannot determine whether I like it or not and whether I agree with it or not. The book is an excellent 400 pages of successful tactics for outreach, church growth, and inspirational example. I must commend Warren for his mastery of understanding human nature, application of psychological techniques, and effective outreach methods. Warren has succeeded highly in creating a church that fits the keyhole of south Orange County suburbia, yet I cannot help but be turned away by the ethnocentrism and egoism that are rampant throughout this book. In reading this, I reaped more of a sense of mind and heart manipulation than of love and Jesus' example. I was also turned away by how formulated his methods and faith are. I felt like God's church and a person's spirituality were textbook materials- that I could put the right ingredients into a box and pull out a Christian. Something inside will not let me feel right about defining a person's life, pain, love, spirituality, and purpose into stepped methodology.
    Warren's focus was to church the unbelievers. Why do we want to "church" unbelievers? The last thing I want to do is commit a person to an organization that defines their spirituality. Spirituality and faith should be defined only by Jesus' love, not doctrine. There exists such a consumer mentality in the Saddleback mega-church. I feel that in our society the "Church" has become an institution and not a body of God's children and Warren's church model feeds just to that. It is so important in this age where the church truly needs redemption in society that mass-produced and influential writings represent true Christian values, Jesus' love, and humility. Religion, the church- these need to be redefined in our modern society and I do not feel that this book guides the practice of Christian faith in a truly biblical and spiritual direction. This book came off as a how-to on mastering the art of Christian Evangelism in middle-class, white suburbia. There is so much more in the world than that! Where is Warren's connection to that? As an artist, I understand that great art is not simply a mastery of technique but rather the outcome of growth, expression, and learning that occur by circumstance and discovery, not by step or pre-planned psychological manipulation. Effective? Intelligent? Inspiring? Yes, Warren's art is all those; however, I cannot get by my hesitation to accept an ethnocentric, procedural view of spirituality and faith as presented by Rick Warren in his Purpose-Driven Church. Rick Warren is a blessed, faithful, intelligent man and I would like to see credit given to the Holy Spirit that is what moves our spirituality and faith, and will guide our churches where they need to go. ...more info
  • Book Review - The Purpose Driven Church
    There is little doubt that many modern churches are failing to grow and flourish. New churches are planted only to wither and die while established churches are stagnant, growing only from within. Rick Warren, pastor and founder of one of America's largest churches, Saddleback Valley Community Church, wrote The Purpose Driven Church to address the failures of today's churches. The book outlines the principles he used to establish his church and seeks to apply these principles to all churches, whether they are established or newly planted. Since it's publication in 1995, this book has served as a manual to thousands of other churches and Warren's model has been used across the globe to start a whole new breed of church. Terms you may hear in association with this model are "Purpose Driven" and "church growth movement."

    Warren's approach centers on something that is startling in its simplicity. Every church needs to be defined by a purpose. Warren states, "Until you know what your church exists for, you have no foundation, no motivation, and no direction for ministry." (p. 81) Without a clear purpose statement a church is just drifting. This statement of purpose is something the church must devote time and attention to as they seek to find a direction that will steer them. The purpose statement should always be made to fulfill The Great Commission and should be concise and result-oriented. Once formulated, this purpose statement will be the guide to future decisions about the church. When faced with a tough decision, perhaps about a new program or a new ministry, the church leaders need only look to the purpose statement. If the new program or ministry will fulfill one of the purposes, "...do it. If it doesn't, don't do it." (p. 88) Anything in the church that goes against one of those purposes is to be immediately removed. Essentially, the church is like a business. The church has to be molded to appeal to and be relevant to the consumer (the unbeliever).

    Once a church has a defined purpose it is time to reach the lost. To do this it is crucial that the church remain relevant to society. This is done by meeting the felt needs of the culture and community. Purpose Driven churches are well known for studying demographics and performing surveys. By understanding their potential audience and knowing the needs of these people, the church can create programs and ministries that will address the specific needs around them. Warren states that it is his "deep conviction that anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart." (p. 219) After you discover the key to a person's heart he or she will be drawn to your church. Once that person is attending, it is the pastor's job to preach to his or her felt needs. This is based on "the theological fact that God chooses to reveal himself to man according to our needs! Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with examples of this." (p. 295).

    A large portion of the book is devoted to the process of moving people from the community (unbelievers) to the crowd (church attenders) and to the congregation (believers) and ultimately to the core of the church where they are leading or participating in one of the church's ministries. The author lays out many principles that will lead and mentor new believers and help them grow in the their faith and commitment.

    Overall, I found this book both inspiring and disappointing. Warren has many, many things to say that are of great value. I have spent many years in churches that had no purpose and no direction. Certainly a purpose has to be of great value. The view that preaching should be relevant and apply to our lives is critical. In the end, though, I believe the book to be predicated on some false and potentially dangerous ideas.

    Many of Warren's ideas are imported directly from the business world. Time and again he refers to concepts found in the marketing and business world. His view is that the church needs to be run like a business. There is a danger here, though, in that in the world of business and marketing the customer is always right. Whatever the customer desires or demands is what we have to give him. In Christianity the exact opposite is true. It is God, not the consumer (unbeliever) who is sovereign. We need, then, to be careful how far we go in shaping our church, as God's commands have to come before the demands of unbelievers.

    Warren is a pragmatist. As such he believes and teaches that the result is more important than the method. Probably the most startling statement in the entire book is "never criticize what God is blessing." (p. 62) He makes several such statements in The Purpose Driven Church but fails to provide a system to properly discern what God is blessing, other than the results. To place ultimate importance in the results is a grievous error. Numbers are not necessarily indicative of God's blessing. We need to refer everything to God's Word. Only by using the Scripture as the ultimate test can we have complete confidence in God's will.

    Finally, the author continuously states that the Bible gives many examples of Jesus and the apostles relating to our felt needs. I see little evidence of this. It seems to me that anytime Jesus preached towards a felt need it was that one great need; namely, the need for us to believe in Him for our salvation. In preaching a gospel based on our needs we need to be careful that we don't turn the gospel around and make it about us when in reality the gospel is about God whom we have all rejected.

    In the final analysis I would recommend this book to any discerning Christian. For a believer who is able to read it with discernment and see beyond the dangerous and false presuppositions there is much to learn. Just do not blindly accept Warren's formula for a successful church....more info
  • Seeking out a vision for your church community
    As pastor of a small Protestant church community in a European country which is truly becoming 'secular city' it is important to find material in order to try to formulate a vision - a new way of doing church in our postmodern times. I found Rick Warren's book truly valuable - the Church Council are using it now to evaluate the way forward - because a Church without a vision or mission is hopelessly lost! I would highly recommend the book to other pastors.
    Susan Waters
    Opstandingskerk
    Aalst, Belgium...more info
  • Reaching the Unchurched
    Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Church, provides valuable ideas for church planters and those who take on leadership positions within the church. Many people are wary about the claims that Warren makes because he seems to leave behind traditional and sometimes biblical ideas of how a church should be run. These claims arise from his methods of developing his church services around the felt needs of the community, his separation of seeker and believer services, and his strict policies of obedience to membership covenants. While these issues are controversial, a careful reading of Warren's book shows that he deals delicately with each of these issues and has aimed to separate cultural tradition from biblical instruction to make church relevant to people of this day and age.

    Warren's primary goal in developing Saddleback Community Church was to attract the unchurched from the surrounding area. His methods of beginning with researching the community and asking its members why they do not attend church is biblically sound. Jesus knew the needs of those he met before they even told him. Since people now do not have that ability, they must ask before they can begin to fill the needs people have. Warren presents a helpful strategy for creating a church that answers to the needs of the community. He also recognizes that each community will have different needs so the method of discovering and meeting needs will take different forms in each case.

    Once people from the community enter the church family through membership they are encouraged to grow through several programs. The explanation of the process of leading people to greater spiritual maturity is a strength of this book. Too many churches allow people to become stagnant in their faith once they have committed their lives to Christ. Warren shows that even a big church can be personal enough to ensure that each member is growing.

    While The Purpose Driven Church presents many helpful church strategies it is important not to read it as more than the lessons and wisdom of one man. Warren has been successful in leading thousands of people to Christ and developing them into maturing Christians. He has learned from his journey and those lessons are valuable to other people. However, as Warren even notes, no two journeys will ever look the same. Furthermore, there are some valid areas of concern in Warren's suggestions, such as his separation of seekers from believers, the way he caters to the needs of the unchurched, and his seeming lack of concern for those who leave the church. Therefore, as with any book, it should be read with a discerning mind and prayerful openness to discover what is useful and what should be considered more carefully. I would recommend that it be read by anyone wanting to plant a church or in some cases those who are looking to revitalize a pre-existing church.
    ...more info
  • The Book Lives Up To Its Claims!
    One of the first things presented in this book is that the principles that work at the Saddleback Church, may not work everywhere. The name Rick Warren gets tossed around by those who praise him and by those who blame him. But he declares right away that these are not universal principles.

    That said, this is a well written book that reads smoothly and provides a fresh approach to evangelism. This is a book for church leaders. My fear is that church members will decide their pastor is not doing his job because he doesn't practice the Purpose Driven Church principles.

    If a person wants their pastor to consider the things presented in this book, buy the book for him, but don't read the book yourself and then try to implement the practices described inside.

    Church's that begin as Purpose Driven Churches will be much more effective in applying these principles than a church that is already established.

    Read this book with caution and don't change churches because you think this sounds exciting....more info

  • Poor Ecclessiology Demonstrated
    As I began this read, I was immediately aware that his choice of Scripture quotations would constantly be switching English translations, usually using the poorest of them, i.e. The Living Bible, TEB. Therefore, I immediately started jotting down next to Warren's a solid translation, e.g. NASB, and found considerable doubt being shed on Warren's whole premises for "the purpose driven church" as he postulates it.

    The church is not purpose driven to recruit more people for the pews, it is for the purpose of saving souls, of justification. This Warren, many would argue, is exactly what he writes about, but the truth be known, it is anything but this. Forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ's gospel must be at the core and center, and it must have prominence and dominance over everything else. Warren permits and promotes other needs to circumvent and override this.

    Then as the kicker, he even relates that copying what Saddleback has done is not to be followed, that it won't work in every other setting. What is going on here? Where is the assurance that if we preach and teach the truth of God's Word purely that He will bless? This is shame and shamble of this whole movement to consumerism and leadership by sayings and principles that are not Biblical. Check them out in a good English translation, such as New American Standard. Better yet, find yourself a pastor who can work in the original languages (Hebrew and Greek) and he'll tell you that NASB is head and shoulders superior to the ones Warren puts all his case upon.

    The church of Jesus Christ needs only turn to its Lord and continue to faithfully proclaim His desire: that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the peoples (Luke 24:47). That and only that message clearly and purely proclaimed in all the church will and can grow the church and God's kingdom....more info

  • Pragmatism in Full Bloom
    What Charles Finney popularized in the 19th century Rick Warren has taken to a new level in an era of mass communication. At the core PDC is rooted in semipelagianism, a teaching labled heresy by the church in 529 AD. Semipelagianism laid dormant for centuries and was given new life by Jacabus Arminius. Today the heresy is known as arminianism. In short the doctrine cuts at the core of biblical revelation, denying God's sovereinty in salvation. The result is a pragmatic approach to ministry where results are measured and the question as to their biblical justification is ignored. PDC , therefore, employes woldly business and marketing techniques to "grow" the church, reducing and often eliminating the need for God to build His church. PDC will lead a pastor and church down a path of doctrinal error. The visible church (unregenerate crowd) may grow, but the invisible church (the redeemed) will languish. The focus will shift from the mandate to feed the flock to entertaining the goats. Skip this book and practice ministry as outlined in THE book--the Bible. God has not called pastors to be "successful", but to be faithful to His Word and Gospel. Adherants of the PDC philosophy ultimately sacrifice both in their quest for "success." ...more info
  • A complete lack of faith in the Holy Spirit
    I was curious about this book because I heard of his prior book. When I got to the part about "pick your targets" i.e. niche marketing I became very turned off. Pick your target people to save by income, age, etc. REALLY??? This is so unscriptural it's unbelievable. Jesus mixed with tax collectors, prostitutes, rich people and poor people, sick people to show us that his saving grace is available to all -- not just a select demographic few. This book is taking business tactics and trying to apply them to saving souls. If Jesus were physically with us at this time we would once again see him with his whips chasing the "money changers" out from the church entrance. This book and the tactics it promotes demonstrates a complete lack of faith in the Holy Spirit's ministry on earth. One pastor I know gave a sermon about this and refused to comply with this approach and had the most growth in his church over the others. This is because it is God and not men and their strategies and tactics who saves souls. Jesus warned us "beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits... every good tree bears good fruit, but every bad tree bears bad fruit. Matthew 7:15-16 ...more info
  • Post-Katrina
    This is an excellent book for any church--whatever size and whatever stage in development. The local church is a living organism and as such it's health is manifest in growth. A church that is not growing is either sick or dying. Church health (and balance) is emphazised in this text and not numbers. I belong to a once large church in eastern New Orleans that was devastated by Katrina. Rick Warren's book gives many truths and pointers on how our church can rebuild and be better than ever. The illustration in the first chapter about the movements of God being manifest in waves and us being the "surfers" is timely. Katrina was/is a blessing in being a rather large WAVE in this part of the country that many are recognizing and riding with joy and new purpose....more info
  • The Purpose is to make people feel good and join.
    The Purpose Driven, or seeker friendly movement makes the gospel secondary to a friendly, enjoyable church experience. the tragedy is that people will think they are saved when they are not. This is fool's gold. It's the latest church deception which thousands of pastors are buying into. ...more info
  • Want more than theory?
    After having read several books on church ministry in the city, I must say that this book has finally satisfied my thirst. I recommend this book to pastors and church leaders, aspiring leaders, or just to Christians who want new and refreshing ideas that they can apply tomorrow if they want, in their own churches. If you really have time on your hand, I recommend reading other books before this one such as Conn and Ortiz's "Urban Ministry" or Ron Sider's "Good News and Good Works" so that you can get a better idea of the theology of church ministry and better understand Rick Warren's reasoning behind his strategies. Without such foundational reading, parts of Warren's book may seem too practical and not biblical enough, or too methodical. But, as an individual who is working in a ministry I found Warren's book so helpful in part because it is methodical, it gives practical strategies for better serving a church and its community. If you are a pastor who is looking for ways to better reach your neighbors and engage your own community then this is a priority for your reading list. Theory is wonderful, it makes for a strong foundation, but once you have that, you need practical writers like Warren who are writing from experience.
    Warren speaks from experience after having started his own church in the suburban community of Saddleback in Orange County, Southern California. The church grew from 200 members at its inaugurating service, to over 15,000 members today. In this book he shares how he and his team, through God's grace, were able to reach these people and how they are able to keep so many members happily involved serving God. If you have ever had doubts about how a megachurch can ever be effective in reaching out to the individual, read this book. Through small groups and a strong biblically founded ministry, all members at Saddleback, it is safe to say, are actively involved in their church.
    This book has practical tips on topics ranging from how to welcome people to your church to how to organize your service so that visitors want to come back. He gives advice on how to preach to new people, so that the word of God not only makes sense but also is not boring. He gives advice on how to structure even your worship music to be understood by visitors and yet still appreciated by your members.
    Warning: Do not be discouraged of reading this book merely on the fact that Warren is speaking from the context of a suburban, middle-class community and your community does not fit the prototype. He repeats quite often, to not take a method and put it in your church without tweaking it so that it fits your context. This is really important for a pastor and leader to remember. I also recommend having a pen ready and not being afraid to use it! This book is full of practical treasures! I highly recommend it.

    ...more info
  • Saddleback Sam: Soul or Customer?
    As the book which launched the celebrity of a California "mega-church" Baptist preacher, this includes all the elements needed to get an instant readership in our paradoxically technocratic but fanatical times-a simply stated, pop-culture-anecdote-laden, "can't miss" manual that promises "sure-fire" results-very much a management-theory treatise in religious garb. But in fact, Warren is merely distilling and condensing much of the ink spilled from the 1970s onward in both mainline and evangelical Protestant circles (chiefly the former) when declining worship participation and actual membership set off alarms, thereby prompting the creation of a sort of cottage industry within theological seminaries and denominational bureaucracies-the "church growth" phenomenon.
    So Warren is not so much a pioneer as he is a popularizer. Whether the popularity of the book indicates a growing concern on the part of the average church member about the subject or, rather, the growing power of aggressive personalities in many pulpits who intimidate their parishioners into dealing with the subject can likely never be proved.
    And it becomes sadly apparent that his lifestyle-oriented evangelistic tactics cannot really be dissociated from his conservative evangelical theology and ideology. One signpost of this is the final sentence in the second paragraph in chapter 9, "Who Is Your Target?": "Bringing people to Christ is too important a task for us to have such a casual attitude toward it." As most people well know, the demand to "win souls for Christ" usually crowds out other legitimate concerns in evangelical settings. And what is more, the burden is placed upon human effort in persuading people to accept the Gospel and/or join the church, with little or no reference to the role of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we have a classic statement of Pelagianism, works righteousness.
    Continuing with the premise that "there is not a local church anywhere that can reach everybody. Because human beings are so different, no single church can possibly reach everyone," we have the first in a set of commonplaces, ideas which are so much accepted at face value that no one bothers to examine their validity. The reason Warren espouses those particular views is that his heritage is sectarian; that is to say, he conceives of a particular congregation being self-sufficient and complete in itself, not necessarily needing the guidance or fellowship of other churches, even those identical in practice and outlook. His seeming embrace of "diversity" is in fact a mask for a more basic homogeneity, as it is all but certain that he does not approve of widespread theological dissent within a congregation. All is pragmatic, in other words.
    Then, the analogy of radio stations makes clear his views about much of American life as matters of preference. One gets the notion that Warren regards demographics as sacred, as something that cannot be questioned. His five categories on page 163 (age, marital status, income, education, occupation) are followed by an emphatic, unequivocal declaration: "Each of these factors will influence how you minister to people and how you communicate the Good News." For an evangelical, Warren astonishingly does not bother to subject the criteria to "biblical" proof-texting. What that means is that he can proceed with formulating his methods, his "how", without a truly constant and frequent reminder of the "why".
    Should "Saddleback Sam" (pages 169-172) really strike anyone as very different from a "Joe Six-Pack" or other fantasy-ideational constructs that corporate managers populate their very lives with daily? Did it ever occur to Warren that Sam might in fact not be among God's elect? Could not one imagine that Sam is none other than the rich young ruler who rejected Jesus' demand that he sell his possessions (Matthew 19:16-22) or even the wealthy man who left Lazarus outside his gate to die? (Luke 16:19-30) The fact that Warren does not broach the matter indicates one thing to this writer: Sam is a customer, not the "lost soul" that revivalists of an earlier day would have perceived.
    Further, the remaining chapters of the third part of the book are predicated upon locating as many Saddleback Sams in a church's neighborhood as can be found and essentially resorting to a marketing strategy indistinguishable from, say, promoting a new nightclub. Just add a little pious language and much "seeker-friendly" language and it becomes quite appetizing. But is it nutritious? Does it really strengthen one for taking up the cross and foregoing the convenient, the pleasing, even the safe? (Mark 8:34-36)
    All in all, Warren and the moguls of the mega-church movement basically betray their collaboration with the dominant culture: winning is everything, the ends justify the means ("law" is acceptable, but not a disciplined ethics), the church must prove God's majesty by gaining influence among the "principalities and powers" (hence the rise of not only the Religious Right as a partner in the coalition that presently governs the U.S., but the pathetic and feeble attempts to emulate their success by white liberals and African-American preachers). America's true religion is not Christianity, really; it is the mythology of "success". And much of what passes as "Bible-believing" these days is mainly a projection of the values of our late-capitalist (it must be stressed that we are not talking about the ethos described by Max Weber), consumerist ideology upon the institutions and myth-structures of historical Protestant churches. If the historic churches offer any resistance, then new ones may be built without any guilt.
    In summary, the few valuable insights Warren affords about method, which mainly concern targeting and promotion are not original; they mainly serve to justify natural tendencies of an institution to perpetuate itself-why does one need to spend money on a book just to have a sounding-board for things one plans to do anyway? Likely the answer is "everybody's doing it."...more info
  • It's beginning to Scare Me
    At first, I was enamored by the "Purpose Driven Church." But, to my shame I didn't look deeper into the poor Bible translations used. I was caught uo in the hype. Qouting Robert Schuller as an example of successful ministry is bordering on heresy! Charging $4.00 a sermon on his (Rick Warren's)website is fleecing the flock. If you are a millionaire due to the success of the "Purpose Driven" books, why keep on raking in the bucks? Something doesn't sound right. Most churches are buying into the hype, line, hook, and sinker. It's all starting to scare me. Remember,the serpent in the garden mixed some truth into his lies. Is all this part of the great apostacy? We need to fast and pray for God to bring revival and church growth, the way the apostles and the great men of prayer (Mueller, Luther, Spurgeon, etc.) did! Look up! Your redemption is drawing near! ...more info
  • Good Study Guide
    The Purpose-Driven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message & Mission by Rick Warren is like a outline on how to grow a happy, healthy church. According to the author a healthy church is a growing church. Warren outlines five biblical purposes of the church. The first two is as Jesus said "Love the Lord with all your heart and all your soul," "Love your neighbor as yourself," than "Go and make disciples," after which "Baptize them' and finally "Teach them to obey".

    After you read this book it may be a good time to consider reading my book entitled "The Enlightenment, What God Told Me After One Million Prayers, a Message for Everyone" (See Profile Above)
    ...more info
  • Great Book on the Church
    This is a great book for anyone looking to be involved in God's instrument for reaching a lost world- the church. The author points out that as individualistic Westerners, we have neglected the importance of the local church. We should have God's purposes in planting and establishing local churches. The book is centered on what the author believes are the five purposes of the local church; worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism.

    The book is written in a clear, easy-to-read, and relevant style. As a missionary in training who hopes to plant churches cross-culturally in the future, I appreciated the principles given in the first few chapters of the book. The rest of the book is focused more on how to apply these principles to church planting in a Western context. I am going to take some of these principles and apply them to how I do church planting in Asia, but I will not be able to follow most of the models and examples given in the book. Again, this is a great book for anyone wanting to be involved with the local church (especially in America). I would recommend it to anyone....more info

  • I thought we weren't supposed to conform to the world???
    I wish I could give this book a minus star because its set a terrible example and is causing many sheep to starve. Rick Warren encourages pastors to run their church like a corporation using statistics and surveys to determine what message to preach and what music to play, etc.. This is so sad and is an example of the state of the church(in the USA) right now. The whole seeker friendly movement is causing much damage to the Body of Christ.

    PASTORS, if you want your church to grow then start praying, fasting and seeking God's face again!! Don't run to Egypt!
    Stop robbing the people, Pastors. If you want to be a CEO resign from your church and go secular. Otherwise come back to preaching the Cross!
    Preach Christ and Him crucified!!...more info

  • This Is The Bomb Praise God!!
    I started read this book and I could not put it down Rick really broke things down so that you can understand it I know that if the church I go to puts these things into action then we will be blessed GOD BLESS RICK WARREN AND KEEP ON DOING GODS WORK!!...more info
  • Important book for church leaders
    This is one of the most important books a pastor or church leader will ever read. Rick Warren has provided remarkable insights about how to effectively lead a local church in order to reach people. Whether you lead a traditional congregation or are starting a contemporary church, the principles provided are valuable and solid......more info
  • Prompt and efficent service
    The book arrived above my expectations on time and in good shape, very rarely am I ever dissapointed in the sellers, I will continue to order from this seller...more info
  • The Bible of Church Management
    This is an excellent text for any phase of church management. I kept trying to find areas to disagree with and I found none!...more info
  • Adopting North American Culture Both Good and Bad
    There has been a movement among missionaries and mission boards to encourage indigenous churches rather than merely exporting our culture to the rest of the world. The argument runs that the Gospel must always be enfleshed or embodied in a people and its culture. We cannot deny that the Good News of Jesus Christ must be spoken in particular human languages. Forcing Africans to worship like Scotsmen, does a disservice to African culture and the Gospel.

    As I read Rick Warren's book, the Purpose Driven Church, I thought about this current trend in mission. Whether we like it or not, Rick Warren's Saddleback Church is a church indigenous to Southern California at the end of the twentieth century. Warren has attempted to translate the Gospel into the language of young, suburban professionals. As Paul quoted Stoic poets on Mars Hill, Rick Warren can comfortably quote Peter Drucker and utilize the marketing techniques of Starbucks. Anyone interested doing ministry in this culture can learn something from this book, especially if we take Rick Warren at his word--"Read this book like you'd eat fish: Pick out the meat and throw away the bones" (pg 71).

    That being said, there is a danger. As the Gospel is expressed in culture, it must also critique the culture. Our sinfulness is pervasive, and the Gospel should expose the evils of our culture for what they are. Rick Warren subtitles his book, "Growth Without Compromising Your Message and Mission," but on several instances he compromises the Good News to the culture.

    For example, we live in a self-segregated society. We routinely segregate white from black, rich from poor, and young from old. The Purpose Drive Church perpetuates these separation by slavishly focusing on target audiences. A church filled with only Saddleback Sams and Samanthas are a betrayal to Pentecost where "your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 1:17-21). Rick Warren may suggest that Saddleback is only part of the greater Church. Others may be called to evangelize other target audiences. He states, "I feel right at home with entrepreneurial businessmen, managers, and professions. In fact, I've noticed that they are attracted to my ministry. It's nothing I planned, it's just the way God wired me" (pg 176). Perhaps that is true, but it reminds me of an observation that a friend made in seminary, "Isn't amazing that God calls so many people to pastor affluent, white suburban churches?"

    We also live in a competitive culture which is inherently results-oriented. On occasion Rick Warren seems to replace the grace of God with a works-righteousness preached by the culture. In the beginning of the book, the author writes, "Only God makes the church grow" (pg 14). Later however, he uses the Bible's teaching on fruitfulness as a guilt trip. He states, "God expects both faithfulness and fruitfulness" (pg 62). Although he quotes from John 15, nothing is made of Jesus' admonition: "He who abides in me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing." Fruitfulness grows out of faithfulness. Moreover, Rick Warren exclusively defines fruitfulness as conversions: "The fruit of a believer is another believer" (pg 63). There is no mention of the fruit of the Spirit. Rick Warren seems to imply that churches which are not growing, must not be bearing any fruit.

    Rick Warren does have some important things to say. I appreciate his desire to move Christians beyond membership and into ministry and mission. Three cheers for his statement: "I believe that you measure the health or strength of a church by its sending capacity rather than its seating capacity" (pg 32). Nonetheless, while reaching out to the culture, the Purpose Driven Church should beware becoming too much like the culture....more info

  • What can you say
    I have read this book many, many times. The only things about it that I don't like are all the references to growth it contains. The dustcover has so many references to growth it sickens me, but Warren probably didn't write that and the publishers know who will be reading.

    The book is great at helping a church ask questions that need to be asked and helping a church to find a paradigm that would be pleasing to God. Regardless of what type of church you are in this book will be of some benefit to you. If you've got a problem with the paradigm of being purpose driven then you've got a problem with scripture....more info
  • Madison Avenue-style marketing as applied to church growth
    The problem I have with everything about the Purpose-Driven Church ("PDC") model is that it is predicated on one fact to justify why it is "better" or "more effective" than any other model--NUMBERS.

    Having gone to a PDC, I find it disturbing that everything is reduced down to something is watered-down and stupefied for the masses. Even things such as accepting Christ into your heart end up being something that you end up checking off on an impersonal card. Everything has a different term that is watered-down enough to make it palatable to the masses. The PDC produces a generation of "believers" who don't know what they believe, because their Biblical knowledge is supplanted by other Christian self-help books.

    The idea that the Sunday service is the focal point and that having a multimedia spectacle somehow will draw more believers is crazy. In the end, I think that you could apply everything you read in the PDC here to any part of your life. It's just purely incidental that they are using Jesus as the subject matter here....more info
  • completely satisfied
    This was my first experiance with Amazon and I was completely satisfied .The book was just like new ,I don't think it had ever been read .It was sent fast and packaged good .I would buy again .
    Thanks for a good first time experiance ....more info
  • Sudy Book
    I purchased these for my Graceful Ladies Bible Study group, at their request. We haven't begun, yet, but we are anxious to get started....more info
  • You will get some good things from this book!
    If you are the pastor or leader in your church, there is no way to read this book and not get some good ideas from the reading. There is also no way to read the book and put into practice everything that Rick Warren puts into practice. You will not agree with him all the time, I certainly did not, but a review should be to let people know if the book is worth the read and this one is definately worth reading. I agree with some of the reviews and some of the criticisms, even if some of them are nit picking, but if you are in a rut or need a fresh vision or to rehone in on what your church is suppose to be doing then read this book. My criticism of the book is that I believe the church should be presence driven and not simply purpose driven, but Warren does not downplay the presence or leadership of God ever. In fact, he says "Successful ministry is 'building the church on the purposes of God in the power of the Holy Spirit and expecting the results from God." This book will help anyone think through the pertinent questions of their Church. Even if someone disagrees with Warren, then at least that person would have to think through why he disagrees and correct it and that is still a benefit to reading the book. If you are struggling with vision, purpose, mission or are just getting started as a pastor then you need to read this book. It will help your church....more info
  • More Garbage by Rick Warren
    Seriously folks, somebody just HAS to stop this money hungry wolf before he spiritually rapes his flock! This stuff is just LOUSY!...more info

 

 
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