The news last week was about Andy Wood and his wife, Kay, from Echo Church taking over from Rick Warren as the Pastor of Saddleback Church. That is more than four decades of ministry by Pastor Warren. Saddleback Church will be celebrating Pastor Rick’s ministry during the first few weekends in September 2022. Andy Wood’s first official day as pastor of Saddleback will be September 12, 2022.

I decided to read Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Church for yet another time. This time, I wanted to look at part of its content and see how it applies to our current Phygital Church – the merge of the physical and the digital.

Here are a five things that stood out:

1. Evaluate the Purpose

This is how Rick Warren states it:

“To remain effective as a church in an ever-changing world you need to continually evaluate what you do. Built review and revision into your process. Evaluate for excellence.”

2. Plan Your Titles To Appeal To The Unchurched

“If you can scan the church page of your Saturday newspaper, you’ll see that most pastors are not attempting to attract the unchurched with their sermon titles.“

3. Pastor Rick was criticized for appealing to an unchurched audience

“I have been criticized for using sermon titles for seeker services that sound like Reader’s Digest articles. That is intentional. Reader’s Digest is still one of the most-read magazines in America because its articles appeal to human needs, hurts, and interests.

Jesus said, “Yes, worldly people are smarter with their own kind than spiritual people are” (Luke 16:8 NCV). They understand what captures attention. Jesus expects us to be just as perceptive and strategic in our evangelism.”

4. Develop A Plan To Assimilate New Members

“Because your congregation has a unique history, culture, and growth rate, you need to ask some important questions. The answers will determine the assimilation plan that’s best for your situation. Proverbs 20:18 says, “Make plans by seeking advice.”

5. Raise The Level of Commitment

“I’ve always loved Elton Trueblood’s name for the church: “The Company of the Committed.” It would be wonderful if every church was known for the commitment of its members. Unfortunately, churches are often held together by committees rather than by commitment.

One of the ways to assess whether or not your church is maturing spiritually is if the standards for leadership keep getting tougher as time passes, requiring a deeper level of commitment to Christ and spiritual growth.”

You can read about the announcement of Saddleback Church leadership transition at:

Thank you Pastor Rick for being a powerful role model to us.

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