In 1979, Rick and Kay Warren drove into Saddleback Valley with everything they owned to start a church. Rick was just out of seminary, and as he puts it, he wanted to start a church that was “a place where the hurting, the depressed, the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness and encouragement.”
From these humble origins rose one of the most influential Christian leaders arguably of all time.
Here’s just a few things on Rick’s résumé:
- Writing one of the best-selling non-fiction books of all time. His book The Purpose Driven Life has sold over 30 million copies and counting. He gives most of that money away (living on 10% of his income and giving away 90%), doesn’t take a paycheck from the church he still preaches and serves at full-time, paid back all the money he’d earned pastoring Saddleback for 25 years, lives modestly, and created three charitable foundations. He’s now a full-time volunteer for Saddleback. Why? Because he believes leadership and influence is stewardship.
- Pastoring one of the largest, most-influential churches in America, Saddleback Church, with over 20,000 members, tons of social work, and faithful, Jesus-centered preaching.
- Landing on the cover of TIME magazine and being named the most-influential evangelical in America.
- Garnering, as of right now, over 690,000 Twitter followers and over 240,000 Facebook fans.
- Getting U.S. presidential candidates to sit down with him for a frank chat on tough issues on the stage that he preaches on every Sunday—which is crazy. He did so in 2008. And he’s doing it again in a couple weeks.
Clearly, Pastor Rick is an influential man. But the things that I love most about Rick are his humility, grace, and love for Jesus and biblical truth (his great-grandfather was converted under Charles Spurgeon, and Rick spent two-and-a-half years preaching from the book of Romans, and he reads through systematic works of classic teachers such as Jonathan Edwards). Despite all of his accomplishments, he regularly prays for other pastors, both in big and small churches, reaches out to help without being asked, and seeks to serve. I’ve personally received this kindness and humility from him at times, and I’ve learned a ton from him and his team.
And once again, he’s agreed to serve the broader church by graciously accepting my invitation to speak at the 2012 Resurgence Conference. Naturally, he’ll be speaking on influence. But it won’t be on how to get influence for influence sake, but rather for Jesus’ sake. There will be lots to learn, and I’m excited.
If you’re ready to come and humbly learn from Pastor Rick on influence, I encourage you to register today for the Resurgence Conference. I’ll see you there, and like you, I’ll be there to learn.
Sign up for our 2012 Resurgence Conference before August 28 to get the early bird price and save.