Purpose-driven response

Rickwarren 01Well, friends, I am back from my honeymoon. I have declared it the Best Honeymoon in the History of the World -- but I don't have much to compare it to. Tanned, rested and ready, I am. And married. And operating under a new name. So many changes. Please bear with me as I get back up to speed on media coverage of religion. You'll be pleased to know I had the chance to read the entire Time cover story on the Prosperity Gospel while away, so I look forward to highlighting that.

In the meantime, I have to share my favorite comment received in response to a recent posting on a Wall Street Journal story about Rick Warren's church growth methodology:

RICK WARREN'S COMMENT I hate to spoil the party, but the Wall Street Journal article was filled with errors and incorrect statements. Actually there were too many errors to mention all of them.

Journalist are often rushed, so instead of taking the time to fact check everything, the repeat things they read from previously printed articles, without bothering to confirm if it was actually true. So errors get repeated.

For the record: 1. I have never encouraged any pastor to kick out any member of any church. In fact, in the Purpose Driven Church training, we teach the EAXCT OPPOSITE. Leaders must love everyone in the flock and lead them gently. The premis of the entire article was absurd in this respect.

2. I have never taught any pastors to "remove the pews" or any of the other claims mentioned. My staff got a real laugh out of that

3. I have never "preached in sandals" in 26 years as a pastor. Anyone who has attended Saddleback would know that. But the WSJ reporter read that error somewhere and didn't check it.

4. Over 400,000 pastors worldwide have taken the Purpose Drive Church training over the past 26 years. resulting in tens of thousands of testimony letters about the positive effects.

This article tried to make a "TREND" out of 3 or 4 failures at implimentation. Anecdotes are not trends. How about the hundreds of thousands of healthy churches on the other side of the scale?

5. A failure at implimentation does not mean a failure of the concept. It's just poor leadership.

I could go on, but people believe what they want to believe. rick warren

Particularly in light of the spelling and grammatical errors, I wasn't sure it was really Rick Warren. But the IP address checks out, for what it's worth.

I thought Suzanne Sataline's article delivered what it promised -- a picture of congregants who don't get on board with the Purpose Driven message. I wonder if Warren delivered these complaints to the paper and to what effect. Anyone know?

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