Megachurch pastor Rick Warren launched a national Purpose Driven Living program in Uganda over the weekend aimed at helping the country's leaders live purposeful lives that will build up their nation.
Churches, business and government leaders gathered Friday and Saturday to listen to the best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life explain how to live a life of purpose and make a difference in the world.
"Our hope and prayer is that lives will be transformed and churches will be strengthened," Warren said in Uganda, according to the program's publicity team.
"My message to individuals is to build your life on purpose, instead of prestige, possessions or pleasure. My challenge to churches is to cooperate, not compete," said he added, "and my challenge to business and government leaders is to use their influence for the glory of God and partner with local churches in solving community problems."
The archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, recalled initially wanting to invite Warren to Uganda after seeing the Purpose Driven Living program implemented in Rwanda.
Uganda is the second east African country to invite Warren to bring the Purpose Driven Life and Church leadership training program to the country on a national scale. The first east African country to adopt the program nationwide was Rwanda in 2005.
"I asked, why not Uganda as well?" recalled Orombi, who spearheaded the effort to bring different denominations together with business and government leaders to invite Warren.
"Uganda should be a purpose-driven nation as well," the Anglican archbishop said. "But it takes people of purpose to build purpose driven-churches, purpose-driven communities, and a purpose-driven country. Someday, we will have a purpose-driven continent!"
According to the Hon. Rev. Canon Dr. Hamlet K. Mbabazi, the former Member of Parliament who headed the organizing committee, Warren – through his best-selling book – "has challenged us to go deeper into the Bible so we can grow stronger and reach out wider, knowing that God has called us to make a difference for Him."
"God has brought Pastor Warren, who has been a blessing to the world, to Uganda for such a time as this," he added.
During a meeting with Ugandan church leaders, the American megachurch pastor said that he believes the future of Christianity is not in Europe or North America, but in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Warren also met with First Lady Janet Museveni to discuss the PEACE Plan – a global plan to fight the world's biggest problems – and spoke to students at Uganda Christian University.
One non-Christian business leader told the event organizer, "For the first time, the Gospel made sense to me."
Uganda is the first of three African countries Warren was scheduled to visit during his 12-day trip.
On Sunday, the Purpose Driven pastor headed to Rwanda to join President Paul Kagame in leading a national rally in Amahoro (Peace) Stadium in the nation's capital to launch a nationwide 40 Days of Purpose campaign.
Warren serves on the President's Advisory Council of Rwanda which will be meeting later this week.
While in Rwanda, Warren and his wife Kay will also participate in a White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives conference in Kigali and inspect their Western Rwanda Healthcare Initiative – a PEACE plan project that is training churches to provide health care in partnerships with hospitals and the Ministry of Health.
Lastly, Warren will visit Nairobi to meet with church leaders in response to recent violence following the Kenya elections.