Members of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., came together this weekend to pray and worship, and "to be real" in facing the death of the 27-year-old son of their pastor, Rick Warren, after a lifelong struggle with mental illness.
The service at the church began with Tom Holladay, teaching pastor at Saddleback, praying for Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, on Saturday, the day the internationally known Christian leader announced that his youngest son, Matthew, took his own life after struggling with mental illness, deep depression and suicidal thoughts throughout his life.
After praise and worship, Holladay told the congregation that Pastor Warren had called him earlier during the week to request him to preach to the church during the weekend. When Holladay asked what he should preach about, and what was on Warren's mind, Warren said he wanted the teaching pastor to preach about what to do on the worst day of your life – not knowing that later that week he would face Matthew's death. more >>
The tragedy of the 27-year-old son of Pastor Rick Warren taking his own life after a lifelong struggle with mental illness calls for a commitment by Christians to help create space for and minister to those with mental illnesses, says the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
"Our collective heart stands broken as a result of Pastor Rick Warren's loss; the passing of his son Matthew. We pray for healing and strength for the Warren and Saddleback family," said one of the most influential evangelical Hispanics in America in a statement Saturday.
"Yet, this tragedy facilitates an opportunity if not an obligation for the Christian community to address mental illness," said Rodriguez on the day Warren, an internationally known Christian leader at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., made the announcement about his son. more >>
The 27-year-old son of Pastor Rick Warren has taken his own life after a lifelong struggle with mental illness. The internationally known Christian leader at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., made the announcement about his son early Saturday morning in an email sent to his staff.
"No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now. Our youngest son, Matthew, age 27, and a lifelong member of Saddleback, died today," wrote Warren.
"Over the past 33 years we've been together through every kind of crisis. Kay and I've been privileged to hold your hands as you faced a crisis or loss, stand with you at gravesides, and prayed for you when ill. Today, we need your prayer for us," began the staff email from him. more >>
Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., has finally decided to launch a daily radio program after three decades in ministry, citing as motivation "three deep convictions" he feels God has "burned" into his heart.
As the megachurch pastor and The Purpose Driven Life author shares in an explanatory video, the reasons for starting the daily radio program primarily are about equipping Christians all over the world to spread the Gospel and drawing attention to issues of religious freedom and moral malaise in the U.S.
"I am deeply concerned about the direction of our nation and the decay of our culture. If we don't have a spiritual awakening in our nation, I fear for the future of our country," Warrens says in the video on the "Daily Hope" Web page. more >>
LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Pastor Rick Warren highlighted parts of his sermon on how the resurrection of Jesus Christ "changed everything" with scenes from the popular docudrama series "The Bible" during a lunchtime worship service at Saddleback Church on Good Friday. The message will be given again several more times before the weekend ends.
"How did 12 peasant fishermen, tax collectors, farmers – how in the world did they multiply – 12 followers of Jesus to one out of every three people on the planet [identifying as Christian]? The answer is the Resurrection," said Warren to about 2,000 people in attendance and an online viewing audience. "The resurrection of Jesus changed everything. It split our calendar to the A.D. and the B.C.
"No other event has impacted the world so much as the resurrection of Jesus Christ," he said. more >>
Rick Warren, the 59-year-old pastor at the 20,000-member Saddleback Church in California, is preparing for "retirement" in a few years much like he has spent his ministry – by living simply and focusing on God.
Warren, the author of A Purpose Driven Life, the most reprinted non-fiction book on a global scale after the Bible, has often spoken about the importance of living humbly and within one's means.
"The Bible teaches that we are to love people and use money, but we often get that reversed and you start loving money and using people to get more money. Money is simply a tool to be used for good," the California pastor has said. more >>