Pastor Rick Warren encouraged the congregation at Mars Hill Church during its final Sunday service to trust Jesus and give grace to its leaders, including Mark Driscoll, who resigned from the church as its founding and lead pastor amid much controversy in October.
The Seattle-based megachurch officially dissolves at the end of the year and the individual campuses still meeting become independant churches.
In his sermon via pre-recorded video, Warren said, "Let me suggest this: number one, refuse to be bitter about what's happened. If you hold onto bitterness you'll only hurting yourself. Bitterness prolongs the pain." more >>
Saddleback Church's Pastor Rick Warren is scheduled to give the congregation at the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, hosted at a dozen regional locations, its last sermon via video this Sunday, as the megachurch, founded and once led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, officially dissolves.
"As we reflect on over eighteen years of ministry, and ultimately close the doors on Mars Hill Church, we are thankful that many of our churches will continue as new independent, autonomous churches," officials stated Tuesday on the church's website. "While Mars Hill Church will cease to exist, God's work through his people will continue."
As Mars Hill staff were busy closing the final chapter on the church that once rocked the Seattle area and beyond with its edgy, strict orthodox preacher who had his share of leadership problems that led to his resignation in October, there were no official reaction statements coming from the church other than an announcement on its website. Both Driscoll and Warren declined to comment, according to their respective media representatives at press time. more >>
Sharing on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on Saturday, Kay Warren, co-founder of California's Saddleback Church, recalled that her late son, Matthew, was the funniest and most courageous person she has ever met in her life, and said that while the suicide rate is alarmingly high in the country, there is hope because suicide is preventable.
Matthew, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound last year, was the "funniest person I have ever met," she told the audience at the Saddleback Church, which she co-founded with her husband, Pastor Rick Warren.
"He was creative, he was kind, he was highly intelligent. He was my baby, and at the center of our family through the years of his struggles... Matthew was the most courageous person that I have ever known... I don't know how he lived as long as he did," Warren added. more >>
In his Tuesday presentation at the International Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman, evangelical pastor Rev. Dr. Rick Warren reiterated a vital fact that has been lost in the marriage debate: the fundamental good of the family is a timeless truth impenetrable by society's transient whims.
As it stands, the good of marriage—and the family it conceives—is obscured by deceiving rhetoric like "love is love," "equality," and "bigotry." Opponents to traditional marriage label it as an antiquated religious concept that is over and done. But Pastor Warren has one lesson for them: "Truths don't stop being truths just because they become unpopular."
The truth is that marriage continues to produce as many benefits as ever. As the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) shows, marriage promotes health, increases education, expands wealth, reduces poverty, decreases crime, and discourages government dependency. Its benefits are not only far-reaching, but also long-lasting. more >>
Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore and megachurch pastor Rick Warren, both speaking at a Vatican conference Tuesday, warned that Christians should not succumb to the current sexual revolution or waver on the Biblical truth about sexuality and marriage.
"Western culture now celebrates casual sexuality, cohabitation, no-fault divorce, family redefinition, and abortion rights as parts of a sexual revolution that can tear down old patriarchal systems," said Moore in a prepared statement given during the "Complementarity of Man and Woman" colloquium convened by Pope Francis.
"The Sexual Revolution is not liberation at all, but simply the imposition of a different sort of patriarchy," he continued. "The Sexual Revolution empowers men to pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha-male, rooted in the values of power, prestige, and personal pleasure … We see the wreckage of sexuality as self-expression all around us, and we will see more yet. And the stakes are not merely social or cultural but profoundly spiritual." more >>
In order to last in ministry, church planters need to adhere by certain guidelines that change the mold of how they build their church structure, said Pastor Rick Warren during the Exponential West conference this past week.
Warren addressed conference goers to utilize his experience as a leader in ministry of over 40 years. He told church planters that about half of them were not going to make it, according to statistics, unless they started doing something radical.
"You must be very careful how you build. Some build with gold, silver, precious stones even wood, hay and straw but the day will come when fire will reveal the quality of your work and if what you build survives, you will receive a reward," Warren said on Thursday of the three-day conference. more >>