R12 Conference: Mark Driscoll on Why He Chose Rick Warren, Other Speakers

In promoting a two-day conference featuring an all-star lineup of some of the most influential Christian leaders in the U.S., Resurgence ministry founder Mark Driscoll explains why he chose renowned author and pastor Rick Warren as one of the eight speakers scheduled.

Credit : (Image: R12 via The Christian Post)
(Image: R12 via The Christian Post)

"Why Rick Warren? Why did I invite him to our first ever Resurgence conference? Well, how about because he loves Jesus, he's awesome, he's nice, [and] he actually does things that have something to teach us if you are humble enough to learn," Driscoll says at the start of a video posted on the Resurgence Conference (R12) website.

"You Google Rick Warren, your computer will explode. It is amazing how much attention he receives – 675,000 Twitter followers. He has people who love him and hate him, and I'm one of the guys who quite frankly really appreciates him," he said of the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. and author of many books, including The Purpose Driven Life.

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The conference is organized by the leadership ministry, Resurgence, founded by Driscoll and also tagged as a ministry of his Seattle-based Mars Hill Church. R12 takes place at Mariner's Church in Irvine, Calif. beginning Tuesday.

In the "About Us" webpage of the Resurgence website it states, "Look around. The Spirit is up to something. There is a resurgence of biblically faithful, passionate believers on board with the mission of spreading Jesus' name. This is a movement anchored by a theological foundation of four points." The four points described by the organization are "Gospel-Centered Theology," "Spirit-Filled Lives," "Complementarian Relationships," and "Missional Churches."

Driscoll said that Warren has grown beyond being just a local church pastor, but in a sense still remains one.

"If you love the local church and you love Jesus, well here's a guy like you. He has not left his church. He is still preaching, teaching, loving, leading, and serving his church," he said.

Warren was asked to talk at the conference about, "How to maximize your influence for Jesus," Driscoll explained.

"He didn't start off as Rick Warren, author of the best-selling English [written] book after the Bible in the history of the world. He is considered by most to be the leading evangelical spokesman alive today after the great Billy Graham," he says in the video. "He started off as a guy who was broke, going door-to-door talking to people about Jesus, trying to start a church. How did he get from there to where he is today? What lessons has he learned? What mistakes has he made?"

Driscoll countered the assumption by some people that money is a major motivation for Warren.

"Some of you would say it's all about the money. He's also a reverse tither. He gives 90 percent of his income to the church and he lives off of 10 percent. He has refunded any money that his church has ever paid him for his salary. He is serving as a volunteer," he said.

Driscoll also discussed in the video about his personal relationship with Warren, including the megachurch pastor's kindness in offering him and Mars Hill Church help in staging its first stadium event during Easter Sunday.

Other speakers at the conference, who Driscoll also gave his reasons for inviting them to the conference in videos posted on the R12 website, are Greg Laurie, Craig Groeschel, Miles McPherson, James MacDonald, Nick Vujicic, and Lecrae. Driscoll will also be a speaker.

"I want to help other Christian leaders get more done," said Driscoll, in regards to the conference. "Instead of arguing about what others are doing or complaining what we wish we were doing, it would be nice to get some equipping to get it done. That's the big idea for the team that I've assembled and invited to join us for a first ever Resurgence conference."

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