Pastor Rick Warren Returns for a New Season of Ministry


Pastor Rick Warren returns to the pulpit at Saddleback Church after a 16-week sabbatical. He and wife Kay and family and extended family and church family and God’s family have shared an agonizing experience as we’re grieved together over the loss of his son during the week after Easter. I write this blog post on my 3rd time watching the poignant message that Pastor Rick and Kay shared, very personally and powerfully. As Pastor Rick opened his message, he introduced that he with Kay will be comforting others with the comfort we’ve been given (for this new season of their anointed ministry), offered words of thanks, and then proceeded to unpack the words of comfort from 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 about how to get through what you’re going through. You’ll be able to watch the video of this message all week at saddleback.com/online and on-demand at saddleback.com

For a historical occasion like this, I had to be there for the very first time in person (Pastor Rick preaches 5 times every weekend at Saddleback’s Lake Forest campus) and sat in the 10th row front and center. We arrived for the Saturday 4:30pm Saturday service 90 minutes early, and over 100 people were in the auditorium already, too, and it was at full capacity 30+ minutes before start time. 3 other tents accommodated overflow at Lake Forest, and those got filled too. What an emotional experience for all. There’s no one like Rick Warren in our generation, as God has gifted him uniquely with talents and opportunities, unparalleled influence and impact far beyond its church walls, imprinted on American evangelicalism, and on pace for shaping global Christianity as he mobilizes local churches everywhere to go to the final frontier of reaching the unreached unengaged people groups with the hope of the Gospel. cf. Rick Warren’s Final Frontier: Saddleback wants to bring the gospel to the world’s 3,400 unengaged people groups. Why it just might work.

Mainstream media circulated the Associated Press article, while a handful of local mainstream media made mentions of this event. Plus, these exceptional articles:

Highlights of the chatter on social media at http://storify.com/djchuang/rick-warren-returns-for-a-new-season-of-ministry ; and below that is the photo that @RickWarren shared on his own social media feeds.