clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Amid changing cultural tides, Pastor Rick Warren launches plan to help churches

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, speaks during a panel discussion on rural development at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting Friday, Sept 26, 2008 in New York.  (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, speaks during a panel discussion on rural development at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting Friday, Sept 26, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Jason DeCrow, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Famed megachurch Pastor Rick Warren is setting his sights on helping his fellow faith leaders steer their churches in the right direction, recently announcing that he will host the "Purpose-Driven Church Leadership Conference" later this month.

Warren, author of the bestselling book, "The Purpose-Driven Life," recently discussed the conference, which will run from June 28-30, in a video posted to his Facebook page, pledging to speak about his struggles and failures to help other senior pastors navigate the potential pitfalls of ministry.

The event, which will unfold at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, promises to be "a unique and comprehensive learning experience that will be the catalytic force of renewal for you, your entire church, and the community around you," with Warren previewing his advice for attendees.

A test for Senior Pastors: How spontaneous are you?

A test for Senior Pastors: How spontaneous are you? Watch the video to hear about this incredible offer for our Purpose Driven Church Leadership Conference coming up June 28-30. After you've watched the video go to pd.church to get the deal! The offer is first come first serve so act fast!

Posted by Pastor Rick Warren on Saturday, June 18, 2016

"One of the keys to effectiveness — to keeping a church going — is to be fast, fluid and flexible," Warren said. "You've got to be spontaneous, so that you can make changes when the spirit moves different ways."

Recognizing that many churches are experiencing roadblocks when it comes to growth, Warren announced in the video that the "Purpose-Driven Church Leadership Conference" would be returning for the first time in 10 years — an initiative that he said took form following a spiritual prompting.

"God said to me recently, 'I really want to focus on helping churches break through plateaus,'" the pastor explained.

The cost of the three-day event is $99, though some senior pastors will attend free of charge, as Warren ran a first-come, first-serve offer after an "anonymous donor" offered to pay the cost of select registrations.

In the end, he's hoping to see the event transform churches.

"I'm going to share all of the mistakes I made and all of the stuff I had to learn the hard way," Warren pledged.

Until this year, the pastor's "Purpose-Driven Church" conferences — which have served 400,000 preachers in the past — were essentially on hold while Warren focused on the PEACE Plan effort over the past decade, a worldwide missions project, according to the Christian Post.

"Now that the PEACE Plan is mature and impacting millions of people around the world through thousands of churches, God has shifted my focus from church planting to church renewal, beginning in America," Warren said.

The upcoming church conference comes amid ongoing conversations about the changing faith landscape in America. For instance, consider that the Pew Research Center found a substantial decrease in Americans who called themselves Christians between 2007 and 2014, with the proportion dropping from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent.

And that's not the only change that unfolded, with related indicators also showing some noteworthy declines surrounding a general belief in God, prayer practices and church attendence.

"The share of Americans who say they are 'absolutely certain' God exists has dropped more sharply, from 71 percent in 2007 to 63 percent in 2014," read a 2014 Pew Research Center report. "And the percentages who say they pray every day, attend religious services regularly and consider religion to be very important in their lives also have ticked down by small but statistically significant margins."

Sensing a felt need, Warren is clearly positioning Saddleback to help bridge a divide by offering up much-needed resources and support.

Email: bhallowell@deseretnews.com Twitter: billyhallowell Facebook: facebook.com/billyhallowell