5 People to Meet in Twenty10: Rick Warren

01 Dec

Name: Rick Warren

Location: Lake Forest, CA


Claim to Fame: (from

Dr. Rick Warren is passionate about attacking what he calls the five “Global Goliaths” – spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease, and illiteracy/poor education. His goal is a second Reformation by restoring responsibility in people, credibility in churches, and civility in culture. He is a pastor, global strategist, theologian, and philanthropist. He’s been often named “America’s most influential spiritual leader” and “America’s Pastor.”

As a pastor, he founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., in 1980 with one family. Today, it is an evangelical congregation averaging 22,000 weekly attendees, a 120-acre campus, and has more than 300 community ministries to groups such as prisoners, CEOs, addicts, single parents, and those with HIV/AIDS. Recently, the church fed 42,000 homeless people – three meals a day – for 40 days.

He also leads the Purpose Driven Network of churches, a global coalition of congregations in 162 countries. More than 400,000 ministers and priests have been trained worldwide, and almost 157,000 church leaders subscribe to the Ministry ToolBox, his weekly newsletter. His previous book, The Purpose Driven Church is listed in “100 Christian Books That Changed the 20th Century.” Forbes magazine called it “the best book on entrepreneurship, management, and leadership in print.”

As a global strategist, Dr. Warren advises leaders in the public, private, and faith sectors on leadership development, poverty, health, education, and faith in culture. He has been invited to speak at the United Nations, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the African Union, the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, TIME’s Global Health Summit, and numerous congresses around the world. TIME magazine named him one of “15 World Leaders Who Mattered Most in 2004” and in 2005 one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Also, in 2005 U.S. News & World Report named him one of “America’s 25 Best Leaders.”

As a theologian, Dr. Warren has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, the University of Judaism, the Evangelical Theological Society, and numerous seminaries and universities. His six books are known for explaining theology in understandable ways and have been translated into more than 50 languages. Dr. Warren says he teaches theology without using theological terms and telling people it is theology. His latest book, The Purpose Driven Life, has sold 25 million copies and is the best-selling hardback book in American history, according to Publisher’s Weekly.

As philanthropists, Rick and Kay Warren give away 90 percent of their income through three foundations: Acts of Mercy, which serves those infected and affected by AIDS; Equipping the Church, which trains church leaders in developing countries; and The Global PEACE Fund, which fights poverty, disease, and illiteracy.

Why We Care:

Rick Warren leads leaders.  Whether you agree with him theologically, love his preaching style, share his thoughts on “purpose driven” ministries, or think highly of the church campus his team has built, you have to admit – this guy knows a think or two about strategy and planning.
I have three lines of questions I’d want to ask:

1) In times when growth isn’t happening (I don’t think that all churches are called to “grow” numerically at all times… growth comes in seasons), what three things would he suggest that a church does to best align itself to take advantage of the next season of momentum?

2) When things are going well, how do you strategically nurture what is excellent while investing/innovating in areas where new growth might happen?

3) As someone who has seemingly endless possibilities as to how he might impact the world, how does he choose where to invest?  What factors contribute to how and when someone in leadership should invest in a new movement/endeavor/project/etc.?

Rick Warren’s church is 46 miles from mine.  On my list of 5 people I want to share a cup of coffee with in 2010, Rick lives the closest to me.
Let’s see if we can make this happen…


Would Rick Warren be on your list?  If you could sit him down for 25 minutes and share a cup of coffee, are there questions you’d ask that I didn’t go near?  Share your thoughts by replying below.

Look for a recap of these posts in a couple days.  I already have a couple leads on some of the people on this list. 2010 is looking like it might be a great year to network!  I’ll also share my thoughts as to why you need to come up with a list of people you want to connect with in the near future.


Posted by on December 1, 2009 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

8 responses to “5 People to Meet in Twenty10: Rick Warren

  1. jameswmiller

    December 2, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    He sometimes does this kind of thing, and sometimes gives out his cell phone number. I’m not kidding.


  2. jameswmiller

    December 3, 2009 at 12:38 am

    …and PS, I really thought you were building up to Lady Gaga, so this was kind of a shock.


  3. Wayne Stocks

    December 4, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Great list, and a great idea to make the list in the first place. I’m sure you’ll keep us up-to-date should you happen to meet these people. One of the things I really like about the internet (facebook, twitter, blogging, etc.) is the ability to interact with people I may never meet in person.

    Take care!



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