About Pastor Rick Warren
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.”(1)
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.
About Kay Warren
Kay Warren, cofounder of Saddleback Church with her husband, Rick, is an international speaker, best-selling author and Bible teacher who has a passion for inspiring and motivating others to make a difference with their lives.
She is best known for her 10 years as a tireless advocate for those living with HIV and AIDS, and the orphaned and vulnerable children left behind. As an advocate, she has traveled to 19 countries, calling the faith community as well as the public and private sectors to respond with prevention, care, treatment and support of people living with the virus.
Kay is author of several books including her newest Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough (Revell, April 2012), which was adapted from a Bible study she first taught at Saddleback Church in July 2011, drawing more than 5,000 women for the four-week sessions. In the book, Kay describes how painful experiences – two bouts of cancer, watching as life-threatening illnesses attacked her children and grandchildren and living with mild depression most of her life – have shaped her conviction that joy is a choice and within the reach of every person, no matter how desperate or dark circumstances may be.
Learn more about Kay Warren at KayWarren.com
The History of Saddleback Church
When Rick and Kay Warren first arrived in the Saddleback Valley in December of 1979, all they had was what they could fit in the back of a U-haul truck. Fresh out of seminary, the young pastor and his bride dreamed of planting a church that would be “a place where the hurting, the depressed, the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness and encouragement.”
With many good Bible-teaching churches already in Southern California, Pastor Rick turned his attention to those who didn’t attend church regularly. Two weeks after Pastor Rick and Kay arrived in the Saddleback Valley, they began with a small Bible study, meeting with one other family in the Warrens’ small condo.
On Easter of 1980, Saddleback Valley Community Church held its very first public service and 205 people, most of who had never been to church, showed up. That began one of the most exciting journeys of growth that any church has experienced in American history. In more than two decades of ministry in South Orange County, God has continued to expand the church’s influence. Currently, Saddleback Church has more than 200 ministries serving the church and community. One in nine people in the area call Saddleback their church home.
God has also expanded the church’s ministry both nationally and internationally. Pastor Rick’s 1995 book The Purpose Driven Church put the principles that led to the church’s success in print, namely its focus on the five biblical purposes of the church: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism. Now, more than 200,000 church leaders from around the world have been trained in Saddleback’s purpose-driven philosophy. Pastor Rick’s latest book, The Purpose Driven Life, focuses on the truth that life is “not about you,” and shows how God can enable each of us to live for His purposes.