*A Book Review*
The Purpose Driven Church
By Rick Warren
by Michael C. Gray
March 20, 2017
Rich Warren is a minister who started from scratch and built one of the largest churches in Orange County, California, without recruiting members from other churches. He teaches other church leaders how to build their own membership.
In The Purpose Driven Church, Rick Warren explains his philosophy and how he built a strong, growing church.
Why should someone who is not interested in religion want to study this book? Many businesses can be modified to be "membership" organizations. Customers can have stronger relationships with businesses as "members". With some imagination, The Purpose Driven Church can be used as a model for building a membership organization.
The purpose of Saddleback Church was built around what he calls the Great Commitment and the Great Commandment in the Bible:
- "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40.
- "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19-20.
Rick Warren started by going out in the community, door to door, just to meet people and find out what their concerns were. He used this information to craft his message to the community.
He started small, meeting in homes, then school auditoriums, and then building the church. The church was designed to be functional, not fancy.
Rick Warren chose to dress informally, like the people he was talking to, and not in a suit and tie. He was avoiding creating barriers to involvement. He also invited people to come to church dressed informally.
His message was to invite people who weren't already members of other churches. He attracted individuals who weren't "believers" but were seeking help with life's problems and who were looking to join a community to join. The messages for this group would be given at Sunday services.
Rick Warren built a core leadership and membership group. He encouraged them to be an active part of the ministry of the church. The messages for this group would be given at Wednesday services.
I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in marketing or building a church or other membership organization.
Buy it on Amazon: The Purpose Driven Church: Every Church Is Big in God's Eyes.
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