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Kenny Luck Make Leaders Out of Men

Kay Warren 5 steps to start an HIV/AIDS Ministry

Kurt Johnston Help Your Teens find God’s Purpose January // February 2013

Equipping Christian Leaders to Grow


How the church can solve global problems

What On Earth


Truths About Spiritual Growth

Are you building people or things?

Creating a Culture of Worship Why it starts with you

Are You Here For? Guest Editor Rick Warren reveals how to know your personal—and corporate—purpose

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Ministry leadership has never been more challenging. That’s why provides fresh insight from prophetic voices to equip and empower Spirit-filled leaders like you every day. This month go deeper with Rick Warren and his PEACE Plan, plus find new content daily on knowing your personal—and corporate—purpose.

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Equipping Christian Leaders to Grow

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The most basic question a person can ask is "What on earth am I here for?" Over 32 million readers found the answer in The Purpose Driven Life. Now, in an updated, expanded edition for a new generation of followers, Rick Warren, the man TIME named "America's most influential spiritual leader," will help you guide your members on the path to their life's purpose. Your church will never be the same. Available wherever books are sold and

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c o n t e n t s V o l . 3 1 // N o . 1

What On Earth

14 Am I Here For?


Rick Warren may be a world-renowned philanthropist and best-selling author, but he’s still a pastor at heart. And since the success of his book, The Purpose Driven Life, he’s helped millions (including leaders) discover their unique calling in life. As guest editor for this issue, Rick explains how knowing that God-given purpose can propel anyone from vision to world-changing action.


12 | RiCK Warren’s Higher Purpose

54 | Children Can a children’s ministry grow kids through an intentional discipleship process? 56 | Youth Kurt Johnston reveals how to help your church’s teens discover their life purpose 58 | Men Kenny Luck offers a strategy to turn men into a driving force for your church’s mission

Despite authoring one of the most successful books in history, the Saddleback Church pastor remains focused on even greater things By Steve Strang


14 | What on Earth Am I Here For?

We’ve all questioned why we’re alive. As we search to find our life mission, here are five specific purposes for which God created us. By Rick Warren

22 | Creating a Culture of Worship

A worshiping church won’t just happen. It starts with a leader who places a high value on personal worship. | By Buddy Owens

28 | Small Groups: Fellowship Is a Verb

Why we believe the group setting creates the best environment for producing healthy followers of Jesus Christ | By Steve Gladen

34 | Eight Laws for Spiritual Growth

Growing a church requires first growing a person. Discover eight core principles Saddleback Church uses in its discipleship model. By Tom Holladay

40 | Our Global Mission: PEACE on Earth

J a n u a r y // F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 3

MinistryResources 8 | Five tools to help your ministry



60 | IDENTITY Which S.H.A.P.E. are you as a leader? 62 | Health Wellness coach Dee Eastman offers tips on uniting your church for better health 64 | Stewardship Why it’s important to pour out for others what’s been poured into you


66 | HIV/AIDS Ministry Kay Warren: Five steps you can take to help stop the largest humanitarian crisis in history 68 | Community How your church can become a resource hub for your community amid a recession 70 | Orphan Care Discover God’s solution for ending the orphan crisis


72 | Social Media Strategic actions for sharing your church’s life online


10 | Kingdom Culture Why your church has an advantage over any government program By Tom Holladay 74 | Pastor’s Heart Are you asking God to do the impossible? By Jon Walker

The church can solve the world’s problems—and Jesus modeled exactly how | By Rick Warren

46 | What If God Calls Me ... ?

We don’t have to be afraid of discovering God’s will. The process is always covered by His grace and the natural giftings He gives us. By Daniel Kolenda 6

MinistryToday January // February 2013

Ministry Today (ISSN #0891-5725) is published bi-monthly by Charisma Media, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746. Periodicals postage paid at Lake Mary, FL 32746 and at additional entry offices. Canada Post International Publications Mail Product (Canadian Distributing) Sales Agreement Number 40037127. Subscription rate is $24.97 for six issues and $39.97 for twelve issues. Canadian subscribers add $5 per year for postage, other countries add $10 per year for postage, payable in advance in U.S. currency only. Postmaster: Send address changes to Ministry Today, P.O. Box 6102, Harlan, IA 51593-1602. Send undeliverable Canadian mail to: 1415 Janette Avenue, Windsor, ON N8X1Z1. © 2012 by Charisma Media. For advertising information call (407) 333-0600. Nothing that appears in Ministry Today may be reprinted without permission. PRINTED IN THE USA Saddleback Church; © istockphoto/aldomurillo

MinistryResources V o l . 3 1 // N o . 1

Five Tools to Help Your Ministry We know you’re busy. Trust us, these will make your life easier.

1) — As much as you’d like to spend hours scouring the Web for ministry tips and insight from fellow leaders, you probably don’t have that kind of time. We do the work for you at, where you can find helpful, relevant articles from experts on everything from growing your children’s ministry to preaching better to expanding your congregation’s social media impact. 2) The Ministry Today Report enewsletter — Get the top stories from Ministry Today’s website delivered straight to your email inbox twice a week. 3) Leadership Weekly enewsletter — This weekly devotional is tailor-made for busy leaders on the go. Based on passages from the New Living Translation Bible, each week’s bitesized entry gives you enough meat to chew on for personal reflection and potential sermon content. 4) — If you’re in need of follow-up resources for one-on-one counseling sessions, or just simple “how to” articles covering everything in life from ministry to marriages to money, check out Everything’s free, and you can share it with your church. (Plus, it’s a great resource to get inspired for quick teachings.) 5) Charisma News app — Get breaking news from a spiritual perspective on your smartphone 24/7. To stay in the know with what’s going on around the world—from a trustworthy source—download the free app at

Don’t Miss These Upcoming Issues March/April: Jonathan Cahn

May/June: John Eckhardt

Author of The Harbinger, one of 2012’s bestselling books, Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn shares prophetic insight on the future of ministry in America.

Chicago pastor John Eckhardt, who has equipped countless believers for high-level spiritual warfare, offers tips on how your church can defeat its No. 1 enemy.

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MinistryToday January // February 2013

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By Tom Holl aday

Six Advantages of the Local Church

Why churches, not business or government, are best suited to help the needy


n today’s culture it’s easy to think that the only way to solve the overwhelming challenges we face is either through innovative business or big government. Yet the reality is that the church, despite its faults, is still God’s chosen instrument of blessing and has been for 2,000 years. When senior pastor Rick Warren began rethinking Saddleback Church’s missions strategy, which led to the PEACE Plan, he realized the body of Christ has several advantages over the efforts of business and government to help those in need. He saw that: 1. The church provides the largest participation. More than 2 billion people claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. That’s one-third of the world’s population! In the U.S., about 100 million people went to church last weekend. That’s more than all who will attend sporting events this year in the U.S. 2. The church provides the widest distribution. The church is everywhere. You could visit villages all around the world that don’t have a school, clinic, hospital, fire department, post office or business. But they have a church. We are more widely spread—or distributed—than any business franchise in the world. Consider this: The Red Cross noted that 90 percent of the meals it served to victims of Hurricane Katrina were cooked by Southern Baptist churches. Many churches were able to act faster than government agencies or the Red Cross. 3. The church provides the fastest expansion. Did you know that 60,000 new people a day come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? That means thousands of new churches will be started throughout the world today—and tomorrow and the next day. Why is fast expansion important? One reason is, if a problem is growing rapidly, then a solution is needed that will grow even faster. For instance, HIV/AIDS is growing incredibly fast worldwide. Yet the church is outgrowing the disease, so more and more believers can help minister to the victims. 4. The church provides the highest motivation. Why do any of us do what we do in ministry? Not to make money or a name for ourselves. We do it out of love. Jesus stated it as the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all

your heart ... and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27, NKJV). We wouldn’t do the hard work required to tackle these global giants if it were for money or fame. It just wouldn’t be worth it. We’d quit before we finished. 5. The church provides the strongest authorization. God authorized us to take on global giants such as spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, poverty, disease and illiteracy. So the outcome is guaranteed to be successful. When you know God authorized you to do something, you don’t worry about failure because God doesn’t sponsor flops. If God says we’re going to do it, then it’s going to happen. In fact, God will give us His power to complete the task. This is God’s way: ordinary people empowered by His Spirit. 6. The church provides the simplest administration. The way the church is organized, it networks faster and with less bureaucracy than most governmental agencies or even wellmeaning charities. The old wineskin of “command and control” won’t work well in the 21st century. The organization of the future is the “network.” And there’s no better worldwide network than the church, where every member is a minister empowered by God. Consider it this way: Tens of millions of Christians in millions of small groups within churches around the world can take on the global giants with no other authority than Jesus Christ’s. We have God’s permission and God’s command to do it. There is no need to seek permission from anyone else. It is a great privilege to be called, as we are, to lead our local churches. Like mine, your church is a vital part of the greatest force on earth—the church; God’s chosen instrument of blessing for every nation and people. God has given us an awesome responsibility, but He wouldn’t have placed us where we are if He didn’t believe we could handle the task.

10 MinistryToday January // February 2013

T o m H o l l a d a y is associate senior pastor at Saddleback Church, where he has served for almost 21 years, and assists senior pastor Rick Warren in teaching Purpose Driven church conferences to Christian leaders worldwide. He is the author of The Relationship Principles of Jesus (Zondervan) and has a daily podcast, “Drivetime Devotions,” at

© 2008 Scott Tokar, Saddleback Church

“There’s no better worldwide network than the church, where every member is a minister.”

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Rick Warren’s Higher Purpose purpose To mark the 10th anniversary of The Purpose Driven Life’s release, Rick has re-released the book for a new generation and is focusing on encouraging the church to truly be the church through projects such as the PEACE Plan


Despite authoring one of the most successful books in history, the Saddleback Church pastor remains focused on something even greater


By S t e v e S t r a ng , p ubl isher a nd f ounder

ick Warren knows it’s not about him. Because of this, it wasn’t a stretch for the pastor to begin The Purpose Driven Life with the now-famous line: “It’s not about you.” Indeed, as author of the No. 1 best-selling hardback book in American history other than the Bible, he’s reaped enormous rewards. Yet he’s also used that wealth to further God’s kingdom rather than his own. First, Rick reimbursed his Saddleback Church for his salary since day one; and for years he has since “reverse tithed,” which means he gives 90 percent and lives on 10 percent. Rather than neglect his church, as many celebrity pastors tend to do, he remains very much hands-on—and that was obvious the day I visited Saddleback’s main campus in Lake Forest, Calif., a few months ago. That day, Rick preached an inspiring message and then baptized about 50 people after the service. He remains a pastor’s pastor, which is why I invited him to be guest editor of this issue on knowing your life purpose. In a day when scandal among clergy is far too common, Rick is a shining example of what can be accomplished when a man knows his purpose in life. I hope you’re inspired as you read these articles, and that you share them with friends—either in print or online. In addition, we want to do our part to enlist your participation and thousands of others’ in his PEACE Plan to: Plant faith communities Equip servant leaders Assist the poor Care for the sick Educate the next generation To mark the 10th anniversary of The Purpose Driven Life’s release, he’s rereleased the book for a new generation and is focusing on encouraging the

photo credit

church to truly be the church through projects such as the PEACE Plan. In a culture increasingly gone haywire, and at a time when most “successful” pastors are seemingly more concerned with being liked and making people feel good rather than sounding a prophetic alarm, Rick is a role model. He isn’t afraid to speak out. Though the liberal media doesn’t favor him more than any other Bible-believing leader, at least they can’t blast him for saying off-the-wall things. He’s savvy yet sticks to the Word of God. And he does this while battling behind the scenes some enormous challenges that would crush many men or neutralize their influence. I believe part of this favor is because Rick doesn’t just rail against the culture but offers solutions. He pastors one of the nation’s largest churches in arguably the most liberal state in the Union. Yet by every indication—in reading about it and visiting firsthand—Saddleback is growing, healthy and making a true difference. The articles here from Rick and his staff are meant to inspire you to do the same wherever you are. I ask you to not only read them but also devour them, meditate on how they apply to you and resolve to put them into practice. But don’t stop with print. Visit to read fresh content each day during January and February on this issue’s theme of knowing your life purpose. You can also get this 24/7 on our free Charisma News app, available at any app store or by texting “charisma” to 24587. Once on the app, click the “Ministry” tab to read content directly related to the ministry world. In addition, you’ll have access to breaking news and spiritual insight from Charisma News, daily devotionals and other good stuff. We recently added this tab to the app and are experimenting to see how many people use it. Eventually we may develop an app exclusively for Ministry Today. So let us know what you think by downloading the app, using it and giving us your comments. You’ll also be interested in Daniel Kolenda’s article on finding God’s will (p. 44). Though it’s the lone entry from a non-Saddleback contributor, it fits perfectly with this issue’s theme. Look for more from Daniel, who is Reinhard Bonnke’s successor at Christ for All Nations, online at, where we’re also giving away copies of his new book, Live Before You Die. Ultimately, I hope all these resources help you either discover or reaffirm your life purpose.

January // February 2013 MinistryToday   13

What On Earth

Am I

At some point we’ve all questioned why we’re alive. Whether you or someone you know is struggling to find their life mission, here are five specific purposes for which God created us. By rick warren


What On Earth Am I Here For?



veryone in your congregation wants to know if life really matters. Members, visitors, even your staff want to know: What on earth am I here for?

Essentially, they’re asking three basic questions. First, there’s the question of

existence: Why am I alive? For thousands of years people have asked this question. Many people of the Bible did. Jeremiah asked: “Why was I born? Was it only to have trouble and sorrow, to end my life in disgrace?” (20:18, GNT).


DRIVEN for Meaning: Rick Warren’s core message—that God created you for a purpose—is found in the DNA of every Saddleback ministry

January // February 2013 MinistryToday   15

about our guest editor...

Rick Warren is a global strategist, philanthropist, pastor and author. His book The Purpose Driven Life is the best-selling hardback in American history. It has sold more than 30 million copies in English and is published in more than 50 languages. In 1980, Warren founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., with one other family. Today it is one of America’s most influential congregations, with more than 100,000 names on the church roll and 20,000 people attending services each weekend on a 120-acre campus. In addition, the church offers more than 300 ministries and support groups for parents, families, children, couples, prisoners, addicts, and people living with HIV/AIDS, depression, MS, Parkinson’s, autism, and many other conditions. Warren built the Purpose Driven Network, a global alliance of pastors from 162 countries and hundreds of denominations who have been trained to be purpose-driven churches. He also founded, an online interactive community that provides sermons, forums and other practical resources for pastors—including archives of a biweekly newsletter sent to more than 100,000 pastors and ministry leaders. Warren and his wife, Kay, give away 90 percent of their income. They are passionate about global missions and what he calls “attacking the five global giants” of poverty, disease, spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership and illiteracy. His solution—The Peace Plan—is a massive effort to mobilize Christians around the world into an outreach effort to attack these five global giants by promoting reconciliation, equipping servant leaders, assisting the poor, caring for the sick and educating the next generation. Warren earned a bachelor’s degree from California Baptist University, a master’s in divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary and a doctorate in ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has lectured at Oxford; Cambridge; Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; the United Nations; the Global Health Summit; the Aspen Ideas Institute; TED; and numerous world congresses. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 16 MinistryToday January // February 2013

Second, there’s the question of significance: Is there some meaning and purpose to my life? Is all that I’m doing just a waste of time and energy? Is my life significant? In Psalm 89, David remembers how short his life—and every human life—is and asks God: “Why did You create us? For nothing?” (see v. 47). Job also asked the question, “Why should I work so hard for nothing?” (see Job 9:29). In other words, if there’s no meaning and purpose, why am I even doing this? Solomon, in all his wisdom, questioned the significance of pleasure. In Ecclesiastes 2:2, he says: “Laughing and having fun is crazy. What good does it do?” (CEV). We all want to know: “Is there any significance to what I do? Why keep going?” Without meaning, life is petty, trivial and pointless. Third, there’s the question of intention. Is there a purpose for my life? Isaiah said this: “My work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose” (49:4, NLT). The British philosopher, Bertra nd Russell, who described himself as an atheist, said, “Unless you assume a God, the question of the purpose of life is meaningless.” In other words, if there is no God, there is no grand scheme or significance to anything. If there is no God, your birth was an accident. You simply represent a random chance. If there is no God, there is no right or wrong and no heaven or hell. This is why it is so important for us to teach our people that God made each one of us for a purpose. They need to know that nothing matters more than knowing God’s purpose for their lives, and nothing can compensate for not knowing it—not success, wealth, fame or pleasure. We need to teach that without purpose life is motion without meaning, activity without direction and events without reason—yet underscore that it is never too late for any of us to discover our God-ordained purpose. People need to understand God makes everything with a purpose. Every plant has a purpose; every animal has a purpose. Our people need to grasp the same truth about their lives. We should teach them: “If you are alive, it means God has a purpose for your life.” The New Testament teaches that God created each of us for five purposes. These are explained by Jesus in the Great Commandment (Matt. 22:35-40) and the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19), were demonstrated by the early church in Acts 2, explained by Paul in Ephesians 4, and prayed about by Jesus in John 17. Here they are, briefly summarized: 1) Planned for God’s Pleasure

The first purpose of your life is this: You were planned for God’s pleasure. I think the two words that best describe the Christian life are love affair. God wants you to know Him and to love Him. Everything else is secondary to that purpose. There is a word for how we express love to God: It’s called worship. Worship is both expressing love to God and living a life that’s pleasing to Him. You know, there’s a big myth in Christianity. In the minds of most Christians the word worship is a synonym for “music.” We say things like, “Well, I liked the message, but I really liked the worship”—as if the message wasn’t worship. »

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Worship is more than music. It is everything you do that brings pleasure to God or glorifies Him. Your whole life is to be a life of worship. 2) Formed for God’s Family

Just as worship brings God pleasure because He wants us to love Him, fellowship with other believers brings God pleasure because we’re formed for God’s family.

One of the most misunderstood ideas about the Christian life is that it’s just a matter of believing. But God says: “No, you’re not just ‘believers’; you’re also ‘belongers.’” You belong in the family of God. Did you know that the term one another is used 58 times in the New Testament? Love one another, care for one another, pray for one another, exhort one another, encourage one another,

SEEING IS BELIEVING Wherever you are. Whatever the language. See Jesus. Hear Jesus. Share Jesus.

greet one another, and on and on and on. God wants you to care for other people. That’s called fellowship. Enjoying God’s family is called fellowship. It’s the second purpose for your life. 3) Created to Be Like Christ

You were planned for God’s pleasure (worship), and you were formed for God’s family (fellowship). Here’s the third reason God made you: You were created to be like Christ. It’s called discipleship. God made you in order to transform you into a likeness of His son, Jesus Christ. God is far more interested in what you are than what you do. He’s far more interested in your “being” than in your “doing.” A lot of people ask, “What is God’s will for my life in my job or my career?” Know what? You probably could have two dozen different careers and God would think that’s fine. He is more interested in your character, and I’ll tell you why: You are not taking your career with you when you die; but you are taking your character into eternity. There is no problem you have that you can’t grow from if you’ll learn the right response for it. If you respond to it the way God wants you to, then you become like Jesus. This is God’s third purpose for your life. 4) Shaped for Service

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The fourth purpose is this: You were shaped for service. God made you to serve Him. You’re planned for God’s pleasure; that’s worship. You’re formed for a family; that’s fellowship. You’re created to be like Christ; that’s discipleship. And you’re shaped for service; that’s called ministry. Every Christian is created to serve— called to ministry, created for ministry, saved for ministry and gifted for ministry. The Bible makes it very clear that every Christian is a minister (see 2 Cor. 5:17-19). Not every Christian is a pastor, but every Christian is a minister because to be Christ-like is to be a minister. You can’t be like Jesus Christ without serving others. What is ministry? It is any way you use the abilities God has given you to help someone else in Jesus’ name. God uniquely wired you in a certain way for 18 MinistryToday January // February 2013

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a purpose. God gave you your abilities— not for your benefit, but to use to bless other people. 5) Made for a Mission

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The fifth reason you were put on this earth is that you were made for a mission. The apostle Paul was extremely passionate about this particular purpose. He says in Acts 20:24, “I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do” (GNT). And what did he say that work was? To tell people the good news about God’s grace. Fulfilling your mission in the world— there’s a word for that in the Bible. It’s called evangelism. And it is the fifth purpose God has for your life. My dad was a man on a mission. He was a pastor for 50 years, but a few years ago he died of cancer. The last week of his life he was delusional, very frail and had lost all this weight from cancer. One night he became agitated and tried to get out of bed.

“Our people need to know that nothing matters more than knowing God’s purpose for their lives.” My wife, Kay, said: “Jimmy, you can’t get out of bed. Lie back down, you’re very weak. You’re dying.” But he tried again to get out of bed, and my wife said again, “No, please, lie back down in the bed.” She forced him back down in the bed and then asked him, “What is it you need?” He said: “Gotta save one more for Jesus. Gotta save one more for Jesus. Gotta save one more for Jesus.” He said this over and over and in the next hour must have repeated it 100 times. “Gotta save one more for Jesus.” As I sat there by his bedside, I put my head down, praying, and tears were running down my cheeks. My dad reached up and put his hand on my head—as if he

were blessing me—and said: “Save one more for Jesus. Save one more for Jesus.” I intend for that to be the theme of the rest of my life. And I invite you to make it the theme of your life. You were made for a mission. The Bible says that David “served God’s purpose in his own generation” (Acts 13:36, NIV). I can’t think of a better epitaph. That’s what I want said about my life—that when I die people will say of me, “He served God’s purpose in his generation.” And that’s what I want people to say about you. In this article I’ve shared from God’s Word what it means to live a life of purpose, a purpose-driven life. What are you going to do about it?

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What On Earth Am I Here For?

Creating a Culture of A worshiping church won’t just happen. It starts with a leader who places a high value on personal worship.


By Buddy Owens


remember only two things about my college biology class: the broken clock that hung on the wall behind my professor’s desk and this definition of culture: “A colony of microorganisms or cells grown in a specially prepared nourishing environment.” Sounds like the church, doesn’t it? Each congregation is a colony—an outpost of the kingdom (to mix metaphors)—that is grown in a specially prepared, nourishing environment. Here’s another definition of culture; this one from my sociology class (which, by the way, also had a broken clock hanging behind the professor’s desk): “The values, beliefs, ideas, customs, skills, arts and traditions of a people that are passed along to succeeding generations.” That sounds like the church, too. The church is a culture, in the sense that it is a living organism, and the church has a culture that is a reflection of its values and beliefs. With those definitions in mind, let’s think about this: How can we as pastors and leaders create a culture of worship in our churches? How can we prepare the “nourishing environment”? How can we transfer our values, customs and skills for worship to the succeeding generation? A worshiping church won’t just happen by itself. It must start with a leader who places high value on his or her own personal worship life and then infuses that value into the culture he or she is creating. When it comes to spiritual leadership, there is no substitute for a healthy, personal worship life. How often do you talk with God—not because you need something but

22 MinistryToday January // February 2013



simply out of friendship? How often do you spend time in the Word—not for the sake of public ministry but for personal renewal? We cannot lead people where we are not going ourselves. Here are some ideas to help you infuse your value of worship into the culture of your church, as well as some questions to help you dig deeper into these key topics. Teach It!

Preach sermons that help your congregation understand the role of worship in their lives. Start with Romans 12:1-2 and teach what it means to live all of life in an attitude of worship to God. Teach biblical principles for offering our bodies as living sacrifices. Why does God want our bodies (see 1 Cor. 6:19-20), and what are the implications of Spirit-filled worship? Teach from John 4:23-24 about what it means to worship the Father in spirit and truth. What was Jesus telling the woman at the well about the difference between form and function in worship? Teach about the relation between worship and the throne of God, as described

in Psalm 22:3 and Isaiah 6:1. What happens when we align ourselves with God’s throne through worship? Teach from Psalm 105:1-5 about what it means to summon forth, send forth and sing forth the name of the Lord. God’s names represent His character, and his character is manifested through His actions. His name is Savior because He saves. His name is Healer because He heals. His name is Comforter and Counselor because He strengthens us and gives us wisdom. By what names do your people need to call on the Lord in worship today? Teach from Hebrews 13:15 about the importance of Christ-centered worship. Teach a biblical study of physical postures of worship: kneeling, lying prostrate, lifting hands, standing before God. Teach about the spiritual dynamics of singing praise to the Lord: Prison doors are opened and captives are set free (see Acts 16); battles are won and our enemies self-destruct (see 2 Chron. 20). In other words, teach your congregation

what the Bible says about the principles, practices and power of worship. Demonstrate It!

A friend once told me, “I would rather hear my pastor sing than eat—’cause I’ve heard him eat!” Even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket, you can still be a worship leader. You can lead through example. Let your congregation see through your life and behavior that you are a worshiper. Don’t hide in the greenroom until the music is over. Sit where people can see you openly participating in corporate worship. This doesn’t mean you should be ostentatious or showy; but when people, especially men, see that you are worshiping it gives them permission to worship, too. Your example tells them that worship is important. Before I was a pastor, I was an event producer. On the opening night of a worship conference, I asked the evening speaker if he would like to join the audience during our worship time. He replied: “That’s not necessary. I’m on TV time. I know when to come out.” So the preacher didn’t show up until the worship ended. God, on the other hand, doesn’t show up until the worship starts. The people experienced a powerful, palpable sense of God’s presence during worship that night. The preacher opened his message with a joke and missed the God-encounter moment because he was disconnected from his audience. Instead of pastoring the moment, he wasted it. I often change the introduction to my message to reflect something that was said or sung during the worship time. It lets people know that I not only was paying attention but also sharing the moment of worship with them. Resource It!

We allocate money, time and staff to things that are important to us. How does your investment in worship reflect your value of worship? If you are going to create the “specially prepared nourishing environment” to grow the culture of worship, then you have to provide sources of nourishment. Budget for worship in dollars and time. Is your worship team adequately 24 MinistryToday January // February 2013

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for a lifetime of serving. Unlike some of the other more independent church systems, the volunteer system is a far-reaching one that affects every other system. Just as a cardiac failure would be devastating to the other systems in your body, a weak ministry system inhibits every area of your church. Why? Because the volunteer system is where you discover the servants whose time and efforts will go a long way toward making your church effective. It’s where you find the people who will head up your small groups, the people who will make your assimilation system run well, and the people who may become future church staff members. Your church can’t operate without volunteers, so the strength of the system by which you mobilize people for service is crucial.

NELSON SEARCY is the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church. Started in 2002 in New York City, this groundbreaking church sees the majority of its growth coming from new believers and currently meets in Manhattan, Queens, San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He is the author of over seventy-five church-growth resources and ten books, including the brand-new books Connect: How to Double Your Number of Volunteers and The Greatness Principle: Finding Significance and Joy by Serving Others. Nelson is also an experienced church planter, coach and church-growth strategist. Before founding The Journey, he served as Director of Purpose Driven Community at Saddleback Church. He is also the founder of, the Church Leader Training Ministry of Nelson Searcy and The Journey Church. The softcover book, which retails at $19, is our gift to you, but you will need to pay the shipping and handling fee to receive it.


N N O O I I L L L L I I 6600MM IOIONNSS T T A A V V L L A A SS History Historywill willlook lookback backon on these theseevents eventsand andpossibly possibly label labelthem themasasone oneofofthe the greatest greatestHarvest HarvestofofSouls Souls ininChristianity! Christianity!

funded? Do they have time to be creative? Creative people must have time as well as resources so they can think and dream without pencil pushers looking over their shoulders. At the same time, creative people need administrative support and loving discipline to help keep them focused and on budget. Provide products and services that will help develop the personal worship lives of your congregation. Sponsor worship concerts and conferences at your church. Recommend books, music and small-group studies that will help people understand and experience worship. The culture of worship is built on historic and memorable moments. Find songs that will capture the memory of those moments for your congregation, such as theme songs for sermon series or songs that coincide with special seasons of ministry or times when the Spirit of God is moving in a unique way. Envision It!

Let’s go back to my sociology class for a minute. Remember, a culture is defined as “the values, beliefs, ideas, customs, skills, art and traditions of a people that are passed along to succeeding generations” (emphasis added). Do you want to know what the future of worship-leading looks like today? It looks like a 9-year-old girl singing into her hairbrush in front of the bathroom mirror. It’s a 10-year-old boy who just picked up a guitar for the first time and is stretching his fingers into a G chord. The future of worship-leading just might be sleeping in the bedroom at the end of your hallway. Are you raising a new generation of worshipers? The only way to do it is to invest in the next generation of musicians in your church. My favorite ministry at our church is run by a tough, talented, loving and crazy young guy named Taffy. Think School of Rock meets Jesus and youth ministry. Taffy trains young teens to become worship leaders. He auditions them, puts them in worship bands, rehearses them, mentors them and then gives them a platform to lead worship in our student ministries. Many of them migrate to leading worship in our adult weekend services. Two of my kids have been through 26 MinistryToday January // February 2013

Buddy Owens

“God’s people are looking for leaders who will empower them to be worshipers.” Taffy’s training. One of them is now a songwriter and worship leader with Youth With A Mission. The other leads worship for 600 women who come to our Thursday women’s Bible study. Had it not been for Taffy, they just as easily might have found their musical outlet in a garage band playing music that is anything but worshipful. Find your Taffy! Do It!

Whatever your leadership position is, you have a role to play in creating a culture of worship in your church. God’s people are looking for leaders who will teach them, show them, empower them and release them to be worshipers. God has called you to lead them. The future of your church depends on it. B u d d y O w e n s is a teaching pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., focusing on spiritual formation and the role of worship in a believer’s life. He is the author of The Way of a Worshiper: Discover the Secret to Friendship With God (Purpose Driven Publishing) and Finding God in the Desert of the Soul, and is the general editor of The NIV Worship Bible.

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What On Earth Am I Here For?

Fellowship Is a Why we believe the group setting creates the best environment for producing healthy followers of Jesus Christ


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n early 2000, our leadership team began asking the question: What does a healthy follower of Christ look like? If we are to be successful in fulfilling Christ’s commission to make disciples, we need to define the term disciple. Through a series of meetings, we determined that such a follower of Christ

is someone who is balancing the five biblical purposes in his or her heart and life. A healthy follower of Christ, therefore, is: Surrendering his or her heart and life to Christ on an ongoing basis. Experiencing fellowship with other Christians. ● Growing in Christ through “being” and “action.” ● Discovering and using his or her God-given gifts and abilities. ● Reaching out and sharing the love of Christ with nonbelievers. ● ●

We understood that unless you know what the target is you cannot hit it, so we ade our target health through balance. As believers, when we reflect Christ and


January // February 2013 MinistryToday   29

become more like Him, the focus of our lives shifts away from self-centeredness toward serving Him through every area of life. That is health and balance. As a church, if we were to produce healthy followers of Christ, then our leadership team had to decide what the best tool, or delivery system, would be to produce that desired result. Eventually we agreed that small groups would create the best environment in which to



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produce health through balancing the biblical purposes in each person’s life. Whenever you start a new approach to ministry, the question “Why?” always comes up: “Why should we do small groups?” “Why are small groups a good method for helping people develop these five things in their lives?” Over the last 15 years, we’ve realized there are several things about small groups that make them an effective strategy for helping


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people grow in the Lord: Small groups are biblical. We see in the book of Acts that the early church knew the value of small groups. In Acts 5:42 we read: “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah” (NIV). The early church met together for a large-group gathering in the temple courts because they knew the value of a corporate gathering of all the people. This is similar to what we do in churches today: The entire church gathers every weekend for large-group worship. But the early church did not gather together just as a large group. They also met together in their homes for smallgroup fellowship. The early church knew they needed to grow bigger and smaller at the same time. They wanted to reach as many people as they could with the good news—as well as care for the needs of the people in the church and help them grow in relationship with God. Small groups are convenient. One struggle many churches have is knowing how to get information out to their people in a way that everyone will hear it and be able to implement it in their lives. Weekend services help, but we know that people retain more when they interact with the information and ask questions. Since that approach isn’t a great option in a large gathering, small groups become a convenient place for disseminating information in a practical way that makes it more likely to be retained. At Saddleback we learned the power of using video curriculum to launch our small groups. The group host doesn’t have to be a teacher, and the information being shared is consistent because we know what is being taught on the video. Because the host doesn’t have to teach, he or she feels more capable of leading a small group and is more open to hosting the group at home. Small groups are economical and unlimited in size. The great part about groups is the fact that they are very affordable. Most churches run into budget problems, and the need for additional space is common. But everyone in your church has a facility they call their home. When people open up their homes 30 MinistryToday January // February 2013

to host small groups, it eliminates the look each member of the group in the goals—not just one person teaching need for the church to build more facili- eye and explain why they’re doing it. while the others listen. The teaching ties to reach people. Not only that, but That creates a natural accountability method that requires listening and small groups create the potential for that can have a significant effect on the taking notes is good for helping peounlimited growth, as more and more growth of everyone in the group. ple understand knowledge and learn people in the church host groups in Small groups provide a safe new things. their homes. This allows the church environment. Most people do not The downside of it is, people have a to continue growing to the capacity of open up and share what truly is going difficult time applying that knowledge its attendees’ homes. It also provides a on in their lives in a large group. The to their everyday lives. A small group great way for congregants to go outside setting enables people to work together the church’s four walls and be in the and talk about what they are learning, community, instead of only seeing the which are practical actions that help church as a campus. them grow. Small groups are unlimited in As mentioned previously, our church’s reach. The beauty of small groups is target is the five purposes of growth. that they can happen anywhere and at We believe the more that a small group any time, whenever the group wants to knowledge heaD balances these five areas within the gather. This increases your ability to group, the healthier and more focused reach people. the group becomes. That health and With small groups, people can meet aPPLICATION heart focus then creates the right place for in the morning, the evening­—or even the true growth to happen in the lives of middle of the night. Not only do small each member of the group. groups expand your church’s reach by offering a variety of meeting times, they Our Plan also expand your reach through the difSaddleback’s strategy for making ferent ways that groups gather healthy followers of Christ (distogether. ciples) is small groups. We Church Church Small groups are not have no other plan; we have WITH of l i m ited to meet i ng i n no other delivery system. people’s homes. Groups We believe this is the most small groups small groups can gather online using effective way to make disSkype or some other softciples and lead people to live healthy and balanced ware tool. They can meet lives. We are not a church in restaurants, subways, with small groups; we are airplanes or businesses. a church of small groups. When and how a group The figures on this page meets is limited only by illustrate how this strategy t he c reat iv it y of you r works. people and their desire Our small group ministo reach out to people try is not just another prothey know. gram. It’s an embedded, Small groups integrated piece of everyencourage accountthing we do as a church. It ability. Left on my own, I is where care happens, and our can fool myself into thinking I am growing in Christ. But something beauty of a small group setting is that it delivery system for all spiritual formahappens in my life when a friend who creates a safe place for people to share tion. It is our method of balancing bibliknows me and loves me takes the time their struggles, successes and dreams cal purpose and creating healthy lives. to tell me about areas of my life in which and provides a built-in support system I need to grow. When that happens, I of people who will pray and be available S t e v e G l a d e n has overseen the strategic am more likely to listen and make those to help at any time. It is also where peo- launch and development of more than 4,000 changes, which in turn helps me grow as ple can try out their gifts and abilities adult small groups at Saddleback Church. a follower of Christ. in a safe place and discover where they He is the author of Small Groups With Purpose and Leading Small Groups with PurSmall groups provide a great setting might serve best. for true accountability. When a member Small groups provide focus. If pose, and co-author of 250 Big Ideas for of a group is making a decision to do directed correctly, a small group is a col- Purpose Driven Small Groups. For more something that is wrong, they have to lection of people working on common information, go to 32 MinistryToday January // February 2013

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34 MinistryToday January // February 2013

What On Earth Am I Here For?



Spiritual growth is intentional.

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Spiritual growth is not accidental. You must intend to grow; you must make a choice to grow. This means that we grow by making commitments. People in churches are at one of six levels of commitment: community, crowd, congregation, committed, core or commissioned. The community is anyone within driving distance of Saddleback Church. There is no commitment at the community level. We want to get the community to come to a weekend service, and we want to move them from the community to the crowd. What’s required to be in the crowd? One commitment: show up at church. Next, we want to move people from being an attender to being a member of the church—to move from the crowd to the congregation. At Saddleback, you do this by coming to know Jesus as your Savior, being baptized, attending our membership seminar (Class 101) and signing the membership covenant. People then move from the congregation to committed. We do that with a course called Class 201, where we teach the habits for spiritual growth. The class doesn’t make you a mature person; it just shows you what it takes to become spiritually mature and ends with the opportunity to make a commitment to growth. From the committed, people move into the core—serving Christ by serving others. They take Class 301, sign the ministry covenant, discover their S.H.A.P.E. (each person’s unique blend of Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences) and start actively serving. The commissioned are those who made it all the way into not just ministry but also mission. They have taken Class 401 and made a commitment to go into all the world as Jesus commanded.


Spiritual growth is incremental.

We know that incremental change is true in physical growth—so why not in spiritual growth? We know children grow in stages: They learn to breathe first; then to eat, to walk, to talk. No child has ever taken those steps out of order. They are developmental stages. 36 MinistryToday January // February 2013

The same is true in your spiritual life. The order that we have here at Saddleback is all about helping people grow closer and closer to Christ. We want to see them know Christ, then love Christ, then grow in Christ, then serve Christ, then share Christ. Those are the systematic steps to spiritual growth.


Spiritual growth is personal.

You cannot mass-produce disciples because every person is different. There is no one-size-fits-all for spiritual growth. To be a disciple is to be a learner. That’s the literal meaning of the word disciple. Because we all are different, we all learn differently. For instance, some learn best by listening, others by reading, some by discussing, others by doing a project. One major tool we use to help people grow personally is our yearly growth campaign. For it, the entire church focuses together on some area of personal growth: 40 Days of Purpose, 40 Days in the Word, 40 Days of Love and so on. Our campaign for 2013 will be “What on Earth Am I Here For?” (To join us, go to In these campaigns, the entire church studies the same thing for six weeks. We make use of all the different ways of learning so that everyone can grow. People hear it on Sundays, they read it in the book, they discuss it in a small group, they memorize a verse about it and they have a project to do for it.


Spiritual growth is practical.

God g ives us practica l ways to participate in the growth that He is causing. One of Saddleback’s goals is to help people grow by developing good spiritual habits. They’re called spiritual disciplines or devotional practices, but they’re really just habits. For instance, we encourage the habit of spending time with God every day. Prayer is also a spiritual habit. Bible study is a spiritual habit. Tithing and attending a small group are spiritual habits. In the end, we will become whatever we do habitually. To try to be a disciple of Jesus without developing the habits of a disciple is simply impossible.

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Spiritual growth is relational.

We only grow if we are in community with others. This is one of the most misunderstood facts of growth among American Christians. American Christians think you can grow on your own. If I have a Bible and I have Jesus, I don’t need anybody else, we tell ourselves. That kind of thinking is wrong! You cannot grow without the church. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:24-25: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another” (NLT).


Spiritual growth is multidimensional.

At Saddleback we have learned that in order for us to grow spiritually, five purposes all are needed: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and mission. We are to grow stronger through worship, warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, broader through ministry and larger through mission. If you go to a gym and get a trainer, you’re going to be required to work on the areas in which you are weakest. Do you have a weak shoulder? You’ll have to work on that shoulder. You have weak knees? Let’s work on your knees, your trainer will say. Spiritual growth is like physical therapy: God wants to strengthen us in all His purposes. Of course, this means you can’t do the job alone as a church leader. But none of us are meant to do it alone! In Ephesians 4:12 we’re told to “equip” God’s people for works of service. If I were starting a church again today, I’d get a volunteer leader to help me with each of these five purposes so he could grow as he helped the church to grow. At Saddleback, we now have entire staff teams dedicated to helping people grow in each of these five purposes.


Spiritual growth is seasonal.

You’ll relieve a lot of guilt in your people when you help them understand this one truth: that spiritual growth is seasonal. Nobody grows at a constant pace all the time. Plants don’t grow 38 MinistryToday January // February 2013

constantly; they grow in spring and summer and then are dormant in fall and winter. The same is true in our spiritual lives. Some people are going through winter: “I just don’t feel like I’m growing much right now,” they say, “even though I’m doing the right things to grow.” It will encourage them to know that’s OK. It’s part of life. In fact, there are some things that happen in winter that don’t happen in spring and summer. You deepen your roots in fall and winter for the next spring when you will have the next stage of growth and fruitfulness.


Spiritual growth is incarnational.

The final truth is that growth is not about what you can accomplish. Rather, it’s about the person of Jesus Christ living inside you. Galatians 2:20 says: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (NKJV). The goal of the Christian life is to live like Jesus. But it won’t come from your trying to be like Jesus. It comes from trusting Jesus to live inside you. The secret of the Christian life is not imitation but incarnation—letting Christ live through you. Nobody can live like Jesus better than Jesus! None of these eight principles for growth can be done in our own power. It’s God who works in us because of the cross. We need to remember that, for the sake of our own growth as well as the growth of the church. This frees us from the frustration of what we can’t seem to get done and releases us from the even more dangerous temptation to try to do it on our own power. We get to be fellow builders. Under Jesus’ leadership, and by following biblical principles for spiritual growth, God will build His church!

T o m H o l l a d a y is associate senior pastor at Saddleback Church, where he has served for almost 21 years, and teaches at Purpose Driven conferences worldwide. He is the author of The Relationship Principles of Jesus (Zondervan). Hear his podcast, “Drivetime Devotions,” at

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What On Earth Am I Here For?

If you think the church can’t solve the world’s problems, think again. We were made to bring the good news—and Jesus modeled exactly how we can. By Rick Warren


PLAN OF ACTION: Rick Warren says the church—with nearly 2 billion global volunteers waiting to be mobilized—already has the manpower to solve the world’s problems. It’s a matter of taking action.

Alex Garcia, Saddleback Church

he greatest need in the world today is to release the latent energy bottled up in believers who are doing nothing for the kingdom of God. It’s time for the church to rise up and be the church. The church is the body of Christ, but it seems like our hands and feet have been amputated, and most of the time we’re just a big mouth. It’s time for the church to stop being known for what we’re against and start being known for what we stand for: grace, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and new life in Jesus Christ. That’s why we began rethinking our mission strategy at Saddleback. Jesus tells us to “go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15, NCV). Go is a key word for believers. You can’t spell gospel without “go.” You can’t spell good news without “go.” You can’t spell God without “go.” Jesus commands us to go, meaning missions is not about sending out professional missionaries, organization leaders or aid workers to do the work for us; although we need them and the valuable work they do. Jesus said, “You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV, emphasis added). What is a witness? Simple. A witness is somebody who tells his or her story. A witness just says: “This is what I saw. This is what I heard. This is what happened to me.” Nobody else can tell your story. You don’t need any special training to do it. Just tell people what Jesus has done in your life. When Jesus said His disciples would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth, how January // February 2013 MinistryToday   41

did He mean for that to apply to us? The answer is, He was laying out a plan of ever-increasing influence. When He said to go to Jerusalem, He was saying: “Start with your family, your friends, your co-workers.” It means start in your own city and neighborhood. Then He said to go to Judea and Samaria. Your Judea is the region where

orphans, the widows, the imprisoned and the homeless. Jesus cares about the people the world wants to forget. The biggest problems the world faced in Jesus’ day are still the biggest problems today: spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, poverty, disease and illiteracy. I call these the five global giants. They affect billions of people.

HEALING TOUCH: Rick Warren prays for a child in Rwanda receiving medical treatment

“It’s time for the church to stop being known for what we’re against and start being known for what we stand for.” you live. For me, that’s Southern California. What state, district, province or prefecture do you live in? That’s your Judea. Then Jesus said go to Samaria. This means people who live in your area but who are culturally different from you. Do you know anybody like that? Sure you do. They might even live next door to you. Jesus was saying, “Just go to people who are different from you.” And then He said, “Go to the ends of the earth.” That means go to everybody else. Love demands that we move beyond our comfort zone. Love demands that we go to people of different backgrounds, languages and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19, NIV). What are we supposed to do when we go for Jesus? We’re supposed to do what Jesus did. He gave us the model. What did He do? Jesus didn’t just preach. He also cared for the oppressed, the poor, the sick, the aged, the blind and the lepers. He cared about the mentally ill, the 42 MinistryToday January // February 2013

And how did Jesus take on these giants? He did five things: He planted the church to reconcile people to God and to one another. He equipped servant leaders by training His disciples to serve rather than be served. He assisted the poor. He cared for the sick. And He educated the next generation. I believe these are the five things Jesus wants us to do today as His followers. He wants us to go into all the world and:

Plant faith communities Equip servant leaders Assist the poor Care for the sick Educate the next generation

These five things make up what I call the PEACE Plan. The PEACE Plan The PEACE Plan is a grassroots, church-to-church strategy. It’s a lay movement designed to mobilize ordinary church members in small groups, empowered by God, to do normal tasks

that can make a difference in the world. The PEACE Plan is about all believers in every church doing all the things Jesus told us to do. It’s about churches partnering with churches to take on the global giants in their communities. It’s about turning an audience into an army, turning consumers into contributors and turning spectators into participators. P stands for Plant faith communities. If we’re going to share the love of God with billions of people, we must help congregations in their ministries to the disaffected and overlooked. We must also help start new faith communities around the world. Romans 10:14 says: “Before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in him; and before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them” (NCV). E stands for Equip leaders. All around the world there are leaders who abuse their power. Amazingly, many of these leaders refuse to use  their power for the good of their own people—using it instead only for themselves. This has created chaos in the world. Zechariah 10:2 says: “People wander around like lost sheep. They are in trouble because they have no leader” (TEV). Proverbs 11:14 says, “Without wise leadership, a nation falls” (NLT). We must teach leaders at all levels that sound leadership requires “a moral foundation” (see Prov. 16:12, The Message). A stands for Assist the poor. More than  half the world—that’s 3 billion people—live on less than $2 a day. One-sixth of the world’s population lives in slums. Research by the Christian relief organization World Vision suggests that about 600 million people worldwide could get out of poverty quickly if someone would simply give them a small loan—not a gift, but a loan—so they could start a small business and begin to pull themselves out of poverty. For instance, I have a friend in South Africa who teaches people how to plant gardens. From those vegetable gardens people are able to feed their own families, the AIDS orphans and other poor people in their churches, and still have a little left over to sell for income. A nother friend in Guinea helps Saddleback Church

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prostitutes get off the street by teaching The rallying cry of the PEACE Plan is I also visited a little school in a church them how to style hair or sew, and then where they’d adopted 25 AIDS orphans. based on Psalm 67:2—that God would gives them a sewing machine. They’re I asked the headmaster: “What is the send us around the world with the news usually able to pay back the cost of the greatest need for your school? Is it a of His saving power and His eternal plan sewing machine over 16 weeks, and building? Is it more students? Is it cur- for all mankind. none of these women have gone back riculum? What is it?” The critical question of this hour is into prostitution. “Books,” he said. “We have no books.” this: Will we, the church of God around Proverbs 29:7 says, “The righteous How can you teach—and how can a the world, retreat in the face of these care about justice for the poor, but the country be strong—when its children global giants or face them in faith, claimwicked have no such concern” (NIV). are not educated? How can a country ing the promises of God and the power C stands for Care for the sick. grow and be economically strong when of his Spirit, and defeat them for the Tragically, hundreds of millions of peo- its citizens can’t read or write and don’t glory of God? ple around the world are dying from know the fundamentals of math and scipreventable illnesses. Even though we ence we take for granted? More than half The Power of Ordinary People of found a cure for these diseases in Faith Working Together the 19th and 20th centuries, people These problems are gigantic, but in the 21st century are still dying ordinary people of faith working from them. together can chip away the chaos Think about this: 11 million and bring hope back to the hopechildren die every year from preless. We’ve trained thousands of ventable illnesses. That’s 27,000 Saddleback members how to go on every single day. The No. 1 reason missions trips around the world. children die from these diseases They often ta ke with them is unclean water. We know how to what we call “Clinics in a Box.” clean up water, yet millions of chilWe take a box and fill it with comdren die every year from diseases mon medicine—everyday things we they get from drinking contamitake for granted that are like gold nated water. in many places where there’s no My prayer is that we can mobilize health care. Small groups of our health care professionals in faith members deliver these boxes. They Only the church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can communities across our country. also plant faith communities, train reverse illiteracy and poverty on national levels, Warren says These professionals have knowlleaders, help the poor, care for the edge, expertise and experience that can the world is still illiterate. It’s no wonder sick and educate the next generation. make life better for millions of people these countries aren’t strong. Our mission has eterna l consearound our world. Only the church, through the power quences. Heaven and hell are in the balMy wife is a breast cancer survivor. of the Holy Spirit, can take on these ance. God wants to use the people in When she was diagnosed with the dis- global giants. No government can do it. my congregation and yours to reach the ease, we were able to get her the best If they could, they would have by now. world for Jesus. We need to show our treatment available anywhere. She had No organization can do it. Only the people that the greatest thrill and advengreat doctors and received the needed church can do it. ture in life is to be used by God. medications. Jesus put it this way: “Only those Only the church has the manpower— But so many in our world have no nearly 2 billion volunteers in churches all who throw their lives away for my sake hope as they face disease and death. It over the globe waiting to be mobilized. and for the sake of the Good News will grieves me greatly, knowing other hus- Only the church has the willpower to ever know what it means to really live” bands must watch their wives suffer, and rise up in the name of Jesus and for the (Mark 8:35, TLB). die, because they cannot get the medical glory of God. And most important, only help they need. the church has the Holy Spirit’s power R i c k W a rr e n is a global strategist, E is for Educate the next gen- to enable us to do what is otherwise philanthropist, pastor and author. His most recent book, The Purpose Driven Life eration. I once visited a school outside impossible. Johannesburg, South Africa, of about Jesus has called us to do it, He has (Zondervan), has sold more than 30 million 1,500 kids who all had to sit on the commanded us to do it and He has copies in English and is published in more ground. They had no building; there was commissioned us to do it. The ques- than 50 languages. In 1980 Warren founded no water, no electricity, and no books. tion is, will you do it? Will you do what Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. Yet there is a waiting list of children who Jesus said? His command to go is not Today it may be America’s most influential want to get into this school so they can just for clergy or missionaries or profes- congregation, with more than 100,000 sit in the dirt and learn, where they can sional ministers. It is for every one of names on the church roll, a 120-acre campus and more than 300 ministries. be safe and off the street. His followers. 44 MinistryToday January // February 2013

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What On Earth Am I Here For?

What If God Calls Me to Do Something I Don’t Want to Do? You don’t have to be afraid of discovering God’s will. The process is always covered by His grace and the natural giftings He gives us.


By daniel kolenda

s a little boy raised in the church, I was often confused by the words of certain songs. For instance, whenever the song “Bringing in the Sheaves” was sung, I thought we were singing about bringing in the “sheeps.” I always wondered where we would get these “sheeps” and why we wanted to bring them in anyway. Spiritual themes, whether spoken or sung, can easily confuse the simple mind of a child; and while I learned quite early that “sheeps” is not even a word, the topic of God’s will continued to be a point of confusion for a long time. I remember another song we used to sing, usually after a missionary had told depressing stories about the hardships and toils of the mission field: “Jesus, use me / Oh, Lord, don’t refuse me / Surely there’s a work that I must do / And even though it’s humble, help my will to crumble / Though the cost be great, I’ll work for You.” As wonderful as those words are in and of themselves, there was something about the combination of the lyrics, the music and the context that made me afraid of God’s will for my life. I thought He must have something simply dreadful for me to do. I just knew He was going to send me deep into the jungle where I would live in a mud hut, survive on a diet of grubs and wind up being eaten by cannibals.


46 MinistryToday January // February 2013

IN HIS ELEMENT: Daniel Kolenda (here preaching in Kabba, Nigeria) once thought God would call him to do something he’d hate. Today, as an evangelist and missionary, he can’t imagine anything he’d rather do.


Looking back, my naïveté is quite amusing now, but the reality is that many people—ministry leaders included—really are afraid to discover God’s will for their lives, even if subconsciously. They think: What if God wants me to do something I don’t want to do? What if God wants me to do something I’m not good at? What if doing God’s will means I have to give up my hopes and dreams? I think sometimes people haven’t discovered God’s will simply because they are afraid to. God’s Will Fits You

After I preached at a certain Bible college one of the students approached me. He was nearing graduation and had

that it was made for it. Even a child who had never seen a plug or socket before could figure out that they were made for each other. This is one way you can know what God wants from you. Where do you fit? What do you enjoy? What brings you delight and satisfaction? I have heard people teach that God’s will is always difficult and requires great sacrifice. But I have seen that the most effective people in any ministry or occupation, or just life in general, are not the ones forcing themselves to do some dreadful task because they feel it is God’s will. Rather it is the ones who are doing something they enjoy so much that they feel guilty taking a salary for it.

Kolenda preaches the gospel to a multitude in Asaba, capital of Nigeria’s Delta State

been seeking God’s will for many years but still had no direction. He asked me, “How can I figure out what God wants me to do with my life?” We were standing next to a lamp, and I noticed that it had been unplugged. I pointed to the plug lying on the ground and said to him: “How do you know what that three-pronged contraption is for? Should I stick it in my ear or use it to comb my hair?” “Of course not,” he replied. “It goes into the electric socket.” How did he know that? Because of its shape. That plug fit so perfectly into that electric socket that there was no question 48 MinistryToday January // February 2013

W hen you fi nd somet h i ng t hat makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning, when you find something that challenges and thrills you, when you find something that you sense you were made to do, chances are you are getting close to discovering God’s will for your life. This does not mean that obedience, death to self and sacrifice are never required or necessary. But when a person is doing what he or she was created to do, there is a taste of sweetness in the sacrifice, a sense of fulfillment in the obedience and an enduring hope in the suffering.

With Your Gift Comes His Gift

We often talk about the fivefold ministry gifts—apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher and evangelist—that are listed in Ephesians 4. But it is vital that we remember what it says in verse 7, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Grace comes with every gift! Jesus is the fullest expression of all of the five ministries, but when He ascended He distributed 20 percent of His ministry to the apostles, 20 percent to the prophets, 20 percent to the pastors, 20 percent to the teachers and 20 percent to the evangelists. Not only did He give the gifts, He also gave grace according to the measure of the gift. Did you ever receive some special gift for your birthday as a kid, then after you had torn open the package you realized it needed batteries to operate? When Jesus gives a gift, He also gives the batteries the gift requires to operate. The battery for “the gift of Christ” is grace. But He will give you only the measure of grace you need for the gift He has given. I hear a lot of preachers talking about “burnout” these days, and it doesn’t surprise me. Imagine a pure pastor who is wonderfully gifted in his pastoral office. He is using 100 percent of his God-given ministry gift, yet his gift is only 20 percent of what his congregation needs. This precious pastor is working around the clock, attempting to provide 100 percent of what the church requires to be perfected and edified in the way Ephesians 4:12 describes, yet he has only 20 percent of the grace to do that job! Anyone can see that this is a formula for disaster. If a person’s body has only 20 percent functionality, we would say that person is handicapped. If an airplane lost all but 20 percent of its mechanical capabilities, the pilot would bring it in for an emergency landing. If a business operated at only 20 percent output, it would soon go bankrupt. In Philippians 1, Paul is talking to his ministry partners (the ones who were supporting him financially). In verse 5 he expresses his gratitude for their partnership in the work of the gospel, and then says in verse 7, “Ye all are partakers of my grace” (KJV). Do you realize that you can actually tap into the grace that is on CfAN

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someone else’s life? By partnering with Paul’s gift, the Ephesians became partakers of the grace on his life! Let’s go back to my example of the pastor who is burning out. Rather than attempting to provide 100 percent of his church’s needs with 20 percent of the gift and grace, he should partner with others who are gifted in the areas he is not. When he partners with their gift, he will also become a partaker in their grace,

in 1 Cor. 7 that remaining single was a good thing, and he went so far as to say: “I wish that all men were like I myself am [in this matter of self-control]. But each has his own special gift from God, one of this kind and one of another” (v. 7, AMP). Although Paul preferred singleness and wished everyone would remain single, as he was, he had the wisdom to recognize that his ability to lead a happy and full life without a spouse was

As an evangelist to Africa, and other points around the globe, Kolenda says God’s gift fits him perfectly: “I don’t know of anything I would rather do. I love my life, and I love my calling as a missionary evangelist.”

and the whole church will benefit. The principle is simple but profound, and Eph. 4:7 encapsulates it: “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” The grace comes with the gift! Although this verse is set in the context of the fivefold ministry gifts, it is not applicable just to those called into “fulltime ministry.” The Bible says this grace is given to every one of us according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Whenever God calls you to do something, He will always supply the perfect measure of grace so you will be able to operate in your gift. But whenever you try to operate outside your gift, you will find it difficult, burdensome and miserable because there will be no grace for it. Take, for instance, someone who is called to live a celibate life. The apostle Paul was called to this. In fact, he said 50 MinistryToday January // February 2013

a special gift from God. Paul understood that without the gift, there would be no grace. This is why he warned against those who would forbid marriage (see 1 Tim. 4:3). We have seen in the modern Roman Catholic Church priests who have been forbidden to marry, though many neither have the gift nor the grace to remain single. The result has been an appalling international scandal that has shamed Christianity and landed many priests behind bars. Paul’s singleness was a gift, and with the gift God gave him the grace. Without the grace Paul would have seen his singleness not as a gift but as a burden. An interesting side note here is that because Paul was given the calling, gift and grace to lead a celibate life, he said, “I wish that all men were like I myself am.” I have noticed that when the gift and grace are on a person’s life to do

something, it seems so natural and obvious to them that they think everyone else should be doing it as well. Grace Makes All the Difference

There are two lessons to learn from this principle: 1. Don’t make the mistake of trying to force those around you to do what God has called you to do. And don’t look down on them for doing something other than what you think is so important! Recognize that, as Paul said, “Each has his own special gift from God, one of this kind and one of another” (1 Cor. 7:7, AMP). 2. If you think everyone should be doing one particular thing, chances are that is what you are called to do! If you think everyone should be an evangelist, you are probably an evangelist. If you think everyone should be a political activist, then that is probably what God is calling you to do! When God’s gift and grace rest on a person for a certain task or calling, he is able to do with joy what seems difficult, or even impossible, to others. It is interesting that as a boy I dreaded the thought of being sent into the jungle in obedience to the call, but today I often go to the “jungle,” preaching the gospel in Africa and around the world— and I don’t know of anything I would rather do. I love my life, and I love my calling as a missionary-evangelist. What I had not taken into consideration as a child was this great truth: The grace comes with the gift, and the grace makes all the difference. With this understanding, you never need to be afraid to discover God’s will for your life. If He calls you to do something, He will also give you the grace to do it. When you are in God’s will, covered by His grace, it is the most wonderful place to be in the whole world. D a n i e l K o l e n d a is a missionary evangelist who has led more than 10 million people to Christ face-to-face through massive, open-air evangelistic campaigns in some of the most dangerous, difficult and remote locations on earth. He is president and CEO of Christ for All Nations and hosts an internationally syndicated television program. CfAN

Church Supplier Focus

Ministry Today Helps You Connect to Resources You Need By Daniel Prince, Ministry Today Sales and Marketing Coordinator To thrive in the ministry world today, you don’t just need to be anointed, you need to be able to hear from God and know His plans. But there is also a logistics side to ministry—people and products you need to help you fulfill your calling. For nearly three decades Ministry Today has been a connective resource for today’s pastors and leaders. For example, we’ve recently introduced the Ministry21 Network and Dr. Mark Rutland’s National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL), both geared toward developing leaders for the 21st century. Here we highlight organizations who exist to serve your ministry. In the next issue, we’ll launch an extensive church suppliers directory. It will include everything your church or ministry needs to stay connected to suppliers of everything from communion elements to stage equipment, pulpits to projectors—all at your fingertips for starting and/or expanding your church or ministry. The directory will be available in print and online, so watch for it next issue. If you are a supplier, there’s still time to get involved. Call me directly to find out more: 407-333-7106 or email

Hidden Treasure By Peter Aiello Have you ever wanted to lead a study through the Book of Revelation but didn’t know where to begin? This guide will give your group or classroom a solid understanding of this last, majestic book of the Bible. The Diary of Eli, a work of historical fiction, corresponds with the teacher’s guide to creatively introduce your class to the study. There is no need to feel intimidated by Revelation again!

Biblical higher power spirituality for inner peace and strength needs to be revisited by modern Christianity. This book chronicles author Peter Aiello’s journey in finding it, and the theology surrounding it. It is for everybody. He found Christ’s rest by resting his mind on Christ through surrender and unconditional trust, and thereby receiving His Spirit. This place of rest is also the place of God’s guidance, shelter, and protection. It takes us beyond our understanding.

Teach Revelation with Confidence

January // February 2013 MinistryToday   51

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Ministry Life: c h i l d r e n ’ s


By Steve Adams

Giving Purpose to Children’s Ministry

Why a strategic plan, not just random activity, is needed to disciple kids

54 MinistryToday January // February 2013

Scott Tokar


n a world of video games, sports, social networking But many times it’s all too easy to take the opposite and self-centeredness, it might be easy to overlook this approach of purpose-driven ministry, which is “random simple reality: Even kids want to know, “What on earth activity.” It’s not that the random activity in and of itself am I here for?” It doesn’t surface as a deep theological is bad. But when it lacks intentionality, we find ourselves discussion, and you rarely have a child come up to you and working really hard with little to no measurable results. articulate that question. But kids want to know that their Consider this question: “Did you maximize the opportulife means something. They want nity?” If it was a random activity to know that they matter. with no real objective or intent, I have given my life to helping then I would say you probably did k ids ma ke this connection, to not. helping them understand they are I know this all too well because God’s masterpiece and that God I have done it. Over the many has a specific plan and purpose years I’ve been in children’s minisjust for them. try, I’ve experienced many events, Think about it—what if all our ser v ices a nd tra ining sessions k ids embraced this tr uth at a that had no clear, identifiable puryoung age? At Saddleback Kids, pose. They were random activiwe have a simple ministry objecties. The result was motion with tive that gives kids the opportuno meaning. That’s why an intennity to know what on earth they tional process works with such are here for. That objective is great effectiveness—it’s done on reflected in our vision statement: purpose. “Connecting k ids to God a nd Here are several reminders that others.” will help along the way as you We connect kids to God (we develop a Purpose Driven Chilw in them to Christ a nd g row S t e v e A d a m s is the children’s pastor at Saddleback dren’s Ministry: them spiritually) and we connect Church. He graduated from Evangel University and   Identify a vision statement kids to others (every kid needs a has served in children’s ministry for more than 25 for your ministry and make sure friend and a mentor). Guess what years. He mentors and speak internationally, educating everything you do points back to we call this ministry framework? and encouraging children’s leaders worldwide. He that vision. You guessed it: Purpose Driven offers free resources to help with your children’s   Don’t try to accomplish every Children’s Ministry. one of the five purposes at every ministry at It’s bigger than a curriculum or service or event. Here is a formula a methodology or a program. It’s a biblical approach to we use: People + Purpose = Pathway.   To find the right answers, you must ask the right queschildren’s ministry that creates balance and health. It’s a strategic plan to help kids know why on earth they are here. tions. Give some thought to the four questions previously Here’s a simple summary of Purpose Driven Children’s mentioned, and you’ll begin a new path of discovery for Ministry. It’s an intentional discipleship process that identi- your ministry. Purpose Driven Children’s Ministry is not a program. It’s fies the following key elements: purpose, people, process an intentional discipleship process that balances the five and pathway. It begins with these four questions:   Why do we do what we do (purpose)? purposes of the church. I know from experience that this   Who are we trying to reach (people)? will change your ministry.   How are we going to accomplish our objectives Our kids deserve to know the answer to the question, (process)? “What on earth am I here for?”   What steps are necessary to move these children along Be intentional with your discipleship process and give on their spiritual journey (pathway)? your kids the opportunity to discover their purpose—withWhen you’ve answered those questions, you can develop out more random activity. Make it all count, maximize the the intentional discipleship process that will work in your opportunities you have with your kids and change the landchurch context. scape of eternity.


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Ministry Life: yo u t h


By Kurt Johnston

Do Your Teens Know Why on Earth They’re Here? Discovering God’s purpose for their lives should be your No. 1 youth-ministry task programs that will help each student make that simple statement a reality. Here are the practical ways this works for us: Our Purpose Statement

“O u r m i n i s t r y help s s t u de nt s become exposed to, experience and ex press Christ, His k ingdom a nd

“Our goal is to help each student embrace the reality that they were placed on this planet to be an expression of Christ, His kingdom and the purposes of His church.” toilet-paper the senior pastor’s house is a close second!) A t S a dd le b a c k C hu rc h , we’ve landed on the following simple phrase to help our teenagers recognize God’s purpose for their lives: “I am here to express Christ, His kingdom, and the purposes of His church to the world around me.” How that happens, exactly, looks different for each student in our ministry; but the role of the youth department is to create an atmosphere and 56 MinistryToday January // February 2013

the biblical purposes of His church.” (If you don’t have a statement that defines the purpose of your youth ministry, begin by creating one.) Our Programs

L arge Group (E xpose). We have a weekly large group gathering that is designed specifically to expose the teenagers in our church and community to the good news of Jesus Christ a nd t he pu r poses of His chu rch. Ever ybody is welcome to join us at

this entry-level church experience. Small Group (Experience). We believe that life change happens best in a smaller group setting, so we encourage all our students to join a weekly small group. These groups, each of which comprises 10 to 12 students and an adult leader, gather in host homes and those attending experience life and faith together. Everything we do in these groups is meant to be a step deeper and more experiential in nature. When teenagers begin to experience what they’ve been exposed to, their faith begins to stick! Individual Life (Express). As I mentioned, our ultimate goal is to help each student embrace the reality that they were placed on this planet to be a living, breathing expression of Christ, His k ingdom and the purposes of His church. So we have all sorts of ministr y opportunities and experiences that help students live out their faith in their day-to-day lives—such as PEACE (mission) trips, student leadership, friendship evangelism, baptism and campus clubs. All are examples of faith-stretching opportunities we provide students so they can participate both within the church walls and beyond. If your youth ministry can successfully help students identify why on earth they’re here, and help them toilet paper your pastor’s house, then that’s a job well-done! K u r t J o h n s t o n has been on staff at Saddleback Church since 1997 and currently leads the student ministry team. He is the founder of simplyjunior and has written numerous books, including Middle School Ministry Made Simple, and has created dozens of resources for youth workers.



hat on ea r t h a m I here for?” That’s the question ever y teenager on the planet asks at one time or another. And while your youth ministry plays a variet y of roles, helping students wrestle through this question is, in my experience, its most important task. (Helping your youth successfully

They’re “spiritual but not religious.” They’re eager to talk about God, but done sitting through sermons. Want to reach young adults? Start a conversation. They’re looking to participate, not to be an audience. So let them ask hard questions. Grapple with tough stuff. Discover how God is reaching out to them. And Lifetree Café is all about conversation. Relaxing around tables, Lifetree participants hear inspiring stories, tell their own stories…and draw closer to God and each other. On college campuses, at coffee shops, and even in churches, life-changing conversations are underway. When you’re ready to connect, connect with us. We’ll help you provide tested, ready-to-go, hour-long guided conversations that let young adults experience God in a fresh, new way. Call 877-476-8703 or visit to learn more. “ D o i n g l i f e . D o i n g g o o d .”

Lifetree Café is now available in Canada! *Projected 2025 church attendance from George Barna’s Revolution Copyright © 2013 Group Publishing, Inc.

Ministry Life: m e n ’ s


By Kenny Luck

How to Wake Up Your Sleeping Giant

A strategy for turning men into a driving force behind your church’s mission


ost pastors dream of having a strong and vibrant In the relational safety a group setting provides, men seek men’s community that drives the mission and after health in their own character and relationships. This vision of their local churches. But this dream rarely involves an open discussion of temptation and compromise becomes a reality because most churches have no compelling (moral health), their view of women and marriage (marital vision for men that is articulated, visible and connected to a health), leadership in the home (family health), and how masmeaningful process in the church context. culine friendship and accountability work (relational health). So it’s no surprise that men True health in these core areas is remain affiliated versus activated in the difference between an authentic the local church. This sad reality is and a synthetic leader. More imporon the church, not on the men. Men tant, the Bible requires core health like clear targets they can hit—but and strong leadership in these catthe church hasn’t painted the target! egories before being selected for On the flip side, it is possible to church leadership (see 1 Tim. 3:1-5). have strong vision, a defined process that helps men see the vision, Get Strong and solid outcomes that make men The Get Strong step prepares stakeholders in the ongoing success men for deployment into their minof the church’s mission. Men long istry in the church and their mission for that kind of significance! in the world. This is the “if any man After 23 years of ministering to would come after Me” moment for men, I tell pastors they have a “sleepeach man (see Matt. 16:24). ing giant” in their congregations. It’s It is intentional. It is on purpose. called men. All it takes is a resonatBut most important, it is in coning strategy to awaken the giant and text as the next meaningful step move men from being affiliated to in the progression. You shouldn’t activated for God’s purposes. K e n n y L u c k is the men’s pastor at Saddleback have to plead or coax men at this At Saddleback Church, our Sleep- Church and the founder of Every Man Ministries. point. They know they’re called. ing Giant strategy is also known as His latest book is titled Sleeping Giant: No Movement Resources and relationships in this the “men’s pathway.” It’s a four-step of God Without Men of God (B&H Books). For phase center on strong spiritual process that starts with an invita- information about men’s ministry resources or to learn formation, which leads to strong tion to simply get started. how the Sleeping Giant men’s pathway will work in spiritual expression of the Great Commandment and Commission. your church, visit

Get In

Get Healthy

Men are like icebergs, in the sense that they reveal only the tip of who they are and what is happening in their lives. But underneath the waterline of their lives are a host of issues producing enormous stress and pressure morally, relationally, maritally, professionally and emotionally. That reality and the needs reflected by it are why this second step resonates. 58 MinistryToday January // February 2013

Get Going

The first steps in the process (Get In and Get Healthy) defined and met the core needs of men in the community and congregation. The next phase (Get Strong) captured the motivation created by transformations in men’s lives with a forceful vision and call to spiritual growth. After men are fully trained, only one call is left. The last and most natural transition is to deploy these men to serve the church and aggressively share the gospel. Each man needs to take up his post in the kingdom. In this phase, it’s time for each man to Get Going. In the Sleeping Giant process, a trained “God’s man” is responsible for ministry, reproducing leaders, and replacing pastoral staff in the execution and delivery of ministry to the people. Men getting in, growing healthy and strong, and going into God’s purposes—isn’t that the dream of every pastor?

Scott Tokar

The Sleeping Giant model emphasizes getting guys “in” with other guys who share a personal commitment to become better men and grow spiritually. Getting in could take the form of a weekly men’s group, or men from a church couples group meeting on a separate day of the week. It could be some guys from work having coffee once a week. It could be men meeting at church or at a conference to connect with other men who seek God’s purpose for their lives and relationships.

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Ministry Leadership:

identit y

B y E r i k Rees

Which S.H.A.P.E. Are You?

Learning who God created you to be will help unlock His unique purpose for your life

Embrace Your S.H.A.P.E.

The S.H.A.P.E. concept was developed by Saddleback pastor Rick Warren, who writes, “Whenever God gives us an assignment, He always equips us with what we need to accomplish it. This custom combination of capabilities is called your S.H.A.P.E.” Your S.H.A.P.E. comprises five specific characteristics: Spiritual Gifts: A set of special abilities that God has given 60 MinistryToday January // February 2013

you with which to share His love and serve others. Heart: The special passions that God has given you so that you can glorify Him on earth. Abilities: The set of talents that God gave you when you were born, which He also wants you to use to make an impact for Him. Personality: The specia l way God wired you to navigate life a nd fulfill your unique kingdom purpose. Experiences: Those parts of you r pa st, bot h positive and painful, that God intends to use in great ways.          Express Your S.H.A.P.E.

A fter you have a basic u ndersta nd i ng of who God has made you to be, you c a n t hen u se w h at you’ve learned to serve others. As you serve, you will get confirmation of your S.H.A.P.E. Confirmation will come in the form of inner fulfillment and outer fruitfulness (results). Fulfillment a nd fruitfulness are the signs you are maximizing your S.H.A.P.E. for service. Empower Others

As a leader, your job is to maximize your S.H.A.P.E. and empower and equip everyone around you to do the same. This is how the body of Christ maximizes its potential. No leader can do it all, but every leader can empower all. So become an empowering leader, and make sure everyone on your team and in your church is maximizing all God has given them, too. Remember, only you can be you. So be the best “you” for God! E r i k R ee s leads the S.H.A.P.E. discovery process at Saddleback Church and has used it to mobilize more than 10,000 people into service. He also has helped launch the S.H.A.P.E. ministry in thousands of churches worldwide. He is the author of S.H.A.P.E. (Zondervan), which has sold more than 100,000 copies.



od doesn’t create anything without value. He is the ultimate craftsman. And He designed you specifically to fulfill a unique role in His ultimate plan to establish His kingdom on earth. Even though each of us has made mistakes, we still are a special work of the Creator’s hands. He even takes time to know about our day-to-day lives. In fact, He is smiling right now, rejoicing as you seek to discover the masterpiece you are to Him. T he Bible says we a re God’s “masterpiece” a nd that He created us a new in Christ so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago (see Eph. 2:10, NLT). This verse helps us understa nd that if we wa nt to discover our mission or purpose in life, we first need to look at the masterpiece God has made us to be. While self-help books tell you to look within, the key to living the life you were meant for is to look to God and ask Him to help you discover your uniqueness. After you discover who you are, then you can start figuring out what God has planned for you—the specific way He designed you to make a difference in the world for Him. Here a re three helpful steps for you to ma x imize your ministry with God and for God: (1) Embrace your S.H.A.P.E.; (2) Express your S.H.A.P.E. in service; (3) Empower others to do the same.

Ministry Leadership:

h e a lt h

B y D ee E a s t m a n

The Daniel Plan

Why thousands of churches follow this roadmap to wellness—and how yours can too


astor Dave Barr and his congregation at New Hope The program grew exponentially during the first year. Windward Church in Hawaii managed to get their More than 15,000 people representing 190 countries particientire congregation of 900 into small groups for The pated, releasing a combined 260,000 pounds. Daniel Plan. The weekend attendance during the campaign Beyond the weight loss, the participants reported incredexceeded the previous Easter and Christmas services and ible beneficial side effects ranging from improved energy continues to grow. and better sleep to lowered cholesterol levels and reduction The six-week study launched of medications. more than 100 groups that began The Daniel Plan focuses on a a vibrant small-group ministry. few key elements: The Daniel Plan series was a huge Chur chw ide 40-Day C ampaign. attraction point in their commuWhether it is a few members of a nity, as it was with the initial rally daytime Bible study or the entire at Saddleback, because it focuses church that participates, doing this on a huge felt need but ultimately together is a key to success. We fulfills the deeper needs that we have a saying that everybody needs all face. a buddy, as lifestyle changes are The Daniel Plan was inspired best made within community. through Saddleback senior pastor DVD Small-Group Study. This serves Rick Warren’s vision to provide a as a catalyst to get started, with practical program for people that teaching from Pastor R ick and would restore their health and prepractical “next steps” to help move pare them to fulfill God’s purpose you forward. for their lives. During an afterExperts and Resources. Our three noon when he baptized more than founding physicians—Drs. Amen, 800 people, he came to the conHyman and Oz—and additional clusion that his congregation was D e e E a s t m a n has a Bachelor of Science in Health wellness experts provide ongoing overweight! Science, with a focus on prevention and long-term online inspiration, instruction and He confessed that while he lifestyle change, and is an experienced leader and practical tips. The website has hungained only three pounds per year wellness coach. Her health background and passion dreds of articles, videos, recipes while leading the church, he had for transformation are invaluable tools for helping her and fitness tips. Go to danielplan also been their pastor for 30 years! direct The Daniel Plan at Saddleback Church. .com to see more. He said he needed to improve his Whole Person Health. The Daniel health as well. Plan is based on five pillars of health: faith, food, fitness, “With diabetes at epic levels in the U.S. and one in three friends and focus. Churches of all shapes and sizes and in adults tipping the obesity scale, this is no longer an option every region of the country are introducing The Daniel Plan, but a mandate,” Rick said. “We now have as many people in many in their existing small groups; others with a churchthe world that are battling obesity as we have battling malnu- wide launch. trition.” And the people in churches are no exception. The Daniel Plan has gained national recognition and has Rick announced that The Daniel Plan would serve as the been featured in USA Today and Time magazine and dozens platform for the broader Decade of Destiny 10-year vision. of other magazines and publications, and on TV networks He enlisted three world-renowned physicians to help launch such as ABC and CNN. Pastor Rick has the dream that God the 52-week program and create an unrivaled strategy for would use the local church to be a catalyst for improving success. They are brain expert Dr. Daniel Amen, functional health throughout the nation. medicine pioneer Dr. Mark Hyman and heart surgeon Dr. An updated version of The Daniel Plan DVD curriculum Mehmet Oz. and churchwide campaign kit are due for release in January. During the kickoff rally in January 2011, Rick and his team Go to to sign up for our newsletter, which anticipated that a few hundred people would sign up. Instead includes practical tips on good health, as well as the latest they witnessed an astounding level of interest: 6,000 people health news to inspire and motivate you, and your congregaparticipated, and an additional 5,000 joined online. tion, on your journey to health.

62 MinistryToday January // February 2013

Jack W. Hayford, D. Litt. Founder/Chancellor The King’s University

Kenneth Ulmer, Ph.D. Bishop/Pastor 17,000 member Faithful Bible Church, L.A.

Lloyd Ogilvie, S.T.D. Chaplain US Senate (8 years) Former Pastor, Hollywood Presbyterian

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The King’s is Focused on raising up Spirit-Filled Leaders—Ablaze with a Passion for Christ, Empowered by the Holy Spirit, and Passionately Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The King’s Faculty, including America’s Premier Pastors and Preachers, recognizes that Biblical Preaching is the Homiletic Manifestation of the Pentecostal Outpouring.The greatest deficiency in the Church today is powerless preaching devoid of the vitality of the Holy Spirit. The Church must experience incarnational, Spirit-empowered preaching! Preaching is to be an experiential encounter with the Living Word of God. More than exposure to Truth; it must be an experience with The Truth. The preaching emphasis at The King’s is built upon the Holy Spirit as the Source of Truth; the Deliverer of Truth; the One who will make known the Truth. The Holy Spirit is the Sacred Communicator. Students atThe King’s learn that the Authoritative Passion of Preaching grows out of the recognition of the Message he/she is called to proclaim.

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Ministry Leadership:

s t e wa r d s h i p

By Jimmie Davidson

Pass on What You’ve Learned

Why it’s important to pour out for others what’s been poured into you

“Be willing to help someone the way God helped you.” me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (2 Tim. 2:2, NLT). You don’t have to be big to make a big splash for the kingdom. You just have to be willing to help someone the way God helped you. There are no perfect models or churches— just growing ones! I remember inviting a neighbor to my small group once, and his reply was honest and revealing: “I don’t need a small group”—to which I replied: “Maybe one needs you!” I have no doubt there is a church near you, or even far away from you, that desperately needs your help to learn 64 MinistryToday January // February 2013

what God has taught you. So, how do you start to share what you’ve learned? 1. Begin by recognizing your own need. My first step in helping other churches began with recognizing that I needed help. I needed to learn. Pride stops us from being utilized greatly by God. When I confessed my need and became open to God, He opened a whole new world of growth and understanding to me. The barriers to helping other churches are not “out there” but inside our own hearts. 2. Bring other churches with you as God leads you to grow. I hope you don’t take this trip alone. The pastor down the street would be encouraged to see what God is doing in your church and to personally learn how he could do the same. I love the story of one disciple who asked Jesus what appeared to be a dumb question, yet as it turns out, it was brilliant: “Where are you staying?” he asked Jesus. This is the model question! What happened next was life-changing. “[Jesus] said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day” (John 1:38-39, NKJV). Imagine spending a day with Jesus. If you’ve been with Jesus, you have something to say and to teach others. We learn best when we “come and see.” I’m often asked, “Why is Rick Warren so blessed?” I’ll tell you why. He has let thousands of us come, see and learn what God has taught him. 3. Be a risk-taker! When Hurricane Katrina wiped out churches, Saddleback Church stepped in and paid salaries to those pastors, which enabled them to pay attention to the needs of their congregations. Saddleback took the risk and made the call when it was needed most. No excuses, no waiting for perfect conditions—Saddleback did what it could with what it had. So when a tornado hit my town two years ago, Saddleback’s model and love led my church to do the same for a pastor who lost his church. An entire region is still inspired today because a Baptist church reached out to a Church of God congregation in their time of need. We became a model of Christ’s love because Saddleback first modeled that love to us. There is no limit to God’s power and blessings on any church that will do the same! J i m m i e D a v i d s o n is the interim PEACE pastor at Saddleback Church. He previously served as the founding and lead pastor of Highlands Fellowship in Abingdon, Va. for 18 years. While at Highlands, he began the Global Glory of God PEACE House, which equipped more than 300 international leaders from 70 nations in the PEACE Plan and Purpose Driven model.



s a brand new member of the Saddleback staff, I know I’m here because of the principle of stewardship. Saddleback Church poured into me and the church I pastored for 18 years; then I passed on to other churches what I learned from them. Paul taught this same principle in his second letter to Timothy: “You have heard

Can you be both Christian and Musliln?



A ne\v documentary on Insider Movements



~ RUJ fUION AlM [IJY~ROAYU~ OI!WIUl Al.MIIWII~ RAHMMi JMI~ IW.Offi MIIMIUR IWlMNl Amwl HOS~N lWf Of\1l1Wf !lUlU. t. Mlr.IWl HORlON PffiR JONfS 11 JHF MORffiN 1111rno lfl Bill NI~OlS rPmno ~o rwi!D lfi JAY AlllSUl r.1 ,r, JON MtKff u ,HfMIMAIEO SIIUl mr ~ JNWIGIH MAM rARl ACOHOON aiiDllll~ JIMROlliSON JAY AllmN this film is not rated

Ministry Outreach:

h i v/ a i d s m i n i s t r y

By K ay Warren

How to Start an HIV/AIDS Ministry

We have a moral responsibility to engage the largest humanitarian crisis in history

66 MinistryToday January // February 2013

Scott Tokar


he AIDS pandemic remains today as the largest Research the needs in your area and determine how to respond. humanitarian crisis in history, and the church has Meet with the existing agencies in your community that a moral responsibility to become engaged. Every serve people living with HIV/AIDS, and explore how a church, whether large and affluent or small with little church ministry can augment their efforts. Explain how in the way of financial resources, can make a significant the ministry of local churches can increase the effectiveimpact in its community. Here are five practical steps ness of their programs by providing a spiritual home for to launch an HIV/AIDS ministry, hurting people. based on the acrostic START. It’s not necessary to agree on Seek suppor t from the pastors, ever ything to be able to work elders or deacons of your church. together to end AIDS. Look for Church leadership must undercommon ground and then become stand why it is important to begin a vital part of the community’s this ministry. Without their supAIDS response. port, the ministry probably won’t Take action that is both practical succeed. Inform the leadership and strategic. Begin an HIV supteam about the number of people port group for those infected and infected and affected—locally and affected in the church or local globally—and about the reasons community. Add care teams as the church is best positioned to soon as possible so that church ca re for people who a re HI Vmembers can take an active role in positive. Write a purpose stateministering to people living with ment that clearly explains the aim the virus. of this ministry and how it fits The most importa nt pa rt of within the scope of the church’s ta k ing action is to implement overall vision. the C.H.U.R.C.H. strategy (this Talk about scriptural foundations for K a y W a r r e n is co-founder of Saddleback Church ac rony m st a nds for si x way s this with the congregation. Human in Lake Forest, Calif., with her husband, Rick, and every church can make a lasting emotion is insufficient as a ratio- founder of the HIV & AIDS Initiative at Saddleback. She difference in the lives of people nale for beginning an HIV/AIDS is a Bible teacher, author and international speaker who infected and affected by HIV/ ministry. It must rest on a scrip- frequently travels the globe to encourage HIV-positive AIDS): tural foundation. Care for and support the sick, men, women and vulnerable children. Her latest book Review Bible verses that reveal is Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough (Revell), Ha nd le HI V testing, Un lea sh God’s compassion for the sick. and she is co-author of Foundations, a systematic volunteers, Remove the stigma, Study Jesus’ ministry while He theology course used in churches worldwide. Visit her C h a mpion he a lt hy beh a v ior, was here, and emphasize that He online at and at Twitter, @KayWarren1. a nd Help w ith HI V treatment spent one-third of His time healing support. sick people. Obviously Jesus cared Caring for people with HIV/ about physical needs as well as spiritual ones. Examine the AIDS is an integral ministry for every church. Starting a New Testament writers’ instructions to the church to care ministry isn’t difficult. It just requires commitment from the for orphans, widows and those in need. church leadership; a strong scriptural understanding of God’s Assemble volunteers to increase HIV awareness, knowledge compassion for the sick; a group of enthusiastic, trained voland skill. Most people know very little about HIV/AIDS, unteers; up-to-date information; and a willingness to put feet and one powerful way volunteers can impact their con- to our faith through concrete action. Start today! gregation is to regularly distribute accurate information. MinistryResource Encourage HIV-positive people to share their stories, first Southeastern University professor Robert C. Crosby highlights in safety among these volunteers, then with the entire conthe divine gift of collaboration in The Teaming Church, gregation. Dream together as a team about the ways this dissecting how successful ministry teams reach their goals more ministry can impact the church, the local community and effectively—and how to avoid the pitfalls of those who falter. the world.


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Ministry Outreach:

communit y

B y T o m m y H i ll i k e r

How to Launch a Community Ministry

What better time than a recession to pool your resources and minister to the needy?


t started with a bag of groceries to meet a serious outside the church. The needs of the community quickly need in our community. From there, our benevolence outgrew what our people could support through food requests went from six a day to more than 40 a day, and drives, so we developed outside strategic partners who 15 percent of our congregation were out of work. At the could donate food to us weekly. peak of the economic recession, our community was hurtWe also have partnered with a local medical clinic in ing and needed real assistance. In response, Saddleback order to open up a clinic of our own. Church launched a food pantry. Assess needs. Identify the greatPeople came to our doors the est needs in your communit y. first day we opened them. Today Our greatest needs are hunger, we have fed more than 80,000 legal aid, immigration, counselpeople in south Orange County, ing, education and medical assisCalif. Our Food Pantry provides tance. We determined to focus fresh and nonperishable grocery strictly on our local giants. items to families in the commuNur ture volunteer s. Empower nity. Pick-ups are available once your people to serve. The PEACE ever y 30 days and walk-ins are Center runs on volunteers. We welcome on select days and times couldn’t do what we do without every week. them. Each month hundreds of Within two years, our pantry volu nteers g ive us more t ha n turned into The PEACE Center, 3,400 hours of service. where we also provide free legal Create teams. We have law yers aid, immigration help, tutoring who oversee our legal-aid minclubs, ESL (English as a second istr y, teachers who oversee the language) classes, medical sert utoring ministr y a nd doctors vices and many more services. who oversee the medical clinic. And the most amazing part is T o m m y H i l l i k e r serves as the Membership Pastor You don’t have to be the expert in that more than 1,600 people have at Saddleback Church, where he has been on staff for every ministry. Just find experts given their lives to Jesus because 10 years. He oversees 28 ministries including baptism, who will join your team. of the work done throug h the CLASS, membership, food pantry, support groups, Trust God. The saying, “Where center. People come not just with counseling and The PEACE Center. God guides, He provides,” is true. hungry stomachs but with hungry We didn’t know how to do a food hearts as well. pantry for thousands of people, but God sent a VP from Jesus said in Mark 9:41, “Whoever gives you a cup of a major grocery store chain to teach us. At one point we water to drink in My name ... will by no means lose his were running out of food, and God sent a financial donor reward” (NKJV). Everything we do centers on providing to buy food every month. There are hundreds of stories practical help and connection to the church and sharing about God’s guidance and provision for our center. Trust the hope of Jesus Christ. If you want to start a PEACE Cen- the Holy Spirit to bring what you need, when you need it. ter in your church, you first need to have senior leadership Any church, regardless of size, can have a PEACE Censupport. When your leaders are behind you, these simple ter. We had no budget or personnel devoted to this minsteps will help you launch a center for your community: istry when we started. We began with a bag of groceries Leverage space. We started our food pantry in a room that that turned into a food pantry that turned into The PEACE was used for storage. As we grew, we converted unused Center. Now, people every day are finding the hope they doublewide trailers into The PEACE Center. Just about need in Jesus Christ. every church has buildings sitting empty six days a week. MinistryResource Do you have a building or room (or rooms) that can be Amid Pentecostalism’s ongoing global expansion, Together in One repurposed during the week for your PEACE Center? Mission, a collection of 25 essays from global leaders including Acquire partners. When we launched our food pantry, our Jack Hayford to George O. Wood, offers an encouraging look at how congregation responded by donating 53,000 pounds of Pentecostals are partnering together for the gospel. food. Today more than 70 percent of our food comes from

68 MinistryToday January // February 2013

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Ministry Outreach:

orphan care

B y E l i z a be t h S t y f f e

How We Can End the Orphan Crisis

God’s adoption plan provides the church with the perfect ministry model


t the heart of orphan care orphan crisis; and (2) to get every at Saddleback Church is the member on mission, caring for desire to end the orphan criorphans locally and globally by sis. We believe every child deserves a helping them find a family of loving, lasting, legal, lifelong family their own. of their own—and we believe this is Family is God’s remedy for doable. If every church empowered orphanhood. The church doing their members to care for orphans in for orphans what God has done ways that helped and didn’t hurt, the for us is His solution. Because orphan crisis could be over. of this, we believe that if more Unfortunately, though there are Christians would do physically still more than 163 million orphans for orphans what God has done and vulnerable children in the world spiritually for us, the orphan critoday, little has been done yet to help sis would be solved. orphans stop being orphans. As a culWhen we were orphans, God ture, we’ve spent years trying to put adopted us. Scripture teaches Band-Aids on the orphanage instituthat the reason God made the tion. But children need more than world was so He could adopt food, shelter, clothing and education. (see Eph. 1:4-6). Our triune God, We don’t want children to just sur- E l i z a b e t h S t y f f e is the director of Global Orphan who needed nothing but wanted vive, but to thrive—and children thrive Care Initiatives of the PEACE Plan at Saddleback a family of His own, allows us in family. Church. As founder of the Orphan Care Initiative through the blood of His Son At Saddleback, we began asking ministry, she helps believers engage in caring for orphans to share in the rich communion ourselves, “How can we end the and churches to launch effective responses with a view as His sons and daughters (see orphan crisis, and is there something toward ending the international orphan crisis. Eph. 1). every church can do?” Here are what When God adopted us, He we believe are the answers to those questions. made us part of His permanent family, so we would no longer be orphans. Even though we were not His bloodline, He grafted us in through adoption, giving us permanent security God’s Solution Orphans stop being orphans when they become sons and and a family, and meeting our need to belong. His adoption daughters. At Saddleback, we’ve been challenged to change of us is a legal process that cost Him everything. It gives us an everything about how we care for orphans and how we inheritance and the right to call Him Abba, or “Father” (see engage members to care. We have two goals: (1) to end the Gal. 4, Rom. 8). As a result, at Saddleback we are in the work of reconciling people to God through adoption (spiriWhat We Used to Think What We Now Think tual adoption), and helping children stay in their and Do for Orphans and Do for Orphans families, be reunited with their families or find a new family through adoption (physical adoption). Pray, pay and stay away. Go and serve the local church. Do projects for the local church globally. Indigenous church owns, initiates. Church and Family We’re the heroes. The local church is the hero. There are 163 million children at risk in the Build orphanages. Empty orphanages. world today but 2.4 billion people who claim the Give them “things.” Give them ourselves. name of Jesus. This means the solution for every Place children in orphanages. Unite children with a lifelong family. child is a church where all the members are caring Measure success in dollars given. Measure success by children placed in families. about orphans. Medicate and educate. Cure. Churches can help orphans find a new family Hire a temporary family. Equip a lifelong family. through adoption. They can help them remain in Help orphans find shelter. Help orphans find a mom and dad. their current family if it is safe. Or they can help Work on the orphan crisis. End the orphan crisis. them reunite with their families if they are sepaHelp orphans live a better life as orphans. Help orphans become sons and daughters. rated (since most children in orphanages have 70 MinistryToday January // February 2013

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families in the communities but need the church to help the family become safe, healthy, and financially and emotionally ready to care). The Orphan Care Initiative at Saddleback empowers ordinary believers to help orphans and vulnerable children locally and globally, and it also focuses on helping children find families. On the local level, this could mean doing several things: volunteering to ser ve children recently removed from their home, helping with sessions for people thinking about adoption, giving financially to someone who is adopting, or caring for newly adopted children while their families gain support. Even if you can’t adopt (and not everyone should), you can help someone who is adopting. This has changed what Saddleback does cross-culturally. We send teams to help churches start orphan ministries that provide permanent, legal, lifelong families for children. We don’t invest in group homes or orphanages or other often harmful substitutes for families. We help local churches and governments find and equip families for adoption. The emphasis is on solving the orphan crisis through adoption. We’re not talking about Americans adopting (although the very small and declining number of adoptions last year in the U.S. is evidence that more people should). Instead, this is about helping churches all over the world legally adopt children, doing what’s best for a child and ending the orphan crisis.

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So what can you do to help eradicate such a global problem? Here are six things every church (including yours!) can use to launch an orphan-care ministry: Open your heart to God’s heart for the orphan. Recognize your responsibility to find permanent families. Prevent children from being orphaned. Help orphans in ways that move them out of orphanhood. Affirm loving, legal and lasting families by preservation, reunification, or adoption. Never forget the local church is key.

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MinistryResource For those just starting the journey of ending the global orphan crisis, Saddleback Church’s is a great entry point. Don’t miss the training videos, links and books available under the “Media” and “Support & Resources” tabs. January // February 2013 MinistryToday   71

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The church’s approach to orphan care has changed dramatically from what it once was (as the two lists on page 66 clearly show). Let’s continue moving closer to God’s heart for adoption, as found in His Word. He’s given us the perfect ministry model, so let’s embrace it. By working together, churches can end the current worldwide orphan crisis.

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By Br andon Cox

Spreading Life Change Online

How to start a social media conversation about what God is doing in your church


pirit ua l- g row th ca mpa ig ns have a lways been a broadcasting the message to distributing the message via powerful way to move a church forward. But now, with social media, you need to be thinking about how to build the rapid adoption of social media by people in the a community by connecting participants to one another. pews, there’s never been a greater opportunity to create, Realize that listening and asking the right questions is often stimulate and propagate a conversation among your people far more valuable than doing all the talking. about what God is doing in their midst. Facebook, Twitter, Make your message easy to “like.” I’ve told hundreds of Pinterest and a myriad of other online social networks are church leaders that Facebook’s “Like” button is the simexamples of how technology is helping our culture catch up plest and most powerful innovation that has happened with God’s original plan for His online since Google got started. good news to be carried via interWith a single click, one person personal communication. has instantly recommended someGod’s good news spreads farthing to all of their overlapping thest and fastest through personal circles of friends. So take your connections and conversations. challenge, your sermons and the But because growth happens with stories of life-change happening intentional focus, you will need a around you and break them up strategy for empowering people to into bite-size pieces. Then spread further the conversation with their those pieces all over your website, friends—whether you are simply blogs, Facebook and Twitter. The beginning a new message series or goal is to offer something truly launching a full-blown campaign valuable and make it shareable in on the scale of “What on Earth as few clicks as possible. Am I Here For?” Remind everyone how easy it is to Here are some strategic actions spread the conversation. Tell your to consider: Sunday crowd to turn their cell Evaluate and expand your library phones on and “check in.” Give of content. Content is currency. them a tweetable quote to send The people writing the books, halfway through the message. Put blogs and tweets that offer the B r a n d o n C o x oversees content and community sharing buttons on all your Web most valuable information are for, one of the world’s leading online content. Respond to what’s being ultimately purchasing trust and learning communities, and serves as editor of Rick said about you online in a way that influence, and no one has better Warren’s Pastor’s Toolbox, a free newsletter for church demonstrates you care. content on hand than the church. Be intentionally unintentional. As leaders. He is also lead pastor at Grace Hills Church Your church has volumes of in northwest Arkansas, a church plant sponsored by church leaders, our instinct is to potentially powerful content in Saddleback Church. start a new program or ministry the forms of sermons, devotionals for ever y good idea. Stop! The and lessons. Size up what you have on hand—and expand more structure and rules you create, the more you will slow it—then make it public on the Web. your message down. Empower creative people to frame your story. More graphic This is an age in which everyone is a publisher. Your task designers and Web designers are producing content now isn’t to control how people spread the story of life-change. than ever before. Even in the smallest of churches, there Your role is to cast the vision and empower people with the probably is someone just waiting for a new kingdom assign- message—then set them free. ment in the area of designing beautiful messaging. Gutenberg helped you print Sunday’s bulletin. AlexanFrom creating nicely edited video promos to post on You der Graham Bell made it possible for your phone tree and Tube to compiling pretty pictures of puppies and cookies to prayer chain to be in business. Now you can thank Mark post on Pinterest, almost a third of your people will have a Zuckerburg, the inventors of Twitter and the brains behind penchant for the creative process. Within parameters that Instagram for the tools with which you can empower your make sense, set them free! church to tell the old, old story to more people in less time Initiate conversations that connect people. As you move from than ever before.

72 MinistryToday January // February 2013



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By Jon Walker

Thinking Exponentially About Faith Do we really believe all things are possible with God?


few years ago Rick Warren and I were talking about faith, and he told me that faith in ministry includes setting goals so incredibly bold that you’re bound to fail unless God moves in a miraculous way. That conversation has radically transformed my faith—and my dependence—on God. The truth is, Jesus continually pushes us to a place where we have to choose for or against Him. When we step forward in faith, will we choose to remain independent of Jesus or will we choose to be totally dependent on Him? For instance, Jesus tells the rich young man to give away everything he has so he can follow Jesus as a disciple. The young man’s choice is not about the wealth. Rather, he must decide if Jesus is who He says He is and if Jesus will come through on His promises. Giving away his wealth is an irrevocable decision for the young man. If Jesus proves to be undependable, then the young man will find himself penniless and following a leader who doesn’t really know what He’s doing. If Jesus proves to be dependable, then the young man will no longer control great wealth, yet he will be dependent on a God who will supply his every need. Rick referred to this as exponential thinking. Is your faith based on what you think is possible or on God, who says all things are possible? Rick explained that even our prayers are small-minded when we limit our requests to only those things we think are possible. What would this mean in practical terms for your ministry? Perhaps consider adding a zero to every goal you set. Do you want to reach 100 for Christ in your community? Then set a goal to reach 1,000. Set a bold goal that is bound to fail unless God moves in a miraculous way. It is in the realm of the impossible that faith works. Rick told me, “Exponential thinking stretches us and forces us to see different ways to do what God wants us to do. Do you want to transform your community? Why stop there? Why not make it your goal to bring global glory to God!” I was there when Rick started writing The Purpose-Driven Life. At first he wanted to help Saddleback members understand that God created them for a purpose and would reveal it to them. But soon Rick began talking about a campaign called

40 Days of Purpose and how it could be used to reach the unchurched in Orange County, Calif. I was certain it could be done. But then Rick prayed about The Purpose Driven Life becoming an instrument of transformation across the nation, and the world. And then I was certain: Rick had eaten too many fish tacos. Keep in mind he was just a local church pastor at that time. Was he crazy? During 40 Days of Purpose at Saddleback, we baptized 671 new believers, added almost 1,200 new members and increased average attendance by 2,000. We launched 2,400 small groups in Orange County that engaged 25,000 people in a study about God’s five purposes for them: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and missions. When we offered 40 Days of Purpose to other congregations, more than 1,500 churches in all 50 states reported to us that thousands of people were coming to Christ and being baptized, welcomed into church membership and connected to small groups or Sunday schools. They were experiencing real worship and fellowship, being equipped for ministry, and going out for mission in the world. Congregations reported healings in relationships and new unity, vision and purpose among members. You are not just a local church pastor. You are a minister called by God to bring glory to Him here on earth. Your qualification for doing this rests on one thing: your faith in Jesus. Exponential faith-thinking is not about making wild and random claims on God. It is about focusing on Jesus, doing what He tells you to do and trusting He will make the way no matter how impossible His direction seems. I challenge you to think exponentially in faith when you consider your church and to think on a godly scale about how you and your staff could help usher revival and renewal into your community. As Rick would say, “See what God has to say about this—and then believe Him for big, big things.”

“Set a bold goal that is bound to fail unless God moves in a miraculous way.”

74 MinistryToday January // February 2013

J o n W a l k e r is managing editor of Rick Warren’s “Daily Hope Devotionals” ( and the author of Breakfast With Bonhoeffer and Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship.

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Ministry Today January/February 2013  

Serving rising leaders within the church by empowering them with effective tools for Spirit-led ministry. Guest editor: Rick Warren, author...

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