Rick Warren in his book the purpose driven church was mandated to attempt to put in print the story of Saddleback church. From shear curiosity be both Jew and gentile most religious and business leaders had at least a cursory interest in how a church grew to 10,000 attendees. Call it divine intervention, a killer marketing plan, being at the right place at the right time, blind luck or a combination of them all. Spending 25 years in corporate America I view Rick Warrens approach to growing a church (or anything for that matter) as spot on. His due diligence (neighborhood survey) growth assumptions and overhead (17-19 locations) product (The Gospel) delivery and the, vision, purpose and organizational structure have delivered noticeable results by many measurement metrics. My biggest challenge is making this review last five to seven pages.
Pastor Warren applies a business/sales 101 technique as he clearly took the time “know his customer” His due diligence and strategy were consistent with many of the known demographics that made up the saddleback geographic footprint his church resided in. He then recognized that while all people were sinners and in need of salvation the commonality stopped there. (See human diversity matrix) The next piece of the saddleback puzzle was in place when the church purpose was forged. The goal to send out saints into the world to share the good news of the gospel was the focal point of every activity and program conducted. While this purpose is certainly in line with the scriptures as Christ command us toward the “great commission” the genius of the strategy is in the universal focus and synergy evident within the entire organization. Critics of Saddleback speak to Pastors Warrens interpretations of scripture and a message that some would categorize as watered down or meant to “tickle the ears”. In a world where “organized religion” has become a very counter culture moniker Pastor Warren attempts to remove religion and...
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