Head First: A Paradigm of Genuine Purpose?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Paradigm of Genuine Purpose?

I read an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer recently about Rick Warren (of Purpose-Driven Life fame). Apparently, he has come to believe that he's "hiding" in the comfort of his affluent suburban church and has been called by God to minister to the world's downtrodden, particularly in Africa. He has stopped taking a salary from Saddleback Church (and has given back all the salary he estimates they've paid him in the last 25 years!). Additionaly, he has adopted a "reverse-tithe" approach on the rest of his income. That is, he will keep 10% and give away 90% to the church and to three social-service foundations he established.

Warren believes the church is the leading change agent. "All the Wal-Marts and Starbucks and McDonalds put together don't compare to the church," Warren recently told a group of Philadelphia pastors. "And we've got more volunteers than anybody else does. Government doesn't have a billion volunteers. Business doesn't have a billion volunteers. This is what I'm talking about as the Second Reformation. It is the reformation of mobilization, mobilizing the latent talent of the church."

Could this be closer to what Christ intended His church to be? Or is this something else?

1 comment:

bob said...

"You can't outgive God!" Isn't that how the saying goes?

Yet, as I read the story of Rick Warren, I am convicted by the motives of my own heart.

I don't think we're supposed to try to outgive God. I think we're supposed to obey God with our giving. Obviously, that's what Rick Warren did.

It is apparent that he has been blessed beyond measure, financially. Some would say its a result of his giving. But I would say its a result of his obedience.

Think about it. How many people will read this story and decide, "I'm gonna give 90%, too! Then I'll be 'blessed' like Rick!" And they'll fall flat on their faces.

The widows mite is our evidence that it is not how much you give, but the heart with which you give it. Copying Rick Warren will not place a Christian any higher on God's prosperity network-marketing pyramid. But hearing from God for yourself and doing what He says will reap rewards beyond measure.

Why?

Becaise God sees the bigger picture (and He sees your heart...). His work is completed as "every joint supplieth". We each have a part to play in this "Second Reformation". It's the local church that is the key. Being an active part of a local community of believers will only help facilitate the purpose of God in the earth. 1 person cannot do it all. We each play a part, yet the part we play has nothing to do with us!! (Ouch!)

I believe this is the picture God has for His church... billions of different people, with different talents, walking in unity as they do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God.

IMHO.