The Purpose Driven Church (1)
Series Contemporary Concerns
The first of a two-part series assessing the ‘Purpose Driven Church', a programme introduced by Rick Warren, of Saddleback Church, San Clemente, Orange County, California. A programme comprising a set of ideas and assumptions, in theory to ensure your church grows.
In this first session we ask:
1: What is it about?
2: Where has it come from?
3: What are its principles?
Pastor Hand identifies the type of ministry and worship encouraged at Saddleback Church, and how its ‘seeker sensitive' approach owes much to the ideas pioneered by Bill Hybels from the church at Willow Creek, and also the influence on Rick Warren of Robert Schuller, from the Crystal Cathedral, also in Orange County. The ethos of this strategy is centred on meeting people's ‘felt' needs. It seems that part of strategy is to identify anything that might offend anyone seeking the truth and then get rid of it. Thus, for instance ‘sin' is rarely mentioned.
Saddleback in particular and others who have adopted the Purpose Driven ideas promote a very professional operational package, which involves a significant use of contemporary music.
Drawing from earlier ‘Church Growth' concepts, Rick Warren has sought to understand how already large churches became large. He also seems to ask the question “are you being faithful if you insist on communicating in an outdated style, and use methods that no longer work?”
Size and growth seem to have pre-occupied those who use the Purpose Driven philosophy.
|Jun 30, 2005