Home Christian News ‘I Love You All So Much’—Rick Warren Delivers Final Sermon As Pastor...

‘I Love You All So Much’—Rick Warren Delivers Final Sermon As Pastor of Saddleback Church

The pastor then laid out in five points what he referred to as a “blueprint” or a “charter” for what Saddleback Church would become and why it would succeed. Those points were:

  1. Doing God’s Word will be our foundation
  2. Fulfilling God’s purposes will be our plan
  3. Trusting God’s promises will be our confidence
  4. Depending on God’s Spirit will be our strength
  5. Loving God and people will be our attraction

To the first point, Warren said that applying God’s commands in our lives is essential to following Jesus. “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge,” he said. “The Bible was given to change our lives.”

The pastor compared people who merely study God’s Word to people who learn a lot about weight loss without ever changing their habits. Attending church and studying the Bible are not enough to grow as a disciple of Jesus. “You only believe the parts of the Bible you actually do,” said Warren. 

While Warren did not have time that morning to go into detail about the all of the purposes of God, he said God has five purposes that are summarized in the Great Commission and in the Greatest Commandment. These purposes are encapsulated in the motto of Saddleback Church: “A great commitment to the great commandment and the great commission will grow a great church.”

When it comes to trusting God’s promises, Warren cited John 14:12-14, which says:

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

The idea that Christians can do even greater works than Jesus is astonishing, but Warren said that God wants his people to dream and to take risks in faith. What Jesus is referring to is the power of prayer. “Let the size of your God determine the size of your goal,” said the pastor. 

Warren’s goals for Saddleback were grand indeed. Describing his vision for the church, Warren said:

It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the hopeless, the discouraged, the depressed, the frustrated, and the confused will find love, acceptance, healing, hope, forgiveness, guidance, encouragement, and support. It is a dream of sharing the life-changing good news of Jesus Christ with hundreds of thousands of residents in South Orange County. It is a dream of welcoming 20,000—yeah, I said it—20,000 members into the fellowship of this church family, loving, learning, laughing and living in harmony together, modeling God’s love to the world.