Home Podcast Rick Warren on the Kind of Preaching That Changes Lives

Rick Warren on the Kind of Preaching That Changes Lives

“I by nature am a ‘fire up’ preacher. But you can’t fire up every week or you are going to burn people out. You have to balance ‘hold up,’ ‘fire up’ and ‘build up’ messages so that there’s health.”

“I will be doing my final message as senior pastor the last week of August…And you know what? I decided I’m going to preach as a bookend the exact sermon I preached for the first sermon 43 years ago. So I’m going to end my 43-year ministry as senior pastor by repeating the message I preached to 60 people at a trial run service 43 years ago.”

“I’ve done more messages about building people’s faith than anything else. It’s my life message.”

“What’s changed in me is realizing more how similar people’s problems are.”

“Whether you’re a believer and unbeliever, you’re going to have the exact same problems. Both believers and unbelievers will deal with loneliness. Both believers and unbelievers will deal with fear. Both believers and unbelievers will deal with anxiety, anger, conflict and relationships. Both believers and non-believers will deal with depression. Both believers and unbelievers get divorced at the exact same rate. Christian singles and teens are sleeping together at the same rate that non-Christians are. The moral climate of the culture continues to decay…Churches are half empty, but God has said, ‘My Word will not return void.’”

“We have the most relevant message in history. We’re just irrelevant in the academic way we’ve been taught to share it. If I had preached the way I was taught in seminary, Saddleback would have never grown.”

“The reality is a lot of preaching appears to be returning void. It’s the style of preaching that has to change, not the content.”

“It’s easy to be biblical if you don’t care about being relevant, and it’s easy to be relevant if you don’t care about being biblical. The key is learning how to build a bridge between the text and people’s needs.”

“Forty years ago, a Christian might be biblically literate. Today, I assume a Christian is biblically illiterate.”

“It’s easy to be a Bible commentator. You like to live in the ‘then.’ And it’s easy to be a communicator if you just want to live in the ‘now.’ But to be a biblical preacher, you have to do both.”

“I used to think that you couldn’t speak to both [Christians and non-Christians] at the same time. I deny that today.”

“The key in any preaching is to find the timeless truth. And that is the universal principle that spans not only all time, but all culture.”

“What I learned pretty early on is some things I know about every audience, whether they’re Christian or non-Christian…I know everybody wants to be loved. Doesn’t matter if you’re Christian or non-Christian. I know that everybody wants their life to count. That’s what purpose is all about.”