Saddleback Church has launched what leaders are calling its largest and most ambitious plan ever to expand the mega-church’s ministry.
Pastor Rick Warren describes The Daring Faith Campaign as the church’s most faith-stretching, world-impacting and God-honoring plan in 35 years.
“I’m going to stretch your faith, I’m going to challenge it,” Warren told his flock at the campaign’s launch 10 weeks ago. “We don’t grow in comfort. Growth is often uncomfortable. The result is blessing, maturity and answered prayers.”
A week ago, Warren’s congregation responded during his Victory Sermon at the church’s main campus in Lake Forest, pledging to raise $71 million over the next three years to take Saddleback’s reach beyond its already global impact. About $7 million has already come in as cash donations. The Children’s ministry – students from Kindergarten to 6th grade – raised $20,156 by donating more than 600,000 coins. The campaign is Saddleback’s eighth and largest.
“Seventy-one million dollars!” Warren said during the service, counting up lighted boxes that each represent $1 million. “That will reach thousands and thousands in Christ. Do you know anything bigger in your life? What’s more important than that? … We want to see people in heaven from every nation.”
Over the decades, Saddleback has grown to include 10 Southern California campuses averaging 27,000 weekly worshipers and 7,500 small groups meeting in homes, according to church statistics. Church leaders have trained more than 400,000 churches worldwide in the purpose-driven strategy. International campuses have sprung up in Berlin; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hong Kong; and South Manila, Philippines.
But the church has a new goal – 40,000 weekend worshipers by 2020, it’s 40th anniversary. They will open 10 more Saddleback campuses in Southern California. PEACE centers – such as the one on the Lake Forest campus providing assistance locally with food, medical help and counseling, are being planned at existing campuses such as Anaheim and Capistrano. In those areas the centers will work with nearby Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Mission Regional Hospital to provide care for local families in need.
Technology and member-know-how will be used to keep worldwide members and outreach connected. A three-story Global Training Center will be built at the Lake Forest campus. It will be sort of a mini-college where members will be schooled in the arts, music, seminary and leadership.
The church will reach out to an estimated 3,000 small tribes, mainly in places like Africa, South America, China and Russia to spread their message and bring them to God. Members will be mobilized and work with other churches to get the message of Christ out to those who have never heard it.
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SOURCE: The Orange County Register