Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life has taken his gifts of strategic thinking and communication to the next level. When I read his first book, The Purpose Driven Church, years ago I thought to myself, "This is so simple, why hasn't anyone else written this book?" The book truly added no new information to the existing studies of church growth, but what it did do was take the information and made it simple, practical, and doable. Likewise, he is the first to admit that the information in his mega-bestselling book The Purpose Driven Life was nothing new, yet he was able to put the information in a way that it sold more copies than nearly any other book in history.
The genius of Rick Warren is his ability to take complex problems and abstract ideas and turn them into simple and measurable action plans. This is why Riverside is embracing his vision of The P.E.A.C.E. Plan to combat the five Global Giants of our world. And, yes, we do believe it is the church's responsibility to address the giants of Spiritual Emptiness, Self-Serving Leadership, Extreme Poverty, Pandemic Disease and Rampant Illiteracy. To think that it is government's job alone to deal with these ills and the church's job is only to care about "saving souls for heaven" is to forget that Jesus healed a lot of sick people, comforted the poor and afflicted, exposed injustices, and provoked the wealthy and powerful to have compassion for the weak and helpless.
Anyone who gains such visibility and is audacious enough to create such a plan is going to be the target of criticism, and Rick Warren gets more than his share of that. But I am glad that he is using his gifts to help our generation of Christians and churches face these global giants as God enables us.
Tell me, what do you think of the P.E.A.C.E. plan?