This letter is to those of you who’ve attended Saddleback services for a long time, but have never accepted my invitation to join our church family and become a member who enjoys the benefits of belonging to Saddleback, not just attending services.
I’ve got a Christmas Gift for you that I hope you’ll accept today!
TOMORROW, Saturday morning, December 15, at 8:30 a.m., I’m going to personally teach a special Class 101: BETTER TOGETHER just for you. I don’t want another year to end without you becoming an official member of our family. We love you . . . we want you . . . you’re already a part of us . . . so this is a class for you, and for a few other ‘stragglers’ who’ve never gotten around to taking our membership class.
I wrote Class 101 over 30 years ago, and I taught it once a month for years. IT’S MY FAVORITE THING TO DO as your pastor. But once we went to multiple services, I had to stop teaching it.
This weekend, I’ve asked an outstanding guest speaker, author Kyle Idleman, to preach SO YOU AND I CAN DO CLASS 101 TOGETHER TOMORROW!
Here’s what I want for Christmas: I want YOU to take Class 101 and become an official member of our Saddleback Family.
An Attender is a spectator . . . a Member is a participator
An Attender is a consumer . . . a Member is a contributor
An Attender is part of the crowd . . . a Member is part of our congregation
I’m personally teaching this class because I care about you. Click HERE to sign up.
AND, if you’d like me to BAPTIZE you after the class, you can sign up by clicking HERE.
Here’s a story from a couple in Colorado who will be coming to this weekend’s Class:
“We just finished watching the online sermon tonight with Pastor Rick. We heard that Pastor Rick will be teaching the Class 101 next Saturday morning at Lake Forest, so we signed up! We have airline, hotel, and rental car reservations confirmed and will be arriving in California on Thursday morning, and leaving on Saturday night after the service. We believe God is leading us to complete this class and make a further commitment to Saddleback Church before we launch our extension group in Denver in January.”
Last weekend, I promised to send you my sermon on Purpose Driven Giving. If you’d like to listen to that sermon, click HERE.
I hope to see you tomorrow morning!
November 21, 2012
Dear Saddleback Family,
Grateful people are happy people. In contrast, ungrateful people are miserable people.
So . . . if you want to increase your happiness, develop the attitude of gratitude. It is the #1 habit of happiness. And you can always find something to be thankful for!
THIS THANKSGIVING, I'm so thankful to Jesus
... for our family we call Saddleback
... for our forgiveness from every fault and failure
... for our freedom we enjoy in America
... for our future we'll share forever in heaven
1. I'M FEELING GREAT! The pain that doctors thought might be a symptom of something major turned out to be easily relieved once they figured it out. Getting to the solution, and being referred to ten different doctors in the past month, seemed to waste a lot of time in my view, but even that had an upside to it! Unable to work much until doctors resolved the pain, I decided to not fight the delays, but instead to just treat all the waiting as a VACATION in my mind. So, while the doctors worked on my physical condition, I used the time to recharge myself emotionally and spiritually ("Make the most of every opportunity" Eph. 5:16). This weekend will be my last weekend off.
BOTTOM LINE: I'M RESTED, RECHARGED, and READY for Christmas and the 2013 New Year!
2. TWO EXCITING BACK-TO-BACK WEEKENDS
CREATION WEEKEND (Nov 24-25) Five of the most brilliant minds on the planet will teach this weekend at our annual apologetics conference on Creation and Intelligent Design. It will equip you to know the scientific facts behind the biblical account of creation. Click here to read the speaker bios and for service times and locations.
AFTER THE SUNDAY NIGHT SERVICE: JOIN ME FOR OUR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY!
COMPASSION WEEKEND (Dec 1-2) I've seen the preparation that all of our volunteer and staff teams have been making for this event, and I've been blown away by the creativity! This will be an inspirational Mt. Everest. I can't wait for it. Click here for more information.
3.TV SHOWS NEXT WEEK! In preparation for our completely new What On Earth Am I Here For? campaign in January, I travel to New York City next week for a couple of days of media interviews. Please pray for me as I will be a guest next Tuesday and Wednesday on…
CBS THIS MORNING … FOX & FRIENDS … CHARLIE ROSE … CNN PIERS MORGAN … HANNITY …and several other TV shows.
Thanks and Giving go together! We thank by giving.
ON THIS THANKSGIVING DAY, I urge you to express your deep thanks to God by clicking here saddleback.com/giving and giving a Thanksgiving offering to Him. There are many wonderful ways you can honor God and help others at the same time. OR, when you come to thank God this weekend, bring a special Thanksgiving offering with you.
I love you!
Nov. 3, 2012
Dear Saddleback Family,
Ever wondered what it takes…
to get out of a dead-end job
where you feel stuck?
to get a promotion
over your peers?
to get hired
when so many others are competing for a job?
Do you know the SIX most-in-demand traits that employers look for in hiring?
All six are modeled in Joseph’s rise from prisoner to president in Egypt (Gen.37-50).
Don’t miss my message this weekend: “Standing Out At Work: the six traits that get you a promotion” based on the life of Joseph.
Blocktober- a huge success! Over 16,000 children and their parents enjoyed on Wednesday night! There were so many new families from the community Here’s the Orange County Register article on it: http://bit.ly/PuaGnx
Saddleback protects widows from land-grabs. Here’s an important Christianity Today article on what our Justice Task Force (a part of the PEACE Plan) has done in Rwanda: http://bit.ly/Ryapj9
Can you pick me out of this Halloween line-up of Orange County residents? (From another OC Register article “Halloween, Orange County Style”
If you know anyone facing a major decision…
or you have important choice to make very soon…
you need to know God's Eight Keys to Making the Best Choice from the Bible.
I'll share them this weekend in part 3 of "Doing Business With God."
Please bring a friend. This information will save you and your friend from a lot of pain!
IT’S VISION WEEK AT SADDLEBACK!
Tuesday or Thursday Gatherings at 7 p.m., Lake Forest campus
All other campuses see our schedule below!
I can’t wait to see you at a VISION NIGHT this week!
Anyone who’s been around Saddleback for years knows that the most inspiring gatherings we have are our semi-annual VISION NIGHTS.
“God’s Vision for Your Life Mission”
is our theme for our Fall 2012 Vision Night.
You’ll learn how to maximize God’s blessing on your life, family, and work!
You’ll hear the “for members only” inside scoop of what God is going to do in your life and through your life in the days ahead.
You won’t need caffeine for the rest of the year! Buckle up!
Saddleback has always been a history-making church. In fact, the current bestselling book, The Power of Habit, has an entire chapter on Saddleback, comparing the similarities between the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and Saddleback as two world-changing movements.
WE’RE GOING TO MAKE HISTORY AGAIN!
... and you don’t want to be left out, do you?
Imagine if you’d been invited to sail on the historic Mayflower
...or were one of the few privileged to sign the Declaration of Independence
... or you had the opportunity to march alongside Martin Luther King, Jr.
You would NOT want to tell your grandchildren, “Yes, It’s true that I had that opportunity to be a part of making history...
... BUT I was too busy and tired that night so I stayed home and missed the blessing!” You’d regret that decision the rest of your life.
Now, Saddleback once again is embarking on another history-making adventure. You may have missed out earlier ... but you are here now!
You were made for your Life Mission!
It’s why you are alive ... here and now!
Join me either TUESDAY or THURSDAY, 7 p.m., at our Lake Forest Campus.
Corona – 6:45 p.m. at the Corona Library
Huntington Beach – 7 p.m. at the Church Offices
Laguna Woods – 6:30 p.m. at Clubhouse 5
Rancho Capistrano – 7 p.m. at The Ranch
Irvine – 7 p.m. at Northwood High School
MON., October 29
Anaheim – 7 p.m. at The Grove
DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAKE IT. I’m so excited to see you!
P.S. For those who come to Vision Night, I’m going to give you a free copy of my NEW EXPANDED EDITION of PDL: WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR? before it arrives in bookstores for the Christmas season!
October 17, 2012
Dear Saddleback Family,
An unprecedented opportunity this Friday!
1. THE OC ENTREPRENEUR & BUSINESS SUMMIT!
Oct 19, 9 am to 4 pm
- Take your business to the next level!
- Improve your profitability!
- Start up, speed up and scale up a new business!
- Learn from world-class business leaders!
Steve Case, co-founder and former CEO of America Online (AOL) Named “One of the nation’s greatest entrepreneurs” by CNBC.
Lynda Resnik, founder of household brands like Fiji Water, Teleflora, and POM Wonderful. Named in “Top 50 U.S. Women Business Owners” by Working Woman's Magazine
Michael E. Gerber, world renowned author of The E-Myth Revised.” Named “The World’s #1 Small Business Guru." by Inc. Magazine
Mark Burnett, producer of 7 of the top 15 TV shows currently in America, including The Apprentice, Survivor, The Voice, Martha Stewart, Combat Missions, and Shark Tank (business start-ups). Named “Marketer of the Year” by BrandWeek
“Pastor Rick, I’m bringing 7 business associates with me to this event! Thanks for making it so easy to invite my business partners!” JT
Join the brightest business minds at our Lake Forest Campus. Invite every entrepreneur and small or large business owner you know! Register at ocsummits.com.
Getting God’s Vision for Your Life
2. FALL VISION NIGHTS!
Next week: Tues, Oct 23 or Thur. Oct 25, 7 pm
- How to make your life count, leave a legacy, and fulfill your calling!
- Don’t waste your life: Be a history-maker!
- Learn how God intends to bless our CALEB GENERATION (those over 40) and our TIMOTHY GENERATION (those under 40)
If you missed Part 1 of Doing Business With God watch it here . This new series will equip you to succeed for God’s glory in your work and career. See you this weekend for Part 2!
October 2, 2012
Dear Saddleback Family,
OCTOBER WILL BE AWESOME!
OCT. 6-7 Christine Caine! She'll be speaking on Courage to Let Go of Your Past this weekend! One of the most captivating and inspiring speakers on the planet, Christine is from Hillsong in Australia and speaks all over the world. I heard her speak to a packed Royal Albert Hall in London and was amazed at her story. If you were inspired by Nick Vujicic, you're going to be blown away by Christine!
OCT. 10 TEDx Conference! Once again, I'm co-hosting and will be the closing speaker at this all-day conference at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. This year's theme is "REDEFINING RELEVANCE." Get tickets here: TEDx TICKETS
OCT. 13-14 DOING BUSINESS WITH GOD series begins! This highly anticipated six-week series will revolutionize the way you think about your job, your career, and your work in general. It's one of the seven key areas of life that we're covering in Decade of Destiny. (We've already had series on physical health, spiritual health, and financial health. Now we move to your vocation health).
This series will show you how to find your best career fit, how to maximize your job, how to get promoted, and how to be more creative, Christlike, and successful at work.
You'll spend one-third of your life at work. Don't you think God wants you to make the most of it?
OCT. 19 O.C. BUSINESS SUMMIT ON SMALL BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP!
Need some practical help for improving the profitability of your business? Or have you always dreamed of starting your own business? You'll learn how at this event! As part of our Doing Business With God series, I've planned a one day seminar at Saddleback Lake Forest with four of America's most effective entrepreneurs:
Steve Case: Founder of AMERICA ONLINE and many other successful ventures that made billions and enabled Steve to do so much good around the world through his Case Foundation.
Lynda Resnick: Founder of FIJI WATER, TELEFLORA, and POM WONDERFUL the pomegranate drink sensation. She's written a brilliant book on marketing and is a generous philanthropist.
Michael Gerber: Author of THE E-MYTH, the classic book on entrepreneurship that is one of the bestseller of all time! Inc. magazine calls him "The #1 guru for entrepreneurs and small businesses."
Mark Burnett: The Hollywood genius who has created SEVEN of the most popular television shows including Survivor, The Apprentice, The Amazing Race, The Voice, Shark Tank, etc. I will interview my friend Mark via simulcast. Mark has just completed a major series on the Bible that will be broadcast in 2013 on The Discovery Channel.
This all-day event on Friday the 19th will be GREAT to bring your unchurched coworkers and business associates to. The content will offer practical advice that every business person can use.
OCT. 23 & 25 VISION NIGHTS! I am so eager and excited to share with you what God has shown me about your life and our future together. I will share details about how I believe God intends to bless and use our CALEB GENERATION (those of us over 40) and bless and use our TIMOTHY GENERATION (those of us under 40). Please put one of these dates on your calendar now. It will be the most inspirational event of 2012.
OCT. 31 BLOCKTOBER! The biggest party of the year! On Halloween night, our Lake Forest Campus turns into a magical fun-filled carnival with every kind of game, ride, and fun food to eat. Thousands from our community enjoy this exciting evening every year. Start inviting all your neighbors with kids to this event. Can you guess my costume for this year?
I'M THANKFUL FOR YOU! I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but let me tell you how much you mean to me:
I'm thankful for your prayers during my hospital stay last week.
I'm thankful for your incredible response to my message on "Courage to Follow Your Calling." I was deeply touched by your commitment cards that were turned in, your comments, and your willingness to let God use you! One example: Richard, an 80 year old man in our church, is going to Berlin for three months as a "scaffolding team member" to help start Saddleback Berlin. Now there's a Caleb! If you missed that message , please watch it here: Courage to Follow Your Calling
I'm thankful for a church with the faith to do things no other church dares to do. Please pray for me this week as I teach and tape two of Oprah's Lifeclass shows on "What On Earth Am I Here For?" She is going to broadcast them the first two Sunday nights in January at the kickoff of our next 40 Day national campaign!
Don't Forget to Register to Vote! There are 52 million Evangelical Christian adults in America (that's 26 % of voters . . . the largest group). In 2010, 30 million Christians didn't bother to vote (58%)! And 10 million didn't even bother to register! If you don't vote, don't complain. Your right to vote is your responsibility to vote. This is your last week to register. Do it here:
Register To Vote
October is going to be an unforgettable month! I love you all.
September 27, 2012
Dear Saddleback Family,
Thank You for Your Prayers! I am always overwhelmed by your love and loyalty.
Honestly, every pastor I know dreams of leading a church family like you. You are without a doubt, the most spiritually mature, unselfish, generous, and loving people on the planet.
Since one out of every nine residents in South Orange County attends Saddleback, I literally cannot go anywhere without bumping into you . . . but I LOVE talking with you.
Now that I'm home from the hospital, let me give you a full update.
A week ago today I began having unrelenting pain in both arms and numbness in both hands. I saw two doctors but when it got worse one night Kay drove me to the hospital. Of course, the doctors wanted to rule out the worst possibilities first: a stroke (brain) or heart attack (heart). I am happy to report that it was neither problem and, after three days of heart and brain evaluation, tests confirmed that (contrary to my skeptics) I do have both a heart and a brain! As you know, doctors often have to play a game of elimination in finding the cause of a physical malady and they'll continue to do that since my pain has not abated. I was actually able to offer the closing prayer this morning at the City of Anaheim Annual Prayer Breakfast but have been advised to rest for the rest of this week.
This incident graphically illustrates once again why our Purpose-Driven church strategy is FAR MORE EFFECTIVE than Personality Driven churches.
Most churches are "driven" (guided and controlled) by either a single strong personality leader or a group of strong personalities (a board) that micromanage every decision of the church. The downside of a personality-driven church is that if the leader gets sick, or dies, or retires, the church typically goes into a tailspin because the leader controlled everything. In the 32 years I've pastored in Orange County, I've witnessed many personality-driven churches collapse when the leader got sick or collapsed.
BUT NOT YOU! Because we have empowered YOU and EVERY member to be a minister, the influence, power, trust, and ability to make smart decisions on the spot (without a permission-giving bureaucracy to slow things down) are widespread. Even if I had been in the hospital a full month, it would not have slowed down or limited our ministries at all!
This is because we are PURPOSE-DRIVEN . . . and once a member understands our purposes and values, we trust them to make wise decisions. The church never skips a beat even if our leaders are incapacitated for a while. During this past week, the ONLY things that had to be delayed were the VISION NIGHTS that I was personally speaking at. EVERYTHING ELSE keep on humming and moving, not skipping a beat or missing any opportunity. That made me so happy!
Let me give you two examples of how being purpose-driven has made out church incredibly strong. First, an old example: In 2002, I locked myself in a room for nearly seven months, writing 12 hours a day to produce The Purpose Driven Life book. During those seven months, in all practical ways, Saddleback was without a senior pastor. I simply wasn't available. I led no staff meeting, held no decision-making meetings, and only preached two weekends: Christmas and Easter! Yet during those seven months, the purpose-driven system we had installed kept everything running smoothly, and the church actually grew with 800 new members – who joined without even having seen the pastor!
Here's a more recent example: One of our computer tech staff members was at our Rancho Capistrano campus installing some computers. A fire safety team walked in and said "You have some overgrown trees on this campus that are creating possible fire hazards." Our computer tech staff member remembered a staff meeting where I had authorized all staff to make smart decisions when a delay was unwise. Here's what I'd said to our staff: "I want you to remember that our Saddleback Policy Manual only has two rules: Rule #1- Knowing our vision and values, every Saddleback Staff member should use his own best judgment in making decisions. Rule #2-There is no Rule #2. See Rule #1!
Remembering this, our computer tech staff member went outside with the fire safety team and told them exactly what branches to trim on each tree, and even where to stack the wood!
When the fire safety team asked "Don't you need to take this to a committee or something?" our staff replied, "Well, it's not my area, but I know that Pastor Rick and the elders wouldn't want to delay on a fire hazard, so I authorize you to do it!" BRILLIANT!
Now, the "personality driven" model works OK in a small church that moves slowly, but Saddleback outgrew that kind of church by 1985. Today, with literally thousands of events, programs, ministries, and mission outreaches going on simultaneously all around the world, there is no way any single individual, or any single board, could micromanage all that we do. Even I, as the senior pastor, don't know everything that is going on in our church! When people ask "Then, how do you control it?" my answer is simple: "I don't! It is the Holy Spirit's job to control the church, not mine!" Every church must decide whether it wants GROWTH or CONTROL – because you can't have both. We decided a long time ago that it is better to be messy yet see thousands of lives transformed, than to try to control everything so it looks nice. In the Book of Acts, we see the uncontrolled spontaneous growth of the church. That is the kind of ministry Saddleback has had since it began . . . and it will continue because of the high-trust relationships we've build in our church family.
Wayne Cordeiro is one of the greatest pastors, speakers, and authors alive today. Wayne founded the great New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii, and he is also my dear friend. When I realized that I wasn't going to be able to teach this weekend on "The Courage to Face Your Weaknesses," I immediately knew that God had a better plan. God wanted you to hear Wayne teach on this important topic. So I picked up the phone and called Wayne in Hawaii. And, to show you the kind of amazing leader Wayne is, he immediately got another pastor to fill in for him so he could fly here and teach us this weekend. You cannot afford to miss one of Christianity's greatest and most loving communicators speaking this weekend at Saddleback.
Are You Registered to Vote? Did you know that a majority of Christians do not even take the time to register and vote, while many anti-Christian worldview groups register up to 97% of their voters? YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO VOTE. People died to give you the freedom to vote. Don't take that lightly. Pick up a voter registration form on the patio at any Saddleback campus this weekend. You only have a couple days left to register to vote.
If you missed any of my summer messages, it's not too late! During the summer, we covered three vitally important series for your life: You Make Me Crazy (how to handle difficult controlling people in your life), Creating a Positive ID (discovering who you really are in Christ), and Uncommon Courage. If you missed any of the messages, you can watch them online AND share with your friends. Just click on the titles below:
You Make Me Crazy!
Six Keys to Peace in Relationship
Who's Pushing Your Buttons?
Boundaries and Your Relationships
Finding the Love of Your Life
Breaking Free From Abuse
You Can't Please Everyone
The Solution for Religious Crazymakers: More Jesus, Less Religion
Keeping the Crazymakers from Making You Crazy!
Creating a Positive Identity
Do You Know Who You Are?
Facing My Insecurities
Winning with the Hand You're Dealt
Learning My True Identity in Christ
Life Without Limits (featuring Nick Vujicic)
Standing Courageously for the Truth
The Courage to Keep Going
Courage to Follow Your Calling
Thanks for your prayers!
September 20, 2012
A NOTE FROM PASTOR RICK
Your life is too important to waste!
Take the time to ask yourself 5 critical questions:
Am I really in the career that's best for me?
Am I using all of my talents in my current work?
Is my current job fulfilling God's calling on my life?
Isn't it possible that God created me for more than what I'm doing now?
What factors should I consider for my first job, my next job, and after retirement?
Jesus taught that God CALLS EVERYONE to a unique and particular "vocation." In fact, the word vocation comes from the Latin word for "calling."
In October, we start the next module of our Decade of Destiny study on the 7 Key Areas of Your Life. The series will be called "DOING BUSINESS WITH GOD" and it will be an in-depth look at what God says about your calling, your work, and God's principles for profit and success in what He calls you to do in your work.
This weekend, I teach "THE COURAGE TO FULFILL YOUR CALLING" at all of our campuses.
If you are out of work, would like your job to be more fulfilling, or are already thinking about your life post-work, this message will help you immensely.
See you this weekend!
I'm praying you'll have the COURAGE to bring a friend to service with you.
Dear Saddleback Family,
Ever feel like giving up?
Life is hard.
Things rarely go as planned.
We all have losses, defeats and problems that won’t go away no matter how much we work, learn and pray. In those moments we ask the WHY questions:
Why did this happen?
Why don’t you do something?
Why aren’t you answering my prayer the way I want?
This weekend I’ll teach you “Courage to Keep Going: 6 Lessons from the Life of Job.”
The Book of Job is filled with the insights you need to keep going.
Don’t miss this weekend! And bring a friend who is facing a tough time.