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Posts tagged ‘Orange County California’

Rick Warren: Ordinary Leaders, Extraordinary Dreams.

Saddleback Church

Have you ever stopped to think that our ability to dream is a God-given gift? God has given us the power to be creative, to dream, to visualize, to plan. It is a powerful force that can be used for either good or evil.

Napoleon said, “Imagination rules the world.” Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Every great achievement in ministry or any other area of life happened because somebody dared to dream. I firmly believe that nothing starts happening until somebody starts dreaming.

In church leadership you often start off with big dreams, but as you get into the hard work of ministering, your dreams shrink to the size of the situation. Tragically, circumstances tend to shrink our dreams. So periodically, we need to be stretched. We need to learn how to dream bigger.

The history of Saddleback Church is a testimony to the power of a God-given dream. Our vision was crafted from the very first message I preached at Saddleback on March 30, 1980. We had 60 people in a trial-run service, at which I described our church vision as being a dream that included:

  • Sharing the gospel with hundreds of thousands of residents in South Orange County
  • Twenty thousand members growing together in spiritual maturity through Bible studies, seminars, retreats and fellowships
  • Sending out hundreds of career missionaries and church workers all around the world
  • Sending out our members by the thousands on short-term projects to every continent
  • Starting at least one new daughter church a year
  • Fifty acres of land on which we’d build a regional church for our community with beautiful yet efficient facilities

When I shared that with approximately 60 people whom I’d never seen before in my life at the very first service, some of them said, “Fat chance! How in the world will 60 people grow to be a church of that size? How are we ever going to get land in the Saddleback Valley at the price that it costs?” and so on. Amazingly, we surpassed that initial God-sized dream a long time ago, and we’re still growing.

Great things can emerge from small, humble beginnings when God is in the middle of them. But you’ve got to start with a dream. If you’re going to lead a church, you must be a dreamer.

The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Faith begins with stretching your imagination. It begins with visualizing the invisible. We cannot accomplish the impossible until we first see the invisible. Faith begins with catching a dream, a vision. It is “perceiving as real what is not revealed to the senses” (Heb. 11:1, AMP).

William Carey was the first modern missionary. When no one else was going around the world, Carey felt called to leave his home in England and go to Burma. Everybody who knew him told him he was crazy. But Carey boarded a boat and left for Southeast Asia, and the rest is history. His words have guided me through life: “Attempt great things for God. Expect great things from God.”

Everybody needs a dream for life, and every pastor needs a dream for the flock. It is a psychological necessity. If you’re not dreaming, if you don’t have a goal for life, if you don’t have a dream, if you don’t have a vision, you’re dying. We develop our dreams, and then our dreams develop us. I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a great person or a great pastor. I believe there are only ordinary people and ordinary leaders committed to extraordinary dreams. When an ordinary person is committed to a great, God-inspired dream, it makes that person a great person.

If you want to be healthy, you’ve got to have a dream to live for, and God expects you to use your imagination. Don’t simply borrow the dream of another leader, but don’t fail to let others inspire you as you seek the dream God has for your ministry.

Church leader, keep dreaming. Decide today that once you start, you’re going “all in” and you’re committing the very life you live to seeing the dream become reality!

Written by Rick Warren

Rick Warren founded Saddleback Church, one of America’s most influential congregations, and the PEACE Plan, which networks more than 400,000 churches globally to solve the world’s biggest problems. He is the author of several books, including his most recent title, What On Earth Am I Here For?


Crystal Cathedral’s Robert Schuller Diagnosed With Cancer.


Rev. Robert Schuller

Rev. Robert Schuller

The Rev. Robert Schuller, founder of Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, Calif., has been diagnosed with cancer.

The 86-year-old is undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer, which has spread to his lymph nodes.

His daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, made the announcement during a recent sermon.

In a statement posted online Wednesday at the Hope Center of Christ, doctors said Schuller could live for two years with radiation and chemotherapy.

Schuller launched Hour of Power in 1970. Approximately 10 years later, Schuller’s church completed construction on the Crystal Cathedral.

He resigned from the ministry’s board in 2012, two years after the church filed for bankruptcy.



Do We Really Need More Churches?.

BellevuebaptistchurchfrontThe most important question any church planter can ask is “Why am I planting a church?” I have had some conversations with some great guys lately who I think are really struggling with that question.

All of us struggle with why we are in ministry on Monday morning, but we need to evaluate our motivation on a bigger scale. Let’s look at what I think are some lousy reasons to plant a church and then share a great reason I recently heard.

First, the lousy reasons:

“I want to reinvent church.” This one comes in a lot of flavors, but it always comes down to the bottom line of, “I have a better way to do church.” More hymns, no hymns, pews, no pews, more art, more coffee, more beer, less structure, less formality. We’re going to be radically sold out. We’re not going to cater to Christians. We’re going to go deep. We’re going to go wide. We’re going to be a church for people who absolutely abhor the awful church that I’m currently drawing my paycheck from.

The church doesn’t need you to reinvent it. God may lead you to do ministry a little differently (though almost all of the “new, fresh, casual, relevant” churches tend to look exactly alike), but that is not a reason to plant a church. The church is not a canvas for you to express your individuality. The church is God’s idea, and He’ll let you know when it needs to be reinvented.

“I’m looking for my next ministry job.” The church staff business is a tough gig these days. There have been a ton of layoffs, and there are some amazing people who are no longer employed by a church or are looking for a new place to work. But that isn’t a reason to start a new church. The church is not a union shop, and we don’t need more so we will all have a job.

“There are no good churches in the community where I want to plant.” I would bet that almost every community in America has at least one good church. If you want a humbling exercise, search for churches on a map of your area. (Here’s a link to a search of Orange County, Calif., where I currently live. The churches are the red dots that look like measles.) Not every church is life-giving, but I bet at least one is.

So, why would you start a church? I was talking recently to a church planter in the Northwest. He said the reason he started a church was because his friends were going to hell and he couldn’t think of a better way to bring them to Jesus.

He said that once all of his friends are saved (he’s personally led many of them to Christ in the six years since he started the church), he would probably go do something else. As he told me this story, tears welled up in his eyes; he can’t stand the thought of his friends facing eternity without God.

We don’t need any more churches in America, but we are woefully short of life-saving stations. If you just want to start another church, please go somewhere that needs one. If you can’t stand the thought of people going to hell from your community and you are convinced that starting a new church is the only way you can reach them, let me know how I can help.

Written by Geoff Surratt

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Southern Calif. shakes from another earthquake.

YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) — No damage has been reported from the second of two moderate earthquakes that shook wide areas of Southern California.

California Institute of Technology seismologist Kate Hutton says the latest quake at 9:33 a.m. Wednesday quake was a magnitude-4.5 and was centered two miles northeast of the Orange County city of Yorba Linda. The quake’s magnitude was revised several times.

Seismologists also slightly revised Tuesday night’s Yorba Linda-area quake to magnitude-4.5.

Yorba Linda is about 35 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.


Associated PressAssociated Press 

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