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You are one of the many pastors and friends I’ve known, served, or partnered with over the past 35 years. It has been my humble privilege.

I bleed for pastors, and I pray for pastors all the time. I understand the frustrations, share your hurt, and rejoice in your victories whenever you write.

Praying for other co-laborers in ministry is far more important than many of the things I do, because your ministry of pastoring – the calling to care for a local Body of Christ – is the greatest responsibility one can be given on earth. If you understand what life, the Cross, the Church, and the future are all about, you know that nothing else compares in significance. Period.

Today, our culture idolizes entertainment, sports, business success, political power, and prosperity. While these have their place, Jesus did not die for any of these things. He died for the people that you care for, feed, and lead.

Nothing matters more than the Church. We forget that the reason God created the entire universe is because he wanted a family, and that family is the only thing that will last forever with Him. Everything else on this planet is temporary, no matter how much attention it gets.

The upcoming U.S. presidential inauguration on Tuesday has received so much attention, and regardless of how each of us voted, we all can celebrate the historic installation of our first African-American President. To live in a free nation of unlimited possibility where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of leadership is a privilege we must never take for granted.

But, in God’s eyes, and in the perspective of his eternal purposes, what you are doing will actually last longer than what any political leader will do. Your ministry will impact eternity. Think about that! While no nation lasts forever, God’s family will. Remember, prominence and significance are not synonymous.

Why am I writing? To urge you to keep on, no matter what you’re facing right now. 30 years ago this week, as a 25 year old, I started Saddleback with a public commitment to stay 40 years. It’s never been without it’s challenges, but God-willing, I’ll fulfill my commitment to pastor this local congregation that I love so much.

Please pray that I’ll bring glory to God and represent all pastors well on Tuesday.

Never give up! Love God, and everyone else! Fear nothing on earth. Overcome evil with good!

Rick Warren
Saddleback Church
Purpose Driven Network
P.E.A.C.E. Coalition

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One Comment

  1. While I’d have to pretty strongly disagree for Rick’s stated reason for God’s creating the world, I do appreciate him and that fact that he would take the time to encourage pastors. I meet lots of guys that need a lot of encouraging. I also must say that the flaws I see in church (small c on purpose) leaders encourages me more and more toward to the Truth of scripture of the great Sovereignty of God. After all, weakness IS strength, isn’t it!? Have a great day, Sam!!


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