Rick Warren opens up about the personal tragedy he’s experienced with the loss of his son, Matthew, the loss our culture has experienced and what he predicts will be a coming tsunami of grief as a result of everything people have been through.
Rick also explains how and why 2020 and 2021 have been the biggest and best years Saddleback has ever had and the opportunity the current moment presents to the church.
Note: Some of the details in this episode surrounding the death of Rick Warren’s son are deeply personal and listener discretion is advised with young audiences.
Welcome to Episode 409 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about how you know when it’s time to leave.
Pro Media Fire
Are you looking to grow your online campus?
You have two choices in 2021 when it comes to digital:
- You or a team member can work day and night to keep up with social media strategy that constantly changes.
- You can hire Pro Media Fire, and get an entire team of experts that keep up with the trends to help you grow online.
The choice is yours—bury yourself in social media work, or hire an entire team to help your online campus thrive.
With Pro Media Fire, you save time and grow online, while your digital team does all the work.
As a listener of our podcast, you receive 10% off at promediafire.com/carey.
Barna Cities – with Barna Group and Gloo
I know many church leaders, like you, are navigating massive shifts in culture and technology. It’s exhausting, but there’s hope.
Our friends at Barna and Gloo have been working hard to support pastors and church leaders like you.
Last year, Barna and Gloo launched an effort to equip the Church through the “State of the Church” research and toolkits. Over 25,000 churches benefited.
This year, Barna and Gloo are launching Barna Cities. It’s a year-long journey, and it’s uniquely local. With Barna Cities, you will have access to new local research from Barna, monthly forums and the City Toolkit which includes a full membership to Barna Access Plus with on-demand reports, insights and tools.
And, you’ll get GlooConnect—cooperative, always on ads that run across your city and make it easier for more people to discover your church and programs.
Barna and Gloo want you to know and move every person you serve—to connect people with your church and program that provides help and transformation.
Learn more at BarnaCities.com.
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Insights From Rick
1. In America, Christians no longer get their primary identity from either Jesus or the church but, rather, through politics
The politicization of American Christians is a terrible problem. Rick points out, “If you know anything about church history, you know that every time the church has gotten in bed with government, it got pregnant. And it was a bad situation.”
Rick cautions pastors and churches against taking a partisan stance as a church. Just don’t do it.
2. If you’re afraid to talk about race in your church, start building trust with your congregation first
So many pastors have avoided the conversation about racism in America out of fear of the backlash that they will receive from the members of their church. It’s understandable, but Rick recommends you start by building trust with your people. Everything in leadership is built on trust, and if you have enough trust with those people, they will follow you into difficult spaces, even where they might initially disagree.
Once you build that trust, Rick recommends you start asking minorities to regularly share their stories of racism with your people.
3. Grief will be a huge door to evangelism over the next few years
Rick is convinced that we’re going to go through a tsunami of grief over the next couple of years.
Many people have lost many things—loved ones, the prom, their graduation, the birth of their first grandchild and many even missed important funerals. There’s so many things that people have lost that, when it finally catches up and they realize what they’ve lost, there will be a lot of grief.
This grief is going to be a front door for evangelism in the next few years, because so many people are dealing with this. As a pastor, you need to find a way to prepare your church to reach the grieving people around them.
Quotes from Episode 409There is no success without growth. There is no growth without change. There is no change without loss. And there is no loss without pain. @RickWarren Click To Tweet Every time the church has gotten in bed with government, it got pregnant. And it was a bad situation. @RickWarren Click To Tweet Racism is a discipleship issue. Financial overspending is a discipleship issue. Political stereotyping bias is a discipleship issue. @RickWarren Click To Tweet In God's garden of grace, even broken trees bear fruit. @RickWarren Click To Tweet Sometimes getting up and putting one foot in front of the other is a successful day for a pastor. @RickWarren Click To Tweet Ministry is received not achieved. @RickWarren Click To Tweet Before you can give people the truth, you've got to show them that you love them. @RickWarren Click To Tweet All leadership is built on trust. If people don't trust you, they're not going to follow you. @RickWarren Click To Tweet You don't change people by laws. There's no law that's going to turn a bigot, a racist into a lover. @RickWarren Click To Tweet Many Christians started putting their faith in government to change society rather than the church. @RickWarren Click To Tweet You refill your cup by connecting with people you love. @RickWarren Click To Tweet You need to start treating yourself the way God does. @RickWarren Click To Tweet Routine develops resilience, and predictability creates stability. @RickWarren Click To Tweet The church has survived every dictator, every war, every pandemic. @RickWarren Click To Tweet We have to really remember that God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that we are to be peacemakers. @RickWarren Click To Tweet A passionless leader is an ineffective leader. Click To Tweet
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
DIDN’T SEE IT COMING WILL HELP YOU SOLVE THE PROBLEMS MOST LEADERS MISS
If you want practical help overcoming some of the biggest challenges leaders face, my book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That Nobody Expects and Everyone Experiences tackles the seven core issues that take people out: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and the emptiness of success and provides strategies on how to combat each.
I wrote the book because no 18 year old sets out to be cynical, jaded and disconnected by age 35. Yet it happens all the time.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here’s what top leaders are saying about Didn’t See It Coming:
“Seriously, this may be the most important book you read this year.” Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor, Central Church
“Powerful, personal, and highly readable. ” Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor, Hillsong
“Whatever challenge you’re facing, whatever obstacle you’re hoping to overcome, whatever future you dream or imagine, there is something powerful for you here.” Andy Stanley, Founder, North Point Ministries
“Uncommonly perceptive and generous…You have to read this book.” Ann Voskamp, NYT bestselling author
“Masterful.” Reggie Joiner, CEO Orange
“Deep biblical insight, straightforward truth, and practical wisdom to help you grow.” Craig Groeschel, Pastor and NYT bestselling author
“This book is sure to help you.” Daniel H. Pink, NYT bestselling author
Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author
“Nieuwhof’s book provides expert guidance…with an accuracy that pierces the heart.” Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc.
“A refreshingly transparent guide for all leaders in a wide variety of industries.” Bryan Miles, Co-Founder and CEO, BELAY
Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.
Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via
Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review
Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?
The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.
Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.
Thank you for being so awesome.
Next Episode: John Ramstead
John Ramstead shares leadership skills drawn from flight school and from the cockpit of F-14A Tomcat fighter jet and shares principles that apply to all crisis leadership. After suffering three life-altering injuries, John also talks about how to be resilient in the face of suffering and setbacks.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 410.