Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Global PEACE Plan

From Christianity Today:

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, is updating his ambitious PEACE Plan, a global strategy to fight poverty, disease, and corruption.

During the past four years, Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, has sent 7,766 church members on 1,002 short-term mission trips to “beta-test” new methods for church-based outreach in 68 nations. Warren has spent much of the last two years on overseas “listening sessions,” where local church leaders shared their views on his methods. “We learned 100 ways that don’t work,” he said, referring to his new approach to missions, which emphasizes church-to-church partnerships.

Originally, the PEACE Plan was an acronym for: Plant churches, Equip leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, and Educate the next generation. Critics derided it as a well-meaning, ambitious, and ultimately doomed attempt to impose from the outside a framework for solving chronic problems in places like Rwanda.

The next phase, which Warren calls PEACE 2.0, provides more than a tweak to the original plan. Warren has inserted “Promote reconciliation” in place of “Plant churches.”

Read entire article here.

Time Magazine comments as well:

Already established as perhaps the most important voice in contemporary American Evangelical Christianity, Rick Warren last week pressed the button that he hopes will take his “brand” to the ends of the earth. Almost offhandedly at the conclusion of a three-day meeting of 1,700 pastors that Warren later told TIME was “the most important conference of my life,” the author of the Purpose Driven Life threw open participation in his PEACE coalition to the wider Evangelical community. It was the Evangelical equivalent of a long-awaited IPO of a tech start-up whose brand the cognoscenti have predicted will become a global juggernaut: The PEACE coalition is a plan of epic ambition, to turn at least half of the world’s tens of millions of Christian churches into a giant “network of networks” dedicated to relieving the poverty and misery of the developing world.

Over the last four years, Warren has “beta-tested” his plan by sending almost 8,000 members of his own 22,000-member Saddleback Church congregation, and an undetermined number from 12 other congregations, to work in 68 nations. The flagship project has been in Rwanda, whose President, Paul Kagame, has declared his intention to make his country the world’s first “Purpose-Driven Nation.”


There was a peculiar offhandedness to the way Warren invited the conference, at the very end of the proceedings, to join his coalition — an approach that may reflect concern about getting drawn too deeply into the specifics of a plan that promises to be extremely complicated and possibly controversial. The PEACE program is an attempt to radically re-engineer Evangelicalism’s huge missionary culture, connecting individual churches in the U.S. to congregations in target countries rather than funneling aid and evangelism through agencies that send trained professionals into the field. One of the coalition’s theoretical benefits would be efficiency; another would be reach, since tiny churches exist in places that even the most dedicated missionary professionals don’t get to. Originally, Warren was aggressive in his critique of the big missionary agencies — but more recently, it has seemed likely that he will cooperate with them.

Read rest of article here.

This is both encouraging on one hand – the reconciliation emphasis sounds great – and potentially concerning on the other: will resources and support ultimately be withdrawn from aid agencies who have already proven their effectiveness as millions of Christians focus their resources into Purpose Driven efforts, and; how will the potential for corruption in local churches with sudden access to much increased resource be managed?

One thing is certain – Rick Warren may as a result of this become the most influential Christian in the world today.

8 thoughts on “Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Global PEACE Plan

  1. As long as there is no hidden agenda (which I highly expect there is (purpose-driven-nation?)), I suppose I’m all for it. It’s great when peoples lives change for the better.

    Only thing that concerns me, as mentioned tonight on one of ABC’s programs, the more food and support that comes in, the more kids they will have in places like Africa.

    This will be a HUGE project. I mean literally HUGE. we’re talking about governments, other religions and militia getting involved in saying ‘yes’ to do as Rick Warren says. I highly doubt places like Cambodia, North Korea, India, Burma, China and certain places in South America and Africa will cooperate.

    Until more info comes up, I don’t know what to think about it. I can’t help but think it’s all about him and his church. Plain and simple, his glory.

    Maybe he is sincere about changing the world. But when you look at Martin Luther and Junior, it wasn’t about them. It was about just doing it. They didn’t care if their name was tarnished or trashed. They made a stand. They were recognised not because they had the ‘look at me’ attitude, but because they wanted to see things change for the better and for God.

    I generally find my cynicism is right, unfortunately. Maybe I should watch more of ‘The Secret’. I’m bound to be as successful and influential like Rick Warren one day.

  2. This is a great site for examining the purpose-driven paradigm. Chris Rosebrough, along with Bob Dewaay had an opportunity to sit down recently with Rick Warren and discuss their concerns. Scroll down through the articles, quite interesting.


  3. Seems to me that it might be quite useful to understand the Purpose Driven paradigm, if its influence is going to spread even further – possibly to entire countries!

    Shame I had such a hard time stomaching the two Purpose Driven Life/Church books.

  4. Hmm,

    “…God, from whom all HELP comes”…great if he can get it to work- interesting why so many people are targeting Rwanda, rather than much closer, desperately needy neighbours, like Haiti; –there’s more to this than meets the eye folks.

    Economics is the actual hidden key to this situation; youre so right Teddy in seeing this as test-bed for the PDL agenda.

    Anyone who gets in and helps is ok in my book, though I generally concur with the last 2 notes.

    Otherwise, good!; bring on the Peace-Corps and get to work fellers!-[I hope they bring plenty of circumcision-equipment-,,,hope those 7000 act like Mother Teresa; whups, not a pretty equation!].

    Goodnight everyone,


  5. Thanks so much Teddy!-beautiful detective work.

    -Having seen Rick Warren in action at Hillsong 2 years ago, I found the preaching passionate though strangely not-touching; -astounded that he is apparently deliberately not teaching core elements of the Gospel.-A wise man in his position would most carefully analyse his ‘opponents’ scriptural objections, to bring greater harmony-even a Corporation should do that!- at least he had the decency to confront these gentlemen.

    -Gosh, I was only kidding about the circumcision thing guys, so am stunned to read the fellers’ Rwandan-AIDS comments in the “Abraham was right” blog.- sheesh!

    …ahhhh, sick in bed; neeed sleep.. here’s to Mother Teresa…


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