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The Purpose Driven Church: Every Church Is Big in God's Eyes Hardcover – November 14, 1995


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The Purpose Driven Church: Every Church Is Big in God's Eyes + Thus Saith The Lord: How to know when God is speaking to you through another (Inner Strength)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (November 14, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310201063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310201069
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The thesis of The Purpose Driven Church is that when churches think first about their health, growth is sure to follow. "If your church is healthy," writes Rick Warren, "growth will occur naturally. Healthy, consistent growth is the result of balancing the five biblical purposes of the church." These five purposes are to "Love the Lord with all your heart," "Love your neighbor as yourself," "Go and make disciples," "[Baptize] them," and "[Teach] them to obey." And those purposes can only be accomplished, argues Warren, when church leaders stop thinking about church-building programs and shift their focus to a "people-building process" involving fellowship, discipleship, worship, and evangelism. Warren, the founder of the fastest-growing Baptist church in American history, has taught seminars to thousands of pastors from all over the world, many of whom have successfully implemented his techniques.

From the Back Cover

What Drives Your Church? "The Purpose-Driven Church has brought focus and direction to more pastors and church leaders than you can count. What a gift! I can’t imagine anyone who’s serious about the church not reading it." John Ortberg Author of Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them

"After reading The Purpose-Driven Church in 1995, I ordered twenty copies for my staff and elders. Eight years later, the message and strategy contained in this work are as significant and relevant as ever." Andy Stanley Senior Pastor, North Point Community Church

"In 1985, I heard Rick present the contents of this book in a seminar format. As he spoke, for the first time I imagined leaving my teaching career in higher education to enter pastoral ministry. My heart was won by Rick’s vision of the Church driven by her God-given purpose—rather than by doctrinal arguments, denominational competition, or institutional survival. That vision has been alive in me ever since, and you can catch it too, through these pages." Brian McLaren Pastor, Author, Fellow in Emergent (Emergentvillage.com)

"One hundred years from now church leaders will be studying the movement known as ‘purpose driven’ churches. They will find Rick Warren as its architect and The Purpose-Driven Church as his blueprint." Erwin Raphael McManus Founder of Awaken and Lead Pastor of Mosaic

"Although the actual form of ministry may look different from different types of people, there are extremely critical principles within this book that we all need to know, no matter what generation or philosophical mindset we are involved with." Dan Kimball Author of The Emerging Church and Pastor of Vintage Faith Church

Discover What Business Leaders Can Learn from the Church "The best book on entrepreneurship, business, and investment…" Rick Karlgaard Forbes Magazine


More About the Author

Rick Warren is often called "America's most influential spiritual leader." He and his wife, Kay, founded Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, which is now one of the largest and best-known churches in the world. He also wrote the #1 all-time bestselling hardcover book, The Purpose Driven Life.

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Customer Reviews

This book was very informative.
Margaret Castle
A book that I would recommended that all church leaders both old and new need to read.
Amazon Customer
I just hope not doing too much damage as churches have split over these books.
N. J. Spencer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on October 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I find it hard to rate this book accurately. I have read few books that have been more helpful in the realm of practical church life. Warren skillfully presents a blue-print on how to grow a healthy in church in which the five purposes (which are presented Biblically) of worship, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, and evangelism are held in balance. The steps to take are practical and clear. Add to that a plethora of helpful common-sense tips to improving logistics in working with both the visitors and members of your church. This book is full of helpful ideas.
HOWEVER, the demerit of the book is its rather shallow Biblical basis. I believe that the five purposes Warren presents are biblical. I believe that the concept of moving people from membership to maturity to ministry to missions is biblical and very, very well developed. And I was impressed to see that Warren's church uses a church covenant and practices church discipline. I simply wish he had given a better biblical defense for these things. There are points where it seems like the author is taking Scripture out of context to defend a point - evidenced by his excessive use of paraphrases of Scripture. He should have used a literal translation and stuck to what the text actually says.
I also highly disagree with Warren's approach to music. He probably goes a bit overboard on the seeker-sensitive side of things, although I admit many of the things he says are non-moral, non-biblical, common-sense issues.
I was helped by reading this book. I have the sense to know that I can't apply everything Warren says in my own church culture and tradition, but there are some things any one can apply. I say, buy this book and read with discernment. As long as you don't make a Bible out of it, you will probably benefit greatly.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
There has been a movement among missionaries and mission boards to encourage indigenous churches rather than merely exporting our culture to the rest of the world. The argument runs that the Gospel must always be enfleshed or embodied in a people and its culture. We cannot deny that the Good News of Jesus Christ must be spoken in particular human languages. Forcing Africans to worship like Scotsmen, does a disservice to African culture and the Gospel.
As I read Rick Warren's book, the Purpose Driven Church, I thought about this current trend in mission. Whether we like it or not, Rick Warren's Saddleback Church is a church indigenous to Southern California at the end of the twentieth century. Warren has attempted to translate the Gospel into the language of young, suburban professionals. As Paul quoted Stoic poets on Mars Hill, Rick Warren can comfortably quote Peter Drucker and utilize the marketing techniques of Starbucks. Anyone interested doing ministry in this culture can learn something from this book, especially if we take Rick Warren at his word--"Read this book like you'd eat fish: Pick out the meat and throw away the bones" (pg 71).
That being said, there is a danger. As the Gospel is expressed in culture, it must also critique the culture. Our sinfulness is pervasive, and the Gospel should expose the evils of our culture for what they are. Rick Warren subtitles his book, "Growth Without Compromising Your Message and Mission," but on several instances he compromises the Good News to the culture.
For example, we live in a self-segregated society. We routinely segregate white from black, rich from poor, and young from old. The Purpose Drive Church perpetuates these separation by slavishly focusing on target audiences.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Teresa on January 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
According to Warren, "If your church is healthy, growth will occur naturally." His main purpose for writing the book is to provide the necessary information to build healthy churches. Warren relates his thoughts in five sections: (1) "Seeing the Big Picture" (growing deeper through discipleship), (2) "Becoming a Purpose-Driven Church" (growing through ministry), (3) "Reaching Out to Your Community" (growing through evangelism), (4) "Bringing in a Crowd" (growing through worship and fellowship), and (5) "Building Up the Church" (growing through discipleship and ministry). Some of Warren's points seem obvious. For example, Warren states that a pastor "must be loving" towards people -believers and unbelievers alike (212), and that a church ought to have an "atmosphere of acceptance" (210). Warren had many good suggestions for reaching the "unchurched." For instance, he recommends that churches place "newer translation" Bibles in pews and during the sermon announce the page number so as to not embarrass visitors (297). He also shares that sermons ought to be based on the "needs, hurts and interests as human beings" in order to have "common ground" with unbelievers (295). Though there are many helpful points to Warren's book, his emphasis seems to be on making the "unchurched" feel comfortable (257). He promotes "seeker sensitive" services without traditions, and expects sacrifice from church members in order to accommodate unbelievers. It appears the main focus of Warren's agenda is to bring in new converts. This is a worthy task; however, it would be interesting to see if "old members" view this as a personal form of neglect. Warren claims, "Strong churches are not built on programs, personalities, or gimmicks," but his model for growing his own church falls into this realm (83).Read more ›
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