Rick Warren's Second Reformation

The first reformation of the church was about creeds. The next will be about deeds, says the purpose-driven pastor.

In Part II of this exclusive interview with Rick Warren (read part I), the author of "The Purpose-Driven Life" talks about his hopes and dreams for pursuing the "Jesus thing to do"--helping the poor across the world.

What is your dream?

Rick Warren on
a second reformation

I’m looking for a second reformation. The first reformation of the church 500 years ago was about beliefs. This one is going to be about behavior. The first one was about creeds. This one is going to be about deeds. It is not going to be about what does the church believe, but about what is the church doing.

The reformation of deeds is part of a larger trend. Do you think fighting poverty and disease are trendy? Is this just the latest thing that's going around?

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I don’t know if it is trendy or not. I just know that God is calling on my life, that three years ago when the book came out the three major things that happened were the success of the book and the affluence and influence that came with it. In one quarter it earned $9 million (in royalties) alone. So I’m going, "OK, God, I don’t need this money... What are you doing with this? I don’t need this. I’m a pastor." And I certainly don’t think God gives you money or fame for your own ego.

I went to scripture and God gave me two passages, 1 Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72. In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul is talking to pastors about money and their salary and he says, "Those that teach the Gospel should make a living by the Gospel." In other words, it is OK to pay your pastor. "But," he says, "I will not accept that right because I want the free rein to serve God for free so that I am a slave to no man." And when I read that, I said that is what I want to do. I want to serve God for free so that I am a slave to no man. So three years ago, [my wife] Kay and I made five decisions.

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