I don’t know a single pastor who does it for money. There are so many easier ways to make money. Believe me, if you want to make money, don’t be a pastor. But a lot of media think that the pastors are in it for the money. Every one of them I know would serve for free if they could.

Rick Warren on reverse tithing
Kay and I became reverse tithers. When we got married 30 years ago, we began tithing 10%. Each year we would raise our tithe 1% to stretch our faith: 11% the first year, 12% the second year, 13% the third year. Every time I give, it breaks the grip of materialism in my life. Every time I give, it makes me more like Jesus. Every time I give, my heart grows bigger. And so now, we give away 90% and we live on 10%. That was actually the easy part, what to do with the money--just give it away, because I'm storing up treasures in heaven.

Warren’s Repentance and New Passion

On the other hand, though, I said, "What do you want me to do with the influence?"--which was a trickier thing. All of a sudden I start to get invitations. I spoke at Harvard and Cambridge and Oxford... All of a sudden I’m going up on Capitol Hill and talking to guys. Producers in Hollywood are asking me to come up and discuss the book with eight or nine major studio producers.

Rick Warren on using his influence
This wasn’t my plan. My plan was just to pastor Saddleback and train pastors. So I’m going, "God, what am I supposed to do with all of this new influence that you are giving me?" I’m reading through the scriptures trying to find an answer, and I find Psalm 72, which is Solomon’s prayer for more influence.

When you read this prayer it really sounds quite selfish. Solomon is the wisest and wealthiest and most powerful man in the world, because he is the head of the United Kingdom of Israel when it is at the apex of its power. He prays, "God, I want you to make me more influential. I want you to bless me and give me more power. I want you to make me famous. I want you to spread the fame of my name to many nations."

It sounds selfish until you understand he says, "So that the king may support the widow and orphan, care for the poor, defend the defenseless, lift up the fallen, release the captive, help the foreigner, the immigrant."

God said to me, "The purpose of influence is to speak up for those who have no influence." That changed my life. I had to repent. I had to say, "God, I’m sorry. I can’t think of the last time I thought about widows or orphans. They aren’t even on my agenda."

"Always being in the spotlight blinds you."
Read more on page 3 >>

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