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Sunday, January 3, 2010

 

Pastor asks for $900,000 gets millions

January 03, 2010 10:29 AM

Rick Warren asks for $900,000, gets $2.4 million

ERIKA I. RITCHIE
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

LAKE FOREST – In what Pastor Rick Warren called radical giving, Saddleback Church members not only heeded his call to quickly raise $900,000 but exceeded it by at least $1.5 million.

A packed church erupted today in applause and cheers when Warren made the announcement at the 4:30 p.m. service. By New Year’s Eve, church members brought $2.4 million to the church, a tally that does not include mailed donations, Warren said.

“This is pretty amazing,’ Warren exulted. “That’s a record. I don’t think any church has gotten a cash offering like that off a letter.”

"We're starting the new decade with a surplus,” he said. “It came from thousands of thousands of ordinary people. There was not one big fat cat.”

The outpouring started Wednesday after Warren posted a message on the church’s Web site appealing for donations to overcome a $900,000 shortage in collections.

Men, women and children flocked to the church, stuffing donation boxes so rapidly that security guards emptied them every 30 minutes.

On Friday night, Warren issued an update on the church’s Web site, calling the outpouring “history-making” and urging his flock not to miss the weekend services.

“I can't wait to share with you what happened this week,” Warren wrote. “It speaks volumes about you, the depth of commitment in this fellowship, and where God is taking us in 2010 – our 30th Anniversary year. I'm simply calling this week's message ‘The Miracle.’”

The money will go toward the church’s ministries, including feeding more than 200,000 families, helping orphans and supporting bible studies and small group ministries.

Warren addressed some of the criticisms associated with media reports in recent days, suggesting that many are unaware of how a church operates. He also added that his letter was directed at the Saddleback Church members.

“I knew critics and pundits would misunderstand this,” he said. “We have never asked outsiders to give to the church.”

Warren reiterated an earlier message to the church members explaining what led to the financial shortfall.

“The cause of our financial shortfall was not a management issue but simply by the way Christmas occurred in this year’s calendar,” he said. “After 10 packed Christmas services, and with Christmas Day on Friday, many people were out of town or too tired to come back for weekend services, so the unusually low attendance created an unusually low offering. That is understandable.”

He called on his flock to remember that radical giving does not only mean giving monetarily. He reminded them to give of themselves and of their heart in the coming year.

“Thank you Lord that you took ordinary people and do ordinary miracles,” he prayed closing out the service.

Article Tab : Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church said that by New Year's Eve, church members brought $2.4 million to the church, a tally that does not include mailed donations.

Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church said that by New Year's Eve, church members brought $2.4 million to the church, a tally that does not include mailed donations.


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