You may have read the reports how Rick Warren's Saddleback Church was $900,000 behind in their 2009 receipts heading into the New Year. Rick Warren sent out a letter communicating this shortfall to the congregation, and they responded by giving $2.4 million in just a few days.
- Notice that Warren didn't try to guilt or threaten his people to get them to fork over the money. He didn't tell them to give it else they would go into debt. He didn't say our economy is a wreck because of their poor giving habits...and by golly he didn't even tell them to give it "undesignated". He just communicated the shortfall, and people responded. I do admire that. Didn't tell them they were robbing God if they didn't give.
- Said Warren in a Tweet Sunday morning: "Radically changed lives at Saddleback 'vote with their wallet' to show their love for Jesus. $2,400,000 CASH given midweek." There is something there that bothers me...that Christians, by writing a check to a mega church at the request of a mega church pastor who says the church needs a million dollars in two days....ARE SHOWING THEIR "LOVE FOR JESUS". Were these people really showing their love for Jesus in their gifts?
- Warren says there were no big contributors, but that every gift was less than $100. I have a hard time believing that. If the average gift was say $75, that means there had to be 32,000 gifts of $75 to reach $2.4 million. I find that VERY hard to believe, that there were no large gifts that contributed to the $2.4 million. Pardon my skepticism on this point.
What are your thoughts? Most churches in the SBC and others were behind double digit percentages in 2009, but Saddleback made their shortfall up quite easily - what is there to be learned in this?