Fourth-Generation SBC Leader Releases Latest Video in Series to Challenge the Denomination for the Fulfillment of the Great Commission
LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Pastor Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church, best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life and Coordinator of the global Finishing the Task coalition, today announced the release of the third video in his series, “SBC at the Crossroads,” in which he addresses the unprecedented decline of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
Available now on SBCStand.com, Warren challenges that when you observe and listen to Baptists today, it’s apparent that many are unfamiliar with the roots of the denomination to which they belong.
“Many people assume that I’m making these videos simply about the question of women in ministry, but that’s not the case,” said Warren. “That issue was simply the precipitating event that uncovered a number of weaknesses that must be addressed. There are far, far bigger issues at stake here.”
Deeply concerned about the SBC’s 17-year denominational decline resulting in a loss of a half-million members last year, Warren asserts the SBC must recover the 7 unique distinctives upon which the Convention was founded 178 years ago that helped grow the denomination:
B – Bible as our Sole Authority
A – Autonomy of Every Local Church
P – Priesthood of Every Believer
T – Take the Gospel to the Whole World
I – Immersion Baptism for Believers Only
S – Separation of Church and State (to Guarantee Religious Liberty)
T – Training in Righteousness
“Let me be very clear; I’m not worried about the SBC’s survival,” Warren explained. “There are plenty of examples of other denominations that have continued to survive 50, 60 – even 70 years of decline – and are still limping along as a weak representation of what they used to be.
“I don’t doubt our survival, but I do doubt our effectiveness,” he continued. “I don’t want to see a formerly great denomination have no impact anymore, or at least reduced impact. For our denominational family to be renewed, revitalized, refreshed and revived, clearly there are some things that must change.”
Warren believes that if something is worth saving, you fight for it. To that end, he is scheduled to give a 3-minute appeal to SBC messengers from the Convention floor at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans on the afternoon of June 13, 2023.
To generate constructive dialogue and deliberation ahead of the Annual Meeting, Warren’s video series is one of many resources he has supplied on SBCStand.com. Other relevant news articles, videos and interviews include:
- What Other SBC Leaders Say: “Should Southern Baptists Be Paying Attention to Rick Warren?”
- Rick Warren in Baptist News Global: “An Open Letter to All Southern Baptists”
- A Critic’s Perspective: “Why I Believe Saddleback Should Be Reinstated to the SBC”
- Baptist News Global Opinion: “To Lose Dissent is to Lose the Church Itself”
- Baptist Standard: “Texas Baptists Celebrate Unity in Diversity on Women in Ministry”
To learn more about Pastor Rick Warren’s stand for the renewal, revitalization and revival of the SBC and/or be informed of the release of new videos, essays, interviews and articles, visit SBCStand.com.
About Pastor Rick Warren
Rick Warren is the founding Pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, which grew to over 30,000 weekly attendees across 19 locations, including four international campuses and via streaming online, hosting listeners from around the world. He currently serves as Coordinator of Finishing the Task, a global coalition of churches, denominations, Christian organizations, mission agencies and media working together toward the Great Commission goal of ensuring that everyone everywhere has access to a Bible, a believer and a body of Christ by 2033 A.D., which will be the 2,000th anniversary of Jesus’ resurrection and the foundation of the Christian church.
In May 2023, Warren was installed as first-ever Chancellor of Spurgeon’s College of London, the leading evangelical college in the United Kingdom, founded by esteemed Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Warren has a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist College, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
A. Larry Ross
A. Larry Ross Communications
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.