Tuesday, November 21, 2006

the end of the purpose driven organization

""Purpose Driven as an organization, in a sense, really doesn't exist anymore," Jon Walker, Saddleback's pastor of strategic communications, told CT


Purpose Driven carried out the first round of layoffs in July, while Warren preached in 14 countries across Africa and Asia. Saddleback leadership had hoped the cuts would be enough. Warren and his wife, Kay, even donated $2 million to cover a deficit at Purpose Driven and hopefully save a few jobs.

But a second round of layoffs couldn't be avoided. From a peak of 160 employees, Purpose Driven laid off 30 staff members while another 24 positions were eliminated through attrition."

- Christianity Today article


Steve K. said...

I see this as a very positive move.

What do you think, Stephen?

My further thoughts are here:

Steve K.

Stephen said...


About that Trip, Warren wrote to his church:

Dear Saddleback Family,

Tomorrow our team heads home from a three-nation P.E.A.C.E. plan tour of Germany, Syria, and Rwanda. Our trip began with a P.E.A.C.E. Plan briefing for 44 Christian missions organizations we’d gathered in Atlanta.

In hindsight, I wish we’d been better prepared for our visit to Syria. We would have handled some meetings differently, watched our words more closely, and been more aware of the agenda of their state press. We wanted to just slip in and out, but that’s nearly impossible for me to do anymore. It’s been a learning experience. Be sure to read the press release at the end of this note that gives you all the details.

Why did we go to Syria? The simple truth is that I was invited by my neighbor, Yassar. When we arrived, our first event was a home cooked meal with 20 of Yassar’s family. Then, we were shown many of the historical Christian sites in Syria: the road to Damascus where Paul was converted, Straight street where the Holy Spirit led Paul, the house where Ananias prayed for his healing, the wall where Paul was let down in a basket to escape the Romans, the tomb of John the Baptist and the oldest Christian church building in existence.

Next, my neighbor arranged for us to meet some key Christian leaders, Muslim leaders, and government leaders - including the president of Syria. Franklin Graham has had years of experience with Lebanon and Syria, so I asked him what to say to the Syrian President. Franklin told me, “Thank him for protecting the freedom of Christians and Jews to worship there.”

As we left, the official state-controlled Syrian news agency issued some press releases that sounded like I was a politician negotiating the Iraq war by praising the Syrian President and everything else in Syria! Of course, that’s ridiculous, but it created a stir among bloggers who tend to editorialize before verifying the truth. Does it seem ironic to you that people who distrust Syria are now believing Syrian press releases?

In our meeting with the president, I explained (as usual) the Saddleback P.E.A.C.E. Plan, and he gave us permission to send teams to Syria.

Friends, I am aware that inaccuracies, misquotes, and misperceived motivations get reported about me in the press daily. Most of the time, I just ignore them. Jesus said, "If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” (John 15:18 - NCV)

I love the paraphrase of Matthew 5:11-12 (Msg): “Count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.”

Just don’t believe everything you read on the Internet or hear in the media.

I love you all and I’m praying for this weekend’s FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OFFERING. I’m excited about getting back home to see you!

Pastor Rick

Stephen said...


It doesn't make sense to me and leads me to think that there was some organizational dysfunction somehow - I'm not making any accusations; it easily could have been innocent. And there may be facts I don't know.

That being said, let me speak from a business perspective. It's very common for businesses to be addicted to new strategies that they turn to prematurely before they've given an existing strategy time to be tweaked and improved.

A 40 Days of Purpose initiative in a church is useless if it ends after 40 days. It should have long-term repercussions and effects - unless it was just a "new strategy."

Similarly, the dearth of the Purpose Driven Organization just seems to fast in light of the sales of the book.

I'm not in any way depreciating - in fact I celebrate - what Rick is doing with PEACE. The two are not antithetical.