Common Myths about Purpose Driven

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Robin

Puritan Board Junior
What is PurposeDriven?


The most common myths about Purpose Driven

It's just for churches following the latest style"
Purpose Driven does not mean chasing after quickly fading fads. PD is about being biblical and eternal. The five purposes, rooted in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, will never go out of style. The five PD purposes are based on the commands Jesus said were essential to the church.

"PD is limited to boomer seekers."
Purpose Driven is not about a particular style; rather it´s about balancing the purposes and establishing a target group to evangelize. There are literally thousands of varieties of PD churches: post-modern, ethnic, language group, cowboy, singles-focused, artists, surfers "“ and even traditional. There are PD churches targeted for the Builder generation, Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennial Gens -- and these congregations are located all around the world.

It's a 'seeker sensitive' approach."
Purpose Driven is not a seeker-sensitive approach. It does use a seeker-targeted strategy for evangelism (one of the five New Testament purposes), but PD does not require any specific method for evangelism or even a seeker-oriented worship service. There are thousands of PD churches that DO NOT have seeker-oriented services. It is a very flexible church health model that allows congregations to employ a variety of formats for evangelism.

"It's not my worship style."
Purpose Driven is not about a particular worship style. Your church can be liturgical, traditional, contemporary, country, charismatic, multi-sensory, or casual. The Purpose Driven model supports you as your church matches the worship style of those you are targeted to reach in the community. In other words, if your congregation is targeted for senior adults, then you might offer a very traditional worship service or a Big Band-styled ensemble to lead worship.

"It's only for bigger churches."
Purpose Driven is one of the most effective church planting strategies being used today. And that means that many, many PD congregations are very small in the beginning. But our research shows that successful PD churches come in all shapes and sizes. The Purpose Driven strategy focuses on balance, health, and strength, not size. There is no correlation between the size and strength of a church. PD is a church-health emphasis, not a mega-church program.

"It only works in a locale that..."
Purpose Driven churches are located in all sorts of settings: rural, small town, suburban, urban, inner city, jungle, war zone. It is not limited to a Southern California setting, either.

It needs to be denominationally approved."
Purpose Driven´s strategy dovetails easily into the polity of many denominations. We often describe it as a computer chip that can be used in any form of computer. Purpose Driven churches exist in more than 100 different denominations and associations.
http://www.purposedriven.com/en-US/AboutUs/WhatIsPD/7

:um:

Let's all get on the same page with what Rick Warren thinks his curriculum is about.

???

r.

[Edited on 11-12-2005 by Robin]
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
There is plenty here to which one might reasonably object.

1. Where in the NT is there any example of demographically targeted evangelism? The very idea of congregations that are demographically, ethnically, or economically homogenous strikes at the very heart of the errors plaguing the Corinthian congregation.

2. The PDL/PDC is just another Law. They amount to the sort of "basic law principle" of this world to which Paul objected in Colossians.

3. Should we be kind to visitors and should be we concerned about the lost? Of course! We're Christians. We ought to love our neighbor and seek his well being, which includes his salvation. That congregations ought to seek anything other than glory of God through the proclamation of the law and the gospel, the administration of the holy sacraments and discipline is another thing altogether. RW has his "marks" and the Reformed churches have theirs. I prefer the latter thank you.

4. The only "format" the Scriptures know for "evangelism" is a minister standing in the pulpit proclaiming the foolishness of the gospel. There is a place for private witness (John 9- I'm teaching a series in the Adult Catechism class on this very topic this month) but that isn't the same thing as "evangelism." Every member is not a minister. Every member is a Christian and that's plenty responsibility for most folk (see Heidelberg Catechism Q. 32).

5. Show me a single place where the Apostles showed the least concern about the size of a congregation.

6. The very fact that the PD "works" (Charles Finney lives!) in multiple denominational settings should give us pause. What hath Geneva to do with and Oberlin?

rsc
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by R. Scott Clark
There is plenty here to which one might reasonably object.

1. Where in the NT is there any example of demographically targeted evangelism? The very idea of congregations that are demographically, ethnically, or economically homogenous strikes at the very heart of the errors plaguing the Corinthian congregation.

2. The PDL/PDC is just another Law. They amount to the sort of "basic law principle" of this world to which Paul objected in Colossians.

3. Should we be kind to visitors and should be we concerned about the lost? Of course! We're Christians. We ought to love our neighbor and seek his well being, which includes his salvation. That congregations ought to seek anything other than glory of God through the proclamation of the law and the gospel, the administration of the holy sacraments and discipline is another thing altogether. RW has his "marks" and the Reformed churches have theirs. I prefer the latter thank you.

4. The only "format" the Scriptures know for "evangelism" is a minister standing in the pulpit proclaiming the foolishness of the gospel. There is a place for private witness (John 9- I'm teaching a series in the Adult Catechism class on this very topic this month) but that isn't the same thing as "evangelism." Every member is not a minister. Every member is a Christian and that's plenty responsibility for most folk (see Heidelberg Catechism Q. 32).

5. Show me a single place where the Apostles showed the least concern about the size of a congregation.

6. The very fact that the PD "works" (Charles Finney lives!) in multiple denominational settings should give us pause. What hath Geneva to do with and Oberlin?

rsc

:ditto: well said, Dr. Clark!

Very keen on out-sourcing his "theology seminars," you DID know that Warren is going after the Modern Reformation movement? Right?

He called his rally over at Edison Field, recently, the "New Reformation."

For what it's worth,

r.
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
The comment about PD being able to fit into any system reminded me of this excerpt from an editorial in World Magazine called "œPacked But Still Empty." The excerpt is describing an interview with sociologist and mega-church pastor Leith Anderson:

[Leith Anderson] points out that today, one can go into a church (especially a megachurch) of nearly any denomination"”Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Wesleyan, Lutheran"”and be unable to notice any difference among them. They all are likely to use the same praise songs and contemporary worship style. The sermons will tend to be about practical biblical tips for successful living, and go light on doctrine and sin. Also, all of these different denominations tend to use Sunday-school curriculum and other material from the same nondenominational publishers. These companies purposefully avoid all controversial issues and doctrinal distinctives, which would limit their market share. As a result, "generic Christianity" is erasing denominational differences and giving churches a brand-new theological framework. Mr. Anderson thinks this is a good thing.

Anyway, I expect where you find PD, there is a good chance you will find "generic Christianity" that is "light on doctrine and sin."
 

bradofshaw

Puritan Board Freshman
The biggest problem I have whenever I hear Rick Warren talk, is that his teaching always comes back to his gimmick, or catch phrase. One would think the sole counsel of scripture and the history of the church were in error prior to Warren's arrival simply for not discovering such a basic principle. He gives the appearance that he is less concerned about proclaiming the Gospel than selling HIS books and his unique formula for Chistianity.
 

crhoades

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by bradofshaw
The biggest problem I have whenever I hear Rick Warren talk, is that his teaching always comes back to his gimmick, or catch phrase. One would think the sole counsel of scripture and the history of the church were in error prior to Warren's arrival simply for not discovering such a basic principle. He gives the appearance that he is less concerned about proclaiming the Gospel than selling HIS books and his unique formula for Chistianity.

Marketing, baby! Solus Purposus.
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by R. Scott Clark
There is plenty here to which one might reasonably object.

1. Where in the NT is there any example of demographically targeted evangelism? The very idea of congregations that are demographically, ethnically, or economically homogenous strikes at the very heart of the errors plaguing the Corinthian congregation.

Do I detect a logical fallacy here? Note the subject shift from evangelism to congregations. Targeted evangelism is no problem. There is ample biblical precedent.

"and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel's sake, ..." (1 Cor. 9:20-23)

Sounds like targeted evangelism to me.

And I would say that racially/economically/socially "homogenous [sic] congregations" may not be desirable. Ironically, that description seems to fit Reformed denominations very well. From the white Dutch in the CRC to the white Southerners in the PCA.

Before we beat up Warren over the (possible) speck in his eye, we need to check the log in our own Reformed eyes.

Originally posted by R. Scott Clark

4. The only "format" the Scriptures know for "evangelism" is a minister standing in the pulpit proclaiming the foolishness of the gospel.

That's awfully western of you. I wonder where Peter found "pulpits" in the villages of the Samaritans (Acts 8), or Paul at the Areopagus of the Athenians. in fact I can't seem to find one single instance of Paul "evangelizing" from behind a "pulpit" in a church where he was the "senior pastor". Maybe he was too "purpose driven".
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
"Do I detect a logical fallacy here? Note the subject shift from evangelism to congregations. Targeted evangelism is no problem. There is ample biblical precedent."

Scott C. can of course speak for himself, but I think he is referring to the phenomenon of "niche marketing" among churches. Basically that is to create a church for a niche group. This is seen as evangelism in some circles, out of hopes that non-Christians who are part of that group will come.

Here is an excerpt from the Business Week article, Earthly Empires:
So successful are some evangelicals that they're opening up branches like so many new Home Depots (HD ) or Subways. This year, the 16.4 million-member Southern Baptist Convention plans to "plant" 1,800 new churches using by-the-book niche-marketing tactics. "We have cowboy churches for people working on ranches, country music churches, even several motorcycle churches aimed at bikers," says Martin King, a spokesman for the Southern Baptists' North American Mission Board.
Churches become sorts of cliques. Anyway, this seems to be largely a protestant problem. Catholics and Orthodox with parish systems mitigate this to a large degree. Niches are not normally an option, with exceptions such as churches with certain language or non-standard rites. These issues were also not as prominent under older established church models.

[Edited on 11-14-2005 by Scott]
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Scott

Scott C. can of course speak for himself, but I think he is referring to the phenomenon of "niche marketing" among churches. Basically that is to create a church for a niche group. This is seen as evangelism in some circles, out of hopes that non-Christians who are part of that group will come.

Thanks for the clarification on niche churches. I don't see anything in Warren's material that would suggest that is his approach. Quite the contrary. Thus my comment about confusing evangelism with congregations.
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by tcalbrecht
Originally posted by Scott

Scott C. can of course speak for himself, but I think he is referring to the phenomenon of "niche marketing" among churches. Basically that is to create a church for a niche group. This is seen as evangelism in some circles, out of hopes that non-Christians who are part of that group will come.

Thanks for the clarification on niche churches. I don't see anything in Warren's material that would suggest that is his approach. Quite the contrary. Thus my comment about confusing evangelism with congregations.

Tom,

Here is the link to CMS - a secular, marketing company that handles Saddleback and Purpose projects. Read carefully, the services and especially their client-base.

http://www.christian-ministry.com/aboutus_who.htm

Tell us where in the NT the Church is to employ worldly business practices to promote the Gospel?

Is Rick Warren's success really from God's blessing or worldly marketing? Hmmmm.....

:book2:

r.
 

Bladestunner316

Puritan Board Doctor
It just make's me sick to see modern churchianity so desperate to resort to world business practices to bring people into church. Keep the business world where it belongs. Keep the church where it belongs.

:2cents:
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Robin
Tom,

Here is the link to CMS - a secular, marketing company that handles Saddleback and Purpose projects. Read carefully, the services and especially their client-base.

...

Is Rick Warren's success really from God's blessing or worldly marketing? Hmmmm.....

Your rabid anti-Warrenism makes you go looking for secondary sources on which to criticize Warren. I am truly sorry for you.

I don't judge the basis for Warren's "success". I'm not that omniscient. "Now John answered Him, saying, 'Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.' But Jesus said, 'Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side.'" (Mark 9:38-40) With warnings like this from Our Lord, I'm obviously not smart enough to judge secondary sources or the basis of another's "success".
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by tcalbrecht
Originally posted by Robin
Tom,

Here is the link to CMS - a secular, marketing company that handles Saddleback and Purpose projects. Read carefully, the services and especially their client-base.

...

Is Rick Warren's success really from God's blessing or worldly marketing? Hmmmm.....

Your rabid anti-Warrenism makes you go looking for secondary sources on which to criticize Warren. I am truly sorry for you.

I don't judge the basis for Warren's "success".

Well, Tom, you're right -- we shouldn't use secondary sources. That's why I posted a primary source. You may also call or write Saddleback - they are proud of the CMS association. (CMS lists SB and PD, too.)

Plus, here is a link to the parent company CMS:

http://churchmanagementsolutions.com/products.htm

When a church prospers due to effective marketing, is it deceptive to claim growth is from the Holy Spirit?

:detective:

r.

Btw, CMS works for any church including Roman Catholic.

[Edited on 11-17-2005 by Robin]
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
"When a church prospers due to effective marketing, is it deceptive to claim growth is from the Holy Spirit?"

Hmm, I guess I would wonder if it would also be deceptive to have church programs on radio and TV and pay to have their services listed and advertised in Newspapers and the Yellow pages and then claim they are growing because of the Holy Spirit.

I mean, how could they claim it was the Holy Spirit leading their ministries if they are growing because of the effective marketing tools they are using?

So what is wrong with the way Warren markets his product? Which is by the way, just a book used to challenge Christians in their walk with God.

Is it wrong of him to explain to people how to develop their friendship with God?

Is it wrong of him to explain how to become bestfriends with God?

Is wrong of him to explain how to have a Heart of Worship for God? Or more to the point, explaining surrendering your whole self over to God.

Is it also wrong of him to explain how to grow through the temptations of life?
I mean, from the book:

points to Ponder

"Every temptation is an opportunity to do good."

Verse to remember: "God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will recieve the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

Question to consider: What Christilike character quality can I develop by defeating the most common temptation I face?

Chapter 27

How about Defeating Temptation

2 Timothy 2:22 or 1 Corinthians 10:13

Resist the Devil--James 4:7

"How do we resist the devil? Paul tells us put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The first step is to accept God's salvation. You won't be able to say no to the devil unless you've said Yes to Christ."

Point to Ponder: There is always a way out

Verse to remember: 1 Corinthians 10:13

Question to Consider: "who could I ask to be a spiritual partner to help me defeat a persistant temptation by praying for me?"

Is it wrong for him to teach accountability partners???

So what that it is marketed to any and every church out there, If it is challenging dead churches to come back to their first love who cares HOW it is being marketed? If all good things come from God, and this way of marketing is apparently pretty good, then how can one logically say it's not from God?

Do you even know if the owner of this marketing company isn't a Christian?

Maybe marketing is one of their talents, and God is using their talent to market these books and other Sunday School lessons. So what if they don't advertise as being a certain demonation, how many Christian business owners do?

[Edited on 11-18-2005 by BJClark]
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
This thread has me wanting to read the book just to see what all the hype is about.
 

Larry Hughes

Puritan Board Sophomore
Robin and Saiph,

This month's issue of Modern Reformation has an excellent series countering the PDC/PDL garbage titled "The Promise Driven Life". Excellent and chalked full of life giving Gospel.

I attended a few years back a Saddleback modeled church here in KY. I wouldn't recommend it to an enemy. It will either drive you to self-confidence or self-despair, the later being my experience very despairing.

L
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Larry Hughes
Robin and Saiph,

This month's issue of Modern Reformation has an excellent series countering the PDC/PDL garbage titled "The Promise Driven Life". Excellent and chalked full of life giving Gospel.

I attended a few years back a Saddleback modeled church here in KY. I wouldn't recommend it to an enemy. It will either drive you to self-confidence or self-despair, the later being my experience very despairing.

L

Bravo, Larry:up: Horton visited and presented that sermon, recently. WOW! The best rebuttal, ever. But, more than that....it was the high-beam, focus-light on the Truth of the matter: focus on the Gospel the Covenant; God's Promise. Not our belly-buttons; our works; our purpose; our S.H.A.P.E., SELF, SELF, SELF. (puke)

(I've completely had it with pastors that talk about themselves and exclude the knowledge of the true Jesus Christ, from the Scriptures.)

r.
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Robin

(I've completely had it with pastors that talk about themselves and exclude the knowledge of the true Jesus Christ, from the Scriptures.)

r.

And how long did you sit under RW preaching ministry until you left?
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Saiph
This thread has me wanting to read the book just to see what all the hype is about.

It seems that much of the hype is generated by a few individuals who are "purpose driven" in their pursuit of RW. Just look at the numerous threads and the source here.
 

CalsFarmer

Puritan Board Freshman
People crack me up.

Purpose Driven. My sister in law gave me the book. I tried to read it but could not figure out WHAT he was quoting..(later learned it was some sloppy goofball translation called the message) but not after I threw the book in a trash can. Literally.

Yeah yeah it's all about WHAT CAN GOD DO FOR ME and OH!!! Can He do MORE??????

How about What GOD HAS DONE FOR ME? HOW about THANKFUL TO GOD for what HE has done?????

:banghead::banghead::banghead:
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by tcalbrecht
It seems that much of the hype is generated by a few individuals who are "purpose driven" in their pursuit of RW. Just look at the numerous threads and the source here.
Tom,
I haven't had time to read all of the exchanges yet in the various RW threads. What is your view of RW's ministry? I gather that you're not in favor of painting his entire ministry with too big of a brush, but I don't think we should necessarily read that to mean that you give it a hearty endorsement. Are there things about the ministry in particular that you like? Just curious what your thoughts are.

Bob
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Tom,

I'm not for beating a dead horse either - it pains me how often the most unrelated of threads turn into Warren bashing when the word "purpose" is uttered in them - but Warren is certainly not a boon ot the Church. And you are aware that it is not required to sit under a man's ministry for years to see his errors.

Having said that, I too have been surprised by the deluge of anti-Warren threads of all stripes coming from Robin. Personally, I have better things to do. But that does not make Warren safe. A few relevant links:

Will Success Spoil Rick Warren?

A very interesting forum with Warren and David Brooks

Monergism's List of Articles/Links
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Tom,

I'm not for beating a dead horse either - it pains me how often the most unrelated of threads turn into Warren bashing when the word "purpose" is uttered in them - but Warren is certainly not a boon ot the Church. And you are aware that it is not required to sit under a man's ministry for years to see his errors.

Having said that, I too have been surprised by the deluge of anti-Warren threads of all stripes coming from Robin. Personally, I have better things to do. But that does not make Warren safe. A few relevant links:

Will Success Spoil Rick Warren?

A very interesting forum with Warren and David Brooks

Monergism's List of Articles/Links

Fred,

We approach every man's teaching by comparing it to the word of God. Warren has his good points and bad points, just like the rest of us. But I've seen enough suggestions and inuendo about Warren's teaching to give me pause. When folks need to stoop to the "a friend of my enemy is also my enemy" level there is a problem. It's quite clear that Robin completely twisted the quote of a "former Roman Catholic" to make it seem that Warren is leading folks back to Rome. How silly.

I would prefer to give Warren a fair hearing, and read his words in the best possible light rather than the worst. That doesn't seem to be the approach of the Warren bashers on this forum. Rather, they take the slightest item, blow it up out of proportion, and are ready to hustle poor Rick off to the pyre.

I expected better from reformed people, but some continue to disapoint. I guess the 9th commandment are just words on a page for some folks.
 
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