Didn’t know if you heard about the book cover contest for Rick Warren’s next book – the deadline is this weekend and the contest is being run through 99designs. The top prize takes $5,000 and gets their cover on a book expected to sell over a million copies. As of now there’s about 750 entries, and I know there’s a bunch of graphic design wizardry out here in the youth ministry world. Here’s my favorite, and enter today!


This fall we’re headed into a church-wide campaign called Life’s Healing Choices, based on Beatitudes. The series will really help focus adults into Celebrate Recovery and students into Life Hurts, God Heals groups. You can join us, too! Hit the link for more details:

Did you know that Jesus’ Beatitudes are one of the most effective teachings on the topic of personal spiritual healing and renewal in the Bible?

Now those teachings are available this fall in a brand-new, 8-week church-wide spiritual growth campaign called Life’s Healing Choices and the experience will transform your church. Join Rick Warren and Saddleback Church for this 8-week journey on the Biblical road to total spiritual renewal for every member of your community.


I just realized that in my last post I referenced a 5-year plan, then in a search of my blog archive I realized I’ve never articulated it here before. This isn’t exhaustive by any means, I should probably save this to drafts and scour my moleskin for more detail, but oh well. Here’s the plan of focused attack in the first 5-years in HSM, each building on the previous year’s goals and success:


  • Observation – see where the ministry is currently strong and weak
  • Team assessment – see who the players are, figure out capacity


  • Invitation – invite everyone to get on the bus
  • Reorg - put the players in the right position
  • Weekend service – make in entry-level: understandable, fun, inviting, student-driven
  • Refinery – grand opening of our student building
  • Volunteers - make them the core of our ministry, eat dinner with them once a week for 3 months
  • Small groups – revamp, unify, experiment in The Refinery then homes


  • Communicationadd mass texting, update HSM blog in real-time
  • Discipleship – relaunch HABITS, connect it to small groups and weekend teaching
  • Student leadership – relaunch Student Leadership with campus emphasis
  • Ministry teams – overhaul ministry teams to serve the church
  • Response - start a response card system and followup process
  • Pre-steps to fellowship – the jump from the weekend to small groups is big, can we make it smaller?


  • Next step ministry – baptism, CLASS 101, Fresh Start
  • HSM LIVE - live stream our services
  • Track attendance and follow-up - thumbscan attendance swipe, automated follow-up
  • Hit the web – relaunch web presence, finally fully embrace social media
  • Missions – partner with PEACE projects world-wide
  • Upperclass Ministry - specific events, classes, trips for juniors and seniors
  • Local service projects


  • Parent ministry – website, newsletter and regular meetings
  • Take a deep breath … then fix everything that’s broken


Couple things on my radar this week that might benefit you, too?

1) I’ve been really enjoying the WORD2U verses that have hit my SMS inbox every morning courtesy of They’re way more consistent than VerseoftheDay on Twitter, and good reminders of Scripture on my phone.

2) If you’re interested, Saddleback is hosting a free live webcast of the Purpose Driven Network this week, starting Tuesday (8:15am PST) – Rick Warren will be teaching 5 new sessions called The Jesus Model: The Pathway to an Effective Life and Ministry.


Who Jesus Came For

 —  May 11, 2009 — 2 Comments

by Rick Warren, from this week’s sermon:

In my study of Gospels, I made a list of the people Jesus came for:

Jesus came for the chewed up, crossed off, crying out

The dropped out, edged out, fizzled out, and freaked out

The have nots, the held back, hung over, and knocked around

He came for the left out, the loaded down, and looked over,

The locked up, led astray, laid off, and let down

The messed up and the mixed up

He came for the passed over, the picked on, put down, pinned down and pushed around

The ripped off, the run down and the run over

Jesus came for people who are screwed up and the shrugged off,

The shut in and shut out

The smashed up, the stacked against, and strung out

Our Savior came for the torn up, thrown away, and the turned off

Those who used up and walked over,

The washed out, the worn out, the wiped out, and the written off

He came for you. And me.

Here’s what the most people read during the month of April 2009 here on


We played a clip of Pastor Rick talking about Susan Boyle in HSM this weekend … fit really well with the LABELS series. Here’s part of it that someone put on the web, you can listen to the full talk here.


Many fell in love with Twitter this week at the Purpose Driven Youth Ministry (PDYM) Conference, and I got a few requests for Xbox 360 Gamertags, too. Here’s a who’s who of the youth ministry team on both platforms here at Saddleback Church: