Rick Warren: We Seek Influence For Jesus

Speaker Info:

Rick Warren founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA in 1980. He’s the author of The Purpose Driven Life, with over 30 million copies sold worldwide.

Keep in mind, these are raw. I’ll be summarizing and organizing my thoughts over at ChurchMag at a later time. Meanwhile, here’s what I gathered from session one:

Going to talk about Moses.

  • Most influential person in the OT
  • Moses learns to be a somebody as a prince of Egypt
  • Then he learns to be a nobody.
  • Then God teaches him to be God’s somebody.

Moses is out tending his sheep.

  • Sees burning bush, which commands him to take off his shoes.
  • Bush tells him to throw down his staff– it becomes a serpent.
  • God tells him to pick the serpent up– it is a staff again.

God never does a miracle to show off.

Every miracle is a parable and every parable is a miracle.

God never asks you a question for his benefit.

  • He knows the answer, he wants YOU to know the answer.

This was the turning point in Moses’ influence.

The Staff symbolizes 3 things:

  1. Moses’ identity – Shepherds had staffs
  2. Moses’ income – It was a status symbol
  3. Moses’ influence – You use a staff to move sheep from point A to point B

God told him to lay it all down.

  • When he threw it down, it came alive.
  • Every time you pick it up it will die again.

Never again is that staff called Moses’ staff– it becomes the “Rod of God”.

Every one of the plagues was to make fun of the Egyptian gods (idols).

The power wasn’t in the stick, it was in the surrender.

What is in your hand?

What is your identity?

What is your income/status symbol?

What is your influence?

The starting point of all influence– you have to lay it down.

The Purpose Driven Life is the most translated and best-selling book in History (besides the Bible).

It wasn’t because Rick was good– it was because he laid it down.

“What is in your hand?”

What do I do with what God has put in my hand?

Rick Warren bought his watch at Walmart for $17.

Rick told one woman what he did with his money and she turned white. She was an African-American woman.

“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.”

Influence is determined by your faithfulness prior to it.

1 Cor. 9 and Psalm 72 – On stewarding affluence and influence.

The purpose of influence is to speak up for those who don’t have influence.

  • Speak up for those who can’t speak up for themselves
  • Nobody can speak up less for themselves than unborn children

[At this point my laptop died and I had to go Analogue. Good thing I packed my Evernote Notebook!]

Most of what missions organizations are doing over seas today are not doing what Jesus said to do. They think they’re helping, but they’re actually hurting.

Don’t build an orphanage, Orphans don’t need orphanages, they need families.

10 Things About Influence

1. Everybody has influence.

  • The question is, are you using it for good or bad?
  • A smile is the simplest form of influence.
  • Influence is not wealth, power, or status.
  • Influence comes from service.

2. Influence is not about you.

3. Influence is a stewardship

It’s both a privilege and a responsibility.

On Judgement day we will give an account for every useless word we speak.

Never ask for influence when you aren’t spiritually ready for it.

  • Kony 2012 is an example. Jason Russel couldn’t handle the influence.
  • Why do all these celebrities keep checking back in to rehab? They can’t handle the influence.

4. Proverbs 31:8

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”

Influence is meant to be used to speak up for those who have no influence.

  • The Mother Theresa effect.
  • When you are about the powerless, you gain more power amongst the powerful.
  • The way up is down.

5. The pathway to influence is service.

  • For every book on servanthood there are 5 books on leadership.
  • Forget “servant leadership” and just be a servant.

6. The cause of influence is trust.

  • If people trust you, you have influence.
  • Forgiveness is instant. Trust is built up over time.
  • Forgiveness is by grace, trust is by works.

How do you get people to trust you? Trust them.

The people who influence you are the people who believe in you.

7. The price of influence is criticism.

  • Jesus said, “They persecuted me, therefore they will persecute you.”
  • Matthew 10:25

8. The leader’s role is to help others use their influence wisely.

9. The catalyst of influence is faith.

  • If you want to be influential in preaching, preach ABOUT faith BY faith.
  • According to your faith it will be done unto you.
  • If you don’t take any risks in your life, you don’t need any faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

10. The reward of wise influence is more influence.

  • Don’t worry about hanging out with the powerful– help the needy.

[During the Q&A session between Rick Warren and Mark Driscoll, I was so caught up into listening to the mass amounts of wisdom, that I didn’t record all of it. Here’s the best of what I captured.]

No one person can teach you everything. That’s why you need multiple mentors.

  • Mentors who are living.
  • Models (who are not living).
  • Partners or coworkers.
  • Friends

Spend more time in front of people than you do in front of a screen.

Rick is not a day-planner type of guy, but this is the loose schedule he goes by:

  • God gets my mornings.
  • People get my afternoons.
  • Family gets my evenings.

The biggest mistake people make is leaving the local church to start an organization rather than keeping it within the local church.

  • 1,000 years from now, if Jesus hasn’t returned yet, organizations will come and go but there will always be a local church.
  • If all the money, talent, and resources that went into outside organizations went through the church instead, the church would dominate.

Rick Warren’s ringtone is Gangnam Style. #Awesome

Rick closes by talking about his vision to systematically reach every last people group and tribe in the world. He says that it’s possible to accomplish in the next 10 years.

Theres so much here to dig in to. I would love to hear your thoughts about what really stood out to you. You can leave a comment by clicking here.


  1. star says

    Thank you for sharing these things… it says a lot about how a servant of God should work and how GOD work in His servant’s life.