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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Rick Warren » Rick Warren - The Only Family That Will Last Forever

Rick Warren - The Only Family That Will Last Forever

Rick Warren - The Only Family That Will Last Forever
TOPICS: This Is Us

I haven't told you since last year that I love you, what can I say? I'm feeling real, you ought to feel neglected, but I do. If you'll pull out your message notes. You know, in life, it's very important at different times in your life to pause and just stop and ask the question why? Why am I doing this? What am I doing and why am I doing this? Why always determines how and how long. Now, we're starting a brand new year, a brand new decade. We're starting our 40th anniversary year as a church, and I want us to just take a couple weeks and pause and go, "What is Church, and why do we do it"? I think it's important to go back and remind ourselves what this is all about.

Now, we're gonna start at the beginning. Watch up here on the screen. The Bible says in Hebrews 2:10, "God is the one who made everything". That's where we start, we start with "God made everything, and all things are for his glory". You, and every plant and animal and rock are for his glory. "But he wanted to have children to share his glory". The Bible says God invented the universe because he wanted a family. God wasn't lonely, God is love, but he didn't need us, but he wanted a family to love and to share his glory. So he created the universe. Now the Bible says this in Ephesians chapter one. "God's unchanging plan," remember, from the very beginning of time, "has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ".

So the whole reason everything exists is God wanted family, and he wants that family to be with him forever and ever and ever. He puts us here on earth as a trial test, but what is that family called? Well, we've talked about this before. That family is called the Church. Jesus said, in Ephesians, excuse me, Jesus said in Matthew 16 verse 18, "I will build my Church". He didn't say, "I'll build a government," he didn't say, "I'll build a nation," he didn't say, "I'll build a business". He said, "I will build my Church". Jesus is only interested, God is only interested in his family. Everything else is gonna burn up. The only thing on planet earth that's gonna last is God's family. He says, "I will build my Church and all the powers of hell will not defeat it".

The most successful human movement of all time is the Church of God: 2.3 billion believers, followers of Christ. The Church is the largest organization on the planet. Nothing comes close. The Church, at 2.3 billion believers is bigger than China. The Church is bigger than China and the United States and all of Europe put together. Nothing is big as the planet, the movement of God. You're not just part of an organization, you're part of a movement, and that movement is gonna go on for eternity in heaven. Jesus said, "I will build my Church, and no dictator and no -ism can stop it". Now, sometimes you hear people say, "Well, I love Jesus, but I don't need the church". No, no, that's a really big mistake people make, because you can't love Jesus without loving his bride, his body, his family, his flock. You can't love Jesus, in fact, the Bible says this in Ephesians chapter five verse 25: "Christ loves his Church".

Whatever he loves, you better love, too. "Christ loves his Church and he gave his life for it". Christ died for the Church, so don't ever say it's unimportant, don't ever say it's. The only people that are gonna be in heaven is the Church. Nobody else is. That's his family, it's his family. Now it has different labels on it, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Catholic, Nazarene, Calvary Chapel. All the labels are irrelevant. The fact is, the people who are the followers of Christ and are part of his family, that's all that's gonna be in heaven, and he built the universe 'cause he wanted a family. Now, let's just start with the basics. What is a church? When I say the word church, some people think of a building. No, church is not a building, a church is not a location. So when I say church, people think of something they go to attend.

People often say, "Well, I'm going to church". Technically, that's a wrong statement. The church is not something you attend, it's a family that you belong to. Really, it'd be more accurate to not say, "I'm going to church," but saying, "I'm going to a worship service," or, "I'm going to a Bible study," or, "I'm going to a fellowship," or, "I'm going to an activity of the church". You can't go to a church. A church is not an event. It has events, but the church is the family of God. Church is not an event you attend, it is a family you belong to. Does that make sense? Okay, so it's not something you go to. To actually say, "Well, I'm going to church," you really need to say, "I'm going to worship," or, "I'm going to service," or, "I'm going to Bible study," whatever. So it's not a place, it's not an event, it's not an institution. I'm going to give you a very specific, biblical definition of the Church. I'd like for you to write these four phrases down, okay.

Number one, 'cause once I can explain this, then I'm gonna show you five benefits of being a part of God's family. Number one, what is the Church? The Church is God's family on earth and in heaven, God's family on earth and in heaven. The Church isn't just on earth. Many people are already in heaven. So some of the Church, that's God's family, is already in heaven. Some of the Church is still here on earth. But the Church is both in heaven and on earth, and it is God's family. I Timothy chapter three, verses 14 and 15 says this. "I'm writing to you so that you'll know how to live in the family of God". We need to learn how to live in God's family. "That family is the Church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth". So any time you talk about the Church, you're talking about God's family. Any time you're talking about, telling me talking about God's family, you're talking about the Church. There is no family of God outside of the Church, it is the same. So it's God's family on heaven and earth.

Number two, it's composed of saved and baptized believers. The Church is composed of saved and baptized believers. Now you might have your name on a roll as a child in some church, but that doesn't make you a part of the Church. It just means you're on somebody's roll. You have to be saved and you have to be baptized to be a part of the Church of God. Let me just show you what Jesus said. Mark chapter 16, verse 16. "Whoever believes in me," Jesus said, "and is baptized will be saved, but whoever refused to believe will be condemned". Now, some people look at that and go, "Oh, are you sayin' that I have to be baptized in order to be saved, that's it's essential for salvation"? No I'm not. No water will save you, only Jesus can save you. No water will save you. But if you really are saved, you'll wanna be baptized. It's a contradiction to say, "Well, I'm a follower of Christ, but I don't do what he tells me to do".

That's a contradiction, so maybe you're not really saved. Baptism is what I call the wedding ring of the Christian life. This ring doesn't make me married. It was the commitment in my heart that made me married when I said I do. This ring is the outward expression. It reminds me, oh, I made a vow in my heart. Baptism is the wedding ring of the Christian life. It doesn't make you a Christian, it show that you are, and anybody who refused to be baptized, you would have a reason to doubt they've had a commitment in their heart, because the first thing Jesus said is, "Be baptized as this outward symbol of your inward commitment". So it doesn't make you a Christian. But notice he says, "Anyone who believes and is baptized".

Which comes first? Believing or baptism? Believing, right? You believe, and then you're baptized. Now, if you were baptized before you were, before you believed, it didn't count. You don't get any blessing from that. You need to do it again, 'cause you, it meant nothing, you just got wet. That's all it means. It only, baptism only matters if you believe first. Some of you don't even remember your baptism, so how could you possibly believe? 'Cause maybe you didn't even, weren't even old enough to know that. So you believe, Jesus said, and then you're baptized. Let me show you a couple of other verses. Acts chapter two verse 38, this is the day of Pentecost, this is the day that Jesus began his Church, and Peter preached this sermon, he said this. "Repent and be baptized," this is the first day of the Church, "in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sin. Then God will give you his Holy Spirit".

Now in Romans chapter eight, it says if you don't have God's Spirit in you, you're not a Christian, you're not saved. To not have God's Spirit would mean you don't really know the Lord yet. So he says, "Whoever believes in me and baptized shall be saved," and then Peter says, "Repent and be baptized". Now, in that verse, which one comes first, repent or be baptized? Repent, right. So if you were baptized before you repented, it didn't count. As I said, it was just a nice little ritual, but it meant nothing. You got no spiritual blessing out of it, 'cause you didn't even know what the meaning of baptism was. It comes after you believe, and it comes after you repent. Now, here's what happens. Same day, Acts two verse 41, it says, "Then those who believed," they believed first, "were then baptized," see, believing comes before baptized, "and then they became part of the Church," baptism is the entry door to the Church, "about 3,000 people that day".

So baptism doesn't bless you if you did it out of order, and if you believed after you were baptized, you need to be baptized again, because it didn't mean anything, it didn't mean what the meaning of baptism is all about, all right. So it's God's family on earth, it's composed of saved and baptized believers. The third part is this. It's people who are committed to Jesus and each other. To be a part of the Church means I'm not just committed to Jesus, I'm committed to the other people in my church family. A church means I am committed to Jesus and to each other. Now let me show ya a few verses about this. II Corinthians chapter eight, verse five. "First," it says, "they gave themselves to the Lord, and then," second, "by God's will, they gave themselves to us as well".

This is what we call the First Base Commitments at Saddleback. First you give yourself to the Lord, and then you give yourself to a group of other Christians. The first one makes you a Christian, the second one makes you a church member. Let me say that again. First they gave themselves to the Lord. That's how you get saved, you give your life to the Lord. And it says, "and then they gave themselves to us as well". That's what it means to be a church member. You become a Christian by giving your life to Christ. You become a church member by giving yourself to a group of other people and say, "That's gonna be my spiritual home, that's gonna be my family, that's gonna be my spiritual base for my life, while I'm here in this area," or whatever. It is a commitment not simply to Christ, it's a commitment to another group of other people, and we're gonna look at that today.

Let me show you some other verses. Romans 12, verse 10 says, "You are to be devoted," circle this, "to each other," not just to God, "you are to be devoted to each other as brothers and sisters in God's loving family". That's what it means to be a church member. You're not just committed to Christ, you're committed to his family. You're committed to your brothers and sisters in that family. Romans chapter 14, excuse me, Romans 12, verse four and five. "In Christ's body, each member belongs to" who, "all the others". Do you realize this, that in this church family, I belong to you, you belong to me, we belong to each other. That's what it means to be a member of a family.

Now, notice it has the word member there. Sometimes you'll hear people say, I've actually heard preachers on the radio say this. "Well, there's no such thing as church membership in the Bible". That's just nonsense. The word member came from the Bible. The act, there was no word member until it was in the Bible. The word member is used about 100 times in the New Testament. The whole concept of membership was only about the Church until other people picked it up and all of a sudden, you know, American Express says, "Membership has its privileges". No, so now you can be a member of my book club or you can be a member of my Facebook following, you can be a member of some, the Rotary Club. You can be members of a million other things, but the word member came from the Bible, and it's talking about being a member of a local Body of Christ. It's used in a very different way. It's not talkin' about secret handshakes and funny hats and passwords and stuff like that.

What is it talkin' about in member? Well, look on the screen, I Corinthians 12:12-14. "Just as your body has many members," what are we talkin' about there? Your hand is a member of your body, your ear is a member of your body, your eye is a member of your body, your nose, your spleen, your liver. These are all members of your body. "Just as your body has many members, and each member of your body is unique," the liver doesn't do what the heart does, "all of your members together form your single body," physically. "So it with Christ's Body". He says it's the exact same thing, physical parallel to a spiritual parallel. The Christ Body is the Church. He said, "All the members of the Church make up the Body of Christ," all right.

So he's saying here that only as you're connected does it really, really matter. Then he says the rest of it, he says this: "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, regardless of our background, whether Jews or Gentiles or slaves or free, we're all, we all received God's Spirit". He said, "It doesn't matter what your background is, religious background, ethnic background, language background, racial back, none of that really matters". He says, "regardless of your background, we all received God's Spirit". That's what puts us in the Body. We're baptized into one Body. "So the Body isn't made up of just one member. It's all the members connected together".

What is that saying? It's saying this: you are not the Church of God by yourself. You are not the family of God by yourself. You're not the Body of Christ by yourself. Only as we are connected together are we the family of God, are we the Body of Christ, are we God's Church. I'm not the Church, you're not the Church, but together, we are the Church. He said it's in that connection. So only in connection to other members are you actually in God's family. If you're not connected to other members, how are you in God's family? So what does that mean, then? What does that mean, the Body, to be a part of the Body of Christ? Look at these verses, I Corinthians 12:25, "The way God designed our bodies," physical bodies, "is a model for understanding our lives together as a Church". He says, "Okay, look at your body, and then you'll figure out how the Church operates". "Every part is to be dependent on the other parts".

I can't say that I don't need this part or I don't need that part. We all need each other, and we are to be dependent on the other parts. It was his intention that we live our lives together. God never meant for you to go through life on your own. Now, let me show you another verse, I Corinthians 12:25-27. "The members," notice how many times this word members comes up in the Bible. "The members must have the same care for each other". That means I gotta care about you, you gotta care about me. We have to care about each other. If we are in the family of God, if we are in the Body of Christ called Saddleback, or whatever. There are lots of good churches, just choose one. I'm not sayin' just this church, I'm just sayin' just choose a place and say, "That's gonna be my family". "The members must have the same care for each other. If one member is hurt or suffers, then all suffer together. If one member is honored, all the others are to rejoice".

In other words, you get a raise or you get promoted, the whole church should celebrate with you. You get the word, dreaded word cancer, the whole church should support you, when you're going through those protocols. "You are the Body of Christ, and each one of you is a necessary part of it". There's no unnecessary part. Goes, "Well, I'm not a, I'm not very necessary in my church". Oh how wrong you are. If I don't use my gifts, you get hurt. If you don't use your gifts, I get hurt, so does everybody else. We all have a different role to play. Now let me pause here and review what I've said about what is the Church? First I said, it's God's family that's in heaven and on earth. Some's in heaven, some's on earth. I said it's composed of saved and baptized believers. If you're not saved, you're not baptized, you're not part of the Church.

Number three, it's, they are committed to Jesus and each other. We commit to him and we commit to each other. But then there's one other fourth part, write this down. These are people who are preparing for heaven, or Christ's return, preparing for heaven or Christ's return. That's what the Church is doing. So either Jesus comes back before I die, or he doesn't come before I die and I go to heaven first. Either way, I'm preparing for eternity with him. Hebrew chapters 12 verse 23, it's an important verse, it says this. "You are the Church of God's children," okay, remember, it's the family of God. "You are the Church of God's children, whose names are registered in heaven," you ought to be grateful for that, "because you have come to God himself, and you have come to Jesus".

Now notice this, your names are registered in heaven. You know, I've met a few of these Hollywood types, and done some Bible studies for producers and stuff like that in Hollywood, and the big deal in Hollywood is to get on the A list, 'cause if you're on the A List, you get invited to all the A List parties. You don't wanna be on the B List or the C List, or like some of us, the Z List, okay. You really wanna be, 'cause the A List are the best parties after the Oscars and stuff like that. Well, let me tell you something. There's something better than being on The A List. It's being on God's registered of names in heaven. Hello, that, that is a big deal, okay. That is a very exclusive list.

Not everybody's gonna be on that list. Only those who have been saved and baptized and enjoying a part, being a part of God's family. Only God's family is gonna be in heaven, but that's a very exclusive list. Most important invitation list you wanna be a part of. How do I get on that list? Well, that verse said, "Get to know, you've come to know God and you've to know Jesus. You've come to God and you've come to Jesus". Now, we're gonna, in just a second, look at five different metaphors of the Church and what the benefits of that means to your life. But this week, I did something fun. I went and I got the original three members of Saddleback Church, Don Dale, who was the first member of the church, who joined Kay and me, and Lee and Cynthia Henseler, who were the first people baptized in this church. Those three were in the very first Class 101 that I taught 40 years ago. I found, although, you can see it on the video, but I videotaped this interview, and I want you to watch this.

I've got a real treat for you today. My oldest friends at Saddleback Church are sitting on this couch, and they're really old. We're gonna talk about what membership means. These are people from the very first membership class. I found this article in the Saddleback News, a copy that said, "We welcome 42 new members," this is in 1980, "at the very first 101 Class," including Don Dale, who was the first member of Saddleback Church. You've heard the famous story of how we met and he got a home for us and then has been here for all 40 years and the 12 weeks before that. Then Lee and Cynthia Henseler, Cynthia Henseler and Lee were the first two people baptized in Saddleback Church, and she was the first person who called. You remember that?


Tell me about that, because, Lee, we hand addressed and hand stamped 15,000 letters. Don was involved, obviously in that.

Well, we were, we wanted to find a church, not for us, but we had a brand new baby daughter.

A new baby, didn't ya?

We thought part of the formula for being good parents, we'd take the child to church.

By the way, Courtney was the first diaper changed at Saddleback Church.

And she also bit your daughter.

She did bit my daughter, who was just a couple months older.

Very first weekend here, blood sisters, yes.


But we decided we wanted to find a church so we could be those good parents. The letter arrived, and didn't give us too much information other than where it met and the time.

Right, right.

So I just had a few other questions I needed to ask.

So you called, and I kept a record, I still have this record of everybody who called from that letter. The first one was Cynthia Henseler.


That was Cyndi at the time, exactly, that's true.

It worked great.

And I was trying to go by Richard, but it didn't work, so, I was trying to look older than I really was. Don was actually the old man at the time, so anyway. Don, and Lee and Cynthia, I wanna just talk about, well first, everybody's gonna wanna know, what's it like to have been through 40 years of Saddleback Church, so just, you know.

Well, absolutely amazing. I did go to the very first service.

You did.

I listened to you read that first letter of what your vision was for the church. That is just really a wild thing. I just wonder if we can really do it. And we could never.

I did, too.

I wasn't even a Christian at the time. I just had nothing to do on Easter Sunday, 'cause my wife was out of town. So I went to the church, it was, that was meeting in the school I taught at.

Yeah, that's true, you taught at Laguna Hills High Schools, that's right.

So I went in there with no expectation at all. My real reason was, I was gonna go and see what it was like so I could tell her, "Oh, let's not bother," when she came back. But I heard something entirely different than I've ever heard before about that relationship with Jesus Christ.


I'd never heard that before. But.

We had no idea what was in store for us.

Don, talk about all of the prep that we did getting ready for that first service.

Well, what was it 15,000 letters?

15,000 letters, yeah.

Rick did not want them computer generated.


Hand addressed them.

Hand addressed them.

I think we licked stamps for them.

We stamped 'em, hand stamp 'em.

And licked the envelope closed, figured out at least some sort of method.

We all had to stick mucous on our lip I think, so.

Stuck together.

It basically just said, we got good news for you, visit us.

You got it, that's it, that's exactly right. We've got good news. That's how we started, and I'll never forget the first service when 205 people walked up that walkway to Laguna Hills High School, and Kay looked at me with tears in her eyes and she goes, "This is gonna work".

That was Easter Sunday.

That was Easter Sunday.

Remember, we did a service a week ahead of that.

That's true.

And practiced

That's exactly

exactly what would happen.


We had.

60 people at that.

I, my Dad's a minister, and I called my dad and I said, "60 people showed up".

On the guest, on the trial run service.

On the trial run, and my dad goes, "60? We only got 100 in our church, in our church, and you got 60 for the first service"?

Yeah right.

"What's goin' on"?


My dad was amazed and I was amazed. I thought, "Wow, maybe this, there is something".

Yeah, five people gave their lives to Christ in the trial run service, and some of their names, Carl and Linda Bolt were two of the ones who gave their lives to Christ, Gary and Pat Stread. I remember they wrote on a card, they said, "Rick, help us". I thought they, like, they were having typical problems, marriage problems or something. I called 'em up, said "How can I help you"? they said, "Oh, we just wanna know how to give our lives to Christ". That was it, that's how it started. So we've seen a lot.

We've did everything back then, Rick. I mean, we had to set up the nursery, we had to figure out what we're gonna do with the kids, what are we're gonna do with the youth, who's gonna play the music, who's gonna?

If you were a warm body, you could be a youth worker.

Greeters and all this stuff that.

We take it for granted today.

There were only 10 or 15 of us to do all this.

This is an interesting point that Don's making, that in the, before the first service, we, this little Bible study grew to about 15 people, and many of them had not given their lives to Christ. They were nonbelievers. They were, I actually had nonbelievers helping us plan the service, and I said, "Bob Jacoby," I said, "you're gonna be the usher," and, "Terry, you're gonna plan this". we had non-Christians helping us plan a church service for non-Christians.



Within the first month of the church, you asked Lee and I to do one of the Bible studies after the service.

Yes, you're it.

He had to accept for him. We didn't do that until about the sixth or seventh week.

I remember that, exactly.

You said, "Oh, you're a teacher, you could be a Bible study leader".

You could be a Bible study leader, exactly. We later did that in prison where we said, pointed to people and said, point around, "Well, we choose Bubba to be our Bible study leader". Bubba goes, "I'm not a Christian". "No, but you're a leader, so you can ask the questions". So it was, the whole idea that we wanted to convince people was it was all hands on deck.

Yes, it was.

There were, literally, no spectators. Once you start comin', week number two, you're a participator, you know.

Rick and I probably talked on the phone a couple times a day.

A day, daily at least.

A day, we did it together because we were working, we just stayed, let's fix this.

Let's keep workin' exactly.

That was how the church functioned.

No, that's exactly right, Don.

Okay, now. There are 67 different metaphors in the Bible, and the metaphors are names of the Church. What I wanna do in the last few minutes here is talk to you about five of 'em and show you the benefits. What are the benefits of belonging? So the Bible calls the Church many different things, but let's just look at five, would you write these down. The first metaphor is the most well-known one, which is the Church is a family, okay, it's a family, and there are many, many implications for that, but the one thing I wanna focus on is that is in a healthy family, you learn who you are. So write this down, number one. In God's family, I learn my true identity. That's the first benefit of actually being a member of a local church. In God's family, I learn my true identity.

Have you ever thought about why people wear brands? You know, it'll say Ralph Lauren or Ruka or Vans or Tommy Hilfiger or whatever. Why do people wear brands? To identify, to feel like they belong to something. They like, they think that this is a cool brand, if I wear this brand, then I'm cool. So we identify with brands because it helps us identify, but in reality, your primary identity doesn't come from what you wear. Your primary identity comes from relationships. I am a son, I am a brother, I am a husband, I am a father, I am a grandfather, I am a friend, I am mentor, I am a pastor, I am a coworker. These are all relationships in my life that define who Rick Warren is. It's not how I look, it's not how little or how much money I've got. It's what are my relationships? You're defined by relationships. Now, if my connections are bad or my connections are broken, then my identity suffers. If I just got fired or I just got divorced, or my spouse dies, if something changes in my relationships, it causes me to pause and go, who am I? Who am I? Because your primary identity comes from your relationships.

Now, I know what some of you think, you say, "Rick, that's terrible news for me, because my family was dysfunctional, my family was broken," or maybe, "my family was nonexistent". Well, I got good news for you. The next verse on your outline, Ephesians 2:19: "You are a member of," there's that word member, "You are a member of God's very own family, and you belong in God's household with every other Christian". This is your family, this, you belong here, you fit here. Now actually, hear me out on this. Your spiritual family is far more important even than your physical family. God used your physical family to bring you into the world so you could become a part of his spiritual family. You should be grateful that your physical family got together. Whatever the circumstances are, it doesn't matter, God wanted you alive, because he wanted you to be a part of his spiritual family.

Why is my spiritual family, the Church, more important than my physical family? 'Cause your physical family doesn't last. People die, people grow old, people move away, people divorce. There's all kinds of different things. It doesn't last. But God's family is gonna last forever and ever and ever. Our relationship, I have people in my family I never met: great grandparents and other relatives that I've never met. My dad was number 18 of 20 kids. Yeah, can you imagine that? I'd have to have, rent the Super Dome if I had a home, a family reunion. I've never met most of those relatives, but if they're, if they know the Lord, they're in God's family, we're gonna be in heaven together. Your spiritual family is gonna be permanent. It's goin' on for thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of years. God used your physical family to get you into the world. You ought to be grateful for that. But his real goal is to get you into his spiritual family. You're a member of God's very only family.

You know, the world uses superficial identifiers. You have brown hair, you weigh such and such, your height is this, you're Asian or you're Caucasian or you're African American, or you're educated or you're rich or you're whatever. Those are all superficial identifiers for you, and people today, when they don't know their identity in Christ, they look for identity in something else, like a political party. Well, I'm a this, or I'm a that, and they find their identity in the team that they root for, or they find their identity in the celebrity that they identify with, or they find their identity in the political person they think's gonna be the savior of the world. But none of that is, matters, it's gonna, it's superficial. What matters most is your spiritual identity. Look on the screen, Hebrews 2:11. "Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family". That's a connection. You're in the family of God. "That's why he isn't ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters".

Now, you may have had some relatives you were ashamed of, but God, Jesus says, "I'm not ashamed of you, I'm your brother, I'm your elder brother in the family of God". By belonging to Christ, you discover your true identity. Now you know, I used to work in, up in the inner city L.A. as a youth pastor, many, many years ago. Gangs would get gang tattoos so they could identify who they belonged to, okay. What's the tattoo of a Christian, baptism. Baptism says I'm in, I'm in. I'm not ashamed to say to the world Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Lord. Now, that's the first metaphor, it's family. Let's go quickly to these others. Second metaphor, the Bible says the Church is a temple, it's a temple. It's like a building erected to hold the presence of God, and God says he will, his presence wants to be in you. You're a temple, and together we form the temple of God.

Look here on the screen, I Corinthians 3:16 says this. "Don't you realize that all of you together, together, are the temple of God and his Spirit lives in you"? I'm not the temple of God just by myself. You're not the temple of God just by yourself. Together, we are the temple of God. That's a metaphor for God's family, for God's church. Like a strong structure of a building, we each hold each other up. Okay, this is an important thing. We each hold each other up. You know, I remember when we were building all these buildings on the Lake Forest campus, and how fascinating it was that it took thousands and thousands and thousands of parts to erect a building, but the most important thing in a building is that the parts have to fit together.

If they don't fit together, the parts are worthless. A beam that is a quarter of an inch too short is worthless. A pipe that is a foot too long is worthless. The parts have to fit together or they lose their meaning and purpose. To be strong and to be stable, everything has to connect. That's what the metaphor of the Church as a temple is all about. Also I noticed, when I would walk around in some of these buildings that were being built before they were erected, is that there was a lot of spare stuff laying around on the ground. There were parts and wood and tools and all kinds of things that were not used. What I noticed about that is that a piece of pipe could be layin' on the ground, it could be in the building, okay, it could be in the building, but it was not a part of the building. You understand what I'm sayin'? It's just layin' on the ground. It's in the building, but it's not a part of the building.

Some of you are in the church. You come every work to service, but you're not a part of it, 'cause you're not connected yet. You haven't made the commitment of membership. You're in it, you're like, you're in it, but you're not a part of it 'cause you're not connected to anybody yet. Many times, why did God use this metaphor of a building to illustrate the Church? Because in a building, the connected parts hold each other together. There are gonna be many times in your life when you need other people to hold you together. You're gonna need other people in your life to hold you together. As the pastor of this church, there have been many, many times over 40 years I needed the members of this church to hold me together, 'cause I'm just a person like you, and I needed people to hold me together when things were fallin' apart in my life. If you don't have that, you're lacking what the Church offers.

So write this down, number two. In God's temple, I'm supported by others. Like a strong structure of a building, we hold each other up. This is what the whole book of Ephesians teaches. Chapter two, in God's temple I'm supported by others. Ephesians chapter two says this, verse 21 and 22. "In Christ the whole building is joined together and it rises to become a holy temple to the Lord". He was talkin' about the church. "And in him, you too are being built together to become a dwelling place in which God lives by his Spirit, by his Spirit". Here's the point. In a building, a disconnected frame has no support, and has no stability, and it's gonna collapse on its own. If you're not connected, there will be times in your life when you collapse, because you have no stability and you have no support. You're just out there on your own. You weren't meant to go through life all by yourself. You weren't meant to go through it all on your own. You need physical and spiritual and emotional and mental support. You need to belong.

A few years back, I got, because of my grandkids, got involved in Legos. It'd been a long time since I'd played with Legos. But we turned my entire garage into Lego Land, and we were building fantasy world and cowboys and Indians and Star Wars and Jurassic Park and on and on and on. You know what I discovered about Legos? Legos are created for connection. They have no purpose if they're not connected. When you connect 'em, you can really build some cool stuff, but if they're not connected to anything else, they're just a pile of plastic. They get in the way, and you step on 'em, it hurts your bare foot. Anybody ever stepped on a Lego? God bless you, is there another, God bless you, I see you, thousands of you who have stepped on Legos. Thank you, God bless you. But when you connect 'em you can create something cool.

Here's what the Bible says, Romans chapter one verse 12. "I want us to help each other with the faith that we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you". That's why we have church. Your faith will help me and my faith will help you. Now in Class 101, we have actually a Membership Covenant, and everybody signs that covenant. It is a promise not simply to God but to each other sayin', I will love the other members of this church, and I will help the other members of the church. You know, the Church is the antidote to the greatest epidemic in the world right now: loneliness. People are lonely all around the world. It is, it is epidemic proportion. I know some of you are students, you're in school. I just wanna say this to you because school can be a lonely time, that this church here is very far from perfect, but it's filled with people who will love you if you'll get to know them, and they will help you navigate the crazy years in your life. They will help you.

Now let's go to the third metaphor. The third metaphor that we see in the Bible is the Church is a body. The Church is a body, it's called the Body of Christ. Up here on the screen, I Corinthians 12 says, "Together, you are the Body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it". So the Church is a family, the Church is a temple, the Church is a body. Now, what's the benefit of being a part of the Body of Christ? Romans chapter 12, there on your outline, verse four and five. "Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ's Body. We're all parts of it, and it takes every one to make it complete, for we each have different work to get to. So we belong to each other, and each of needs all the other parts".

I could have preached the entire sermon just on this. It says we're all many parts, we're all unique, look around, nobody's like you in our church family, everybody's unique, we're all unique, everybody's needed to make the Body complete. We each have different work to do, we belong to each other and we need each other. Church is far more than simply something you attend. It's a family you belong to, and you need other people. You need connections in your life. I Corinthians chapter 12, verse 15. "If the foot says, 'I'm not a part of the body because I'm not a hand,' that doesn't make it any less a part of the body. And if an ear says, 'I'm not part of the body because I'm only an ear and not an eye,' would that make it any less a part of the body"?

Too often, the Church is just a big mouth, and we've amputated the arms and the feet. We're known for what we say, we're known for what we, what we're against. I'm tired of that. I want our church to be known for what we're for, not what we're against, okay. I want us to be known for when we're for, not what we're against. Again, what good is an eyeball detached from a body? It can't see anything? I want you to write this on your outline. I can't fulfill my purpose by myself. That's one of the fundamental lessons you have to learn in life. I cannot fulfill my purpose by myself. You know, I asked Don Dale and Lee and Cynthia Henseler about their being involved in ministries over the years, 'cause they've all been involved in dozens of them. This is what they had to say, I want you to watch this.

Now, everyone one of you, all three of you guys have started multiple ministries in this church, which we now have over 500 of these different ministries. These guys started many of them, grew them up, and then turned them over to somebody else, and then would go and start another. Can you guys think, each of you think of a time, one of the many ministries that was really interesting or fulfilling to you in service, something you just go, wow, I didn't know that I could do that, but I did, whatever.

Well, in my particular case was the idea of going someplace and doing something with some of the skills I had. At the time, I had, I think I was still teaching wood shop at Laguna Hills High School, and I wanted to do something with those skills, and I knew your dad had gone and had built.

Had mission trips building stuff.

So the idea of a mission trip sounded intriguing, so I, and my, I guess there were five others, Bob Snow, Andy Hind, and Jennifer Stice, and Bonnie Stice.

Bonnie Stice.

And um?


Ed, yeah, he was supposed to go, he got sick. We joined with what is now Mariners and we went to Costa Rica, the very first mission trip that Saddleback ever.

Wow, that we ever did.

It was a great experience, it was fun, so then when I came back, I still wanted to do more things like that, but knew I couldn't keep going on trips, so I started, I got the church involved with Habitat for Humanity.

Right, I remember, a long ago.

We started getting teams out and doing Habitat for Humanity and that as Malone and some other were takin' it over, and then, because of your dad again, he talked me into goin' to Africa and I've been all over the world, of course, on mission trips. So that's kind of how I got involved, and I lead trips and recruit guys to go with me, and it's.

But it's kind of like take that first step.

Oh, absolutely.

Yeah, take the first step and then who knows where it's gonna go, Don?

I took over the youth ministry. We had a ministry. We needed something to do with the junior high and high schoolers. I ran the youth group for quite a while.

Yeah, you did, you did.


You're back.

I'm see, I'm back now. If you have a child in junior high, come see me. They need to get involved in junior high. But I now see kids that are in their 40s. I, they were in my youth group.

Yeah, yeah, that's interesting is all three of you have seen people that you mentored, who, you actually watched 'em be born.


You watched 'em be born, you watched 'em grow up through all of the crawlers and toddlers and stuff like that, and now, for instance, we have people on our staff that were born at this church, including Courtney, who, you know started when the church started and all of that. I'll never forget when Courtney came back from Stony Brook as the first character award in that school. Stony Brook School started.

Timothy Award.

The Timothy Award, that's what it was, and all of that.

Well, with me, it was the, I started doing the children's ministry, writing up the weekly curriculum and preparing the teachers, the volunteers. But then Kay asked me to be on a women's ministry board, and it was just kind of an advisory board, getting the pulse of the church. It was the first time I had anything to do with the woman's organization.

Little did you know.

That eventually I became minister to women.

Yeah, yeah, exactly, full-time staff. You were pastoral staff to women, yeah.

For many years, many years. So that was was exciting time to see the women find a place in the church and grow and serve.

Yeah, well that's that whole thing of you don't know what you can do until you actually try it. I remember Kay had never done any kind of Bible study before Saddleback Church. She had never, I was a youth pastor. She goes, "I can't do that. I could mentor one-on-one, but I can't do it". The first study she taught in our little home was a Joyce Landorf study, and she said her knees knocked for the whole 45 minutes, she was so scared, for six people sittin' in the room. But that was the start. You just, you just take a leap of faith. Of course, that's the whole history of our church.

Let me give you the fourth metaphor. The Bible calls the Church not just the family of God, not just the Body of Christ, not just the temple of God, but we are the flock of God, the flock of God. What I'm talkin' about here is like a group of sheep gathered together for safety. Now, Psalm 100 verse three says, "God made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture". We are in the flock of God. Now, that probably doesn't sound too appealing to you, because you have no idea how well sheep are cared for. Sheep are pretty dependent upon being cared for, and they are cared for well. I don't have time to go into this, I'm gonna cut this out of the message, but if you'll go and read Psalm 23 and John 10, write that on your outline: Psalm 23, John 10, you go and read how well sheep are cared for and you'll feel a whole lot better about bein' in the flock of God, because Jesus is the good shepherd.

Now, in God's flock, what does that mean, what's the benefit? As a part of God's flock, when I'm in the family of God, I'm in the Church of God, in God's flock, I'm defended and cared for. I am defended and cared for. I'm not on my own. I have other people lookin' out for me, I enjoy the safety and the security and the protection, and what does that do? That makes me more confident, it makes me less anxious. The better connected you are in God's Church, the less anxious you'll be, 'cause you realize you're not on your own. When you're gettin' beat up in the business world, you go, I'm not on my own. When your family or marriage is being strained you go, I'm not on my own, I'm in the flock. When you're facing personal crisis or illness, I'm not on my own. You need people who walk into your life when everybody else walks out. That's what you need, and that's what you get in a church family.

Now, in the Church, God has placed two kinds of people, two kinds of people to help you through your difficult times and to help you and to care for you when you're goin' through tough times, to be defended, defensive for you. Write these down. Number one is my pastors, my pastors look out for me. You know, the word pastor is the word shepherd. It's the same word. A shepherd is a pastor, a pastor is a shepherd, and in I Peter chapter five, God says this to pastors. This is instructions for me. "Take care of God's flock, his people, that you are responsible for. Watch over them because you want to, not because you're forced to do it". You know nobody pays me to do this. I've now served Saddleback Church for 40 years for free, why? I really do love you. I love God, and because I love God, I love his family, I love his flock, I love his children, I love you. Nobody pays me to do this. I do this because I love Jesus, and I love you. He says do it, do it willingly.

But you need to pray for me, 'cause I'm not smart enough to lead a flock this big. I just, I'm on my knees constantly going, God, I need to know, what do you need us to do next? So pastors are given to look out for me in the flock of God, but there's another, and that is small group. You need a small group. There are 58 one anothers in the Bible, "Love one another," "Care for one another," "Help one another," "serve one another," "share with one another," "pray for one another," "encourage one another". There are 58 one anothers. You can't do that in a crowd this size, a weekend crowd. You can only do that in a small group, and in the small group, that's where the flock of God really shows up. Galatians 6:2 says this. "Share each other's troubles and problems, and in this way, obey the law of Christ". I asked Don and Lee and Cynthia to talk about the small groups that they've been in for 40 years in this church. Listen to this.

Well guys, I wanted to ask one more thing, and that is, talk to me about small group experience, because you know, small groups having a key to our church over the years, and you're not really gonna feel like a part unless you get to know some people. You don't have to know everybody and feel like it's your church, but you gotta know somebody, and they gotta know when you're not there. You've gotta have some close friends. The average person, if you got six or more friends in a church, you're probably gonna stick, because you just, you don't have to know everybody, but you have to know somebody. Don, talk to me about that.

I definitely don't know everybody at Saddleback.

Even though you've been here from day one.

Yeah, but a lot of people I don't know. You need that friendship, somebody that recognizes you on Sunday that you can see during the week, because I don't have time to see the Henselers every week. Rick, for some reason, has a busy schedule.

I don't know why, I don't get, I don't talk to you two times a day anymore.

No, but there are times going in my life that I needed...

I needed support. I went through a divorce, a horrible thing to go through, but I needed the support. I wouldn't have probably made it without the support and the help from church people that helped me.

Helped you walk through those dark days, but then God rewarded you.

Oh yeah, I came out good.

Better than you deserved.

Our small group's been together for many, many years, and besides doing Bible studies and campaigns together and growing spiritually, we have become a very incredible, a group of prayer warriors. In our group at one time, we had 13 people that were cancer survivors.

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness.

Then we've seen each through deaths of children and also through bankruptcies.

Yeah, 40 years of crises.


Just imagine what could happen.

Yes, but also a lot of celebrations.

Yeah, absolutely.

Good, happy times.

I think the thing that we hear most of all and we hear from our leader as well as everybody is, can you imagine if you didn't have a support group, how would we get through this?


I'll give you an example. Today, one of our members lost their mother.

Oh my goodness, yeah.

We've been praying and we were there for support, and that just, we're there.

That just eases it.

We're always there. You know, I had a little issue a few months ago.

You did, you were in the hospital.


Quadruple bypass.

A little issue, quadruple bypass.

Just knowing I had prayer and support.

Right, exactly.

People supporting her and being there for me, I don't know how nonbelievers and people who are not in a small group get through stuff. It doesn't make sense.

Well, thank you guys. I'm gonna say, we'll do this again in 40 more years.

40 more years.

Okay, all right, all right, thank you.

Okay, now let me guy you quickly the fifth metaphor, and that is the Church is a garden. The metaphor of the Church is a garden or a vineyard. In fact, there are churches that are actually called Vineyard Church, based on this idea. It's an organic metaphor that we grow and we are fruitful when we are working together. John chapter 15 verse one and five, here on the screen, Jesus said, "I am the True Vine, and my Father is the gardener, and you are the branches". So we are God's garden.

Now, in God's garden, write this down, my life becomes productive. In God, when I'm connected in God's garden, now all of a sudden, I start becoming fruitful. The Bible calls it being fruitful, being productive, it's called bearing fruit. I'm able to make a contribution. Everybody I've ever met wants their life to count. Everybody I've ever met wants to make a difference. They want to make a contribution with their life. Where can you best do that? In God's garden, where you will be productive. But here's the key, again, you have to be connected. John 15 four and five, on the screen, says this. "A branch cannot produce fruit if it's severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful," read that as productive. "You cannot be productive apart from me. I am the vine," Jesus says, "and you are the branches, and those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit".

You'll be much, you'll be very productive, very productive. He says, "And, but apart from me, you can do nothing". The point is this. You'll never be as productive as God intended for you to be with your life, if you're not connected to a church family. You're just not going to. It teaches you the questions to ask, it teaches you the priorities to understand, it teaches you all kinds of stuff, but you're not gonna be as productive if you're disconnected from the church. A cut off branch cannot bear fruit, but when you are connected to the vine, life-giving energy flows through you. I asked Lee and Cynthia and Don to talk about the risks that they had to take over 40 years in order to productive. Listen to this, last clip.

Talk to the people here about some of the risks that you think, well, that's really not gonna happen, but we really did believe that it happened, and it did. Remember when we did the walking over to the property, the 6,000 people. What was that day called, I can't remember, it was Home at Last.

Home at Last.

Home at Last.

I still have the sweatshirt.

Oh you do, Home at Last, yeah, exactly, well.

We all went behind you and you pushed the

The pulpit.

The pulpit over there.

I did, we put the pulpit on wheels and we, 6,000 people marched a mile from Trabuco Hills High School over to the property, and literally, if you look at the Lake Forest campus now it's got trees all over it. There wasn't a single tree. It was a gravel pit.

Yes it was.

It looked like a moonscape, and we set up a tent on a moonscape, with no trees, no green, nothing, and all of the burnin' up in the summer and freezin' in the winter and stuff like that, but it was a pioneer spirit.

Oh, absolutely, absolutely.

God's not through with that. He wants to do it again with next generations to, so talk to me about you would say to the next generation of members.

It's really exciting to be involved with that. I mean, I look back, and I was telling Don earlier that when I go on campus and I walk and look and see, again, hearing you read that letter way back in the beginning and now seeing it actually be right there in front of my eyes, it's just awesome to see what you have done and the church has done and God has.

It's all of us.

Yeah, and.

It's God using ordinary people.

Absolutely, and it's exciting. It's exciting to be involved in something where you're not sure if it's gonna work, but why not give it a try? That's where the attitude, let's see where this takes us? It's fun.

Well, Lee, were we just dumb and we just went along with it?

I think we were just dumb. I was trying to make us look better.

You weren't dumb, that's, there's no way we would have gotten here if you guys had been dumb. God brought an incredibly gifted group of core leaders from the, at every stage, really, every single stage of the church. We now have a new crop of gifted leaders that are, have come in, that I just go, they're gonna take us to the next, the next peak, and all of that.

It's just so much fun just to take that risk and see what's gonna happen, see God work. That has just been, been a great adventure.

I think everybody wants to be a part of a movement.

And if you don't take that step, you're missing out, probably...

Oh, absolutely.

...on the biggest adventure of your life here on earth.

Yeah, yeah, you're right.

I always use the example, God says you just have to have the faith of a mustard seed, and I don't have an avocado seed. It was just amazing when has happened, and just, okay.

Yeah, it's not the size of your faith, it's the size of God. Little faith, big God gets big results.

Well, even when you said we would have satellite churches, I thought, really, satellite churches?

How is that gonna happen?

How is that gonna happen? Okay, maybe San Clemente, but that's probably it.

Yeah, will anybody actually look at video, the screen?

And then now, look where we are.

Yeah, four continents, yeah four continents.

I want you to honor these pioneers of Saddleback Church, the first three members of the very first 101 Class 40 years ago. Welcome Don and Lee and Cynthia. Come on out, guys. Love you guys. Love you guys. Yeah! Now, these guys have every heard, heard every bad jokes I've told 100 times, okay. In fact, I always know, Lee, after Easter service, if I tell an old joke, he'll go, "Wow, there were a lot of new people here today, 'cause there were still people laughin'". You guys, you're out here on stage. Say a word, say a word to your church.

Overwhelmed to be here, and I gotta plug junior high. If you're in junior high, you need to be in the junior high service, not listening to this boring sermon over here. Go to junior high.

All right, good. All right.

Don't miss out on the greatest adventure of your life and a wonderful opportunity to find what your real purpose in life is.


And I know I speak for everyone who's up here, and I just wanna thank you, Rick, for having the vision to start the Saddleback Church, just simply faith, and what a huge blessing it has been, not only to myself and my family, but for everybody standing here. You have blessed us, thank you very much.

Thank you guys, love you guys, thank you, thanks. This is just an example of the people who've built this church over the last 40 year. Lee and Cynthia and Don Dale, they're just normal people, but they became giants in faith over the last 40 years by being connected to a place that would help them grow. Can you imagine the reward those people are gonna have in heaven, for founding a church with a, 15 people, that is now one of the great churches of history, and has had global impact? Great will be their reward. But here's the thing. Our best days are ahead of us, and God has brought you here, now, for a purpose. You're not here just to take up space. You're here because God knows you have gifts, abilities, contacts, connections, that he wants to use in his family for the next leg of the journey.

I have said this many, many times, hundreds of time in 101 Class. Can you imagine getting to heaven, and 100 years from today, somebody walks up to you in heaven and says, "I just wanna thank you. I'm here because of you". You say, "I don't even know you". Say, "No, no, no, you don't know me, but you were one of the pioneers of Saddleback Church, back there in 2020, when they only had 20 campuses, and you prayed, and you served, and you got involved, and you were a member, and you got connected, and you were generous, and you sacrificed, and you gave it your best shot. You invested your life in something that would outlast you, and 50 years after you died, that church reached me for Jesus Christ. I'm in heaven because of you".

Will that be worth it? If you know anything more important to do with your life, I challenge you right now. If you know anything more important to do with your life, than to invest it in the one thing that's gonna last on the planet earth when everything else is gonna burn up, the family of God. Nothing else is gonna last. It's gonna outlast your business, it's gonna outlast your hobby, it's gonna outlast your sports, it's gonna outlast your own family. If you know anything more important to do than build the family of God, bring people to Christ, build 'em up to maturity, teach 'em to discover their gifts, send them out in their ministry in the world to make an impact, if you know something more important, I invite you to stand up right now and tell us, right now. Stand up and tell us, what's more important than that?

Because I decided a long time ago as a very young man, I was not gonna waste my life, and I have not. I have used it for the glory of God. I want you so badly to know what it feels like to be used by God. 40 years, great history. It's nothing compared to where we're going, and you're here now. Will you join me? Let's charge hell with squirt guns. Let's go for it. Let's, in a dark, dark, and getting darker world, shine a light of truth, shine a light of hope, shine a light of joy, to be for the good news, not against all the bad news. There's plenty of people out there, you wanna go join a negative movement, it's not here. There's plenty of other places, go be negative and talk about how bad the world is, but not here.

You have five fundamental needs in your life. You have a need for identity. You need to know who you are. You have a need for stability. You need stability when life gets tough. You need capacity, you need a place to develop, in a safe place, your gifts and talents, where people aren't gonna put you down for not havin' it perfect the first time you try it. You need security of relationships, and you need productivity. You feel like you're making, your life is gonna make a long-term difference. Where else you gonna get that besides the Church of God? Nowhere, nowhere.

So I just end with one question. Given the fact, why should you remain disconnected when a church family like this has so much to offer to you? If not here, just go somewhere and find a church. But get connected. I wanna close, talkin' to two different groups. To some of you, you've been here, you've been comin' to Saddleback services for a long time, months, maybe years, and you've attended, but you've never stepped across the line to member. You've never gotten connected. You've never been baptized, you've never joined the church, you've never taken class, you've never gotten involved in a ministry. Many of you have families that don't live in the area, so you don't really see your families and relatives much. You don't have, really, family around you.

Others of you, you're single, and maybe even you live by yourself. You don't have much family around you. Others of you, you're in a marriage or in a family where you don't feel supported. We will be your family. We will be your family. Maybe all your life, you've been trying to belong. There is a universal longing for belonging in everybody. Everybody has a longing for belonging. I've heard many, many people tell me out on that patio, "Rick, I've never felt I belonged anywhere until I got here, 'til I got here". Because you're wanted here. You're not just welcomed, you're wanted, and you belong and you fit, and we'll help you.

So what do you do? You take Class 101, the membership class that maybe, I don't know, 50,000 people have taken, you get baptized. I'm gonna be baptized in a couple weeks. You get connected to a small group. Join us for the next leg of the journey. The other group I wanna talk to are those of you who've been members here with me for years, thank you. I'm gonna do a message just for you soon, but thank you. My challenge to you as we start not just a new year, but a new decade is, fall in love with the Church again. It is the hope of the world. It is the hope of the world. There is no politics that could save the world. There's no business that could save the world. Only God can save the world, and it is only thing that is gonna last on this planet.

Last verse, on the screen, Ephesians 3:21. "All glory belongs to God in the church," see, "in the church," "glory belongs to God in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time and eternity". This is an investment that will pay dividends for the rest of eternity. Let's bow our heads. If you don't know Jesus Christ, you need to get to know him first. You need to be saved. You need to say:

Jesus Christ, I believe in you, I wanna follow you, I wanna learn to trust you, I accept your forgiveness.

You don't have to understand it all, just say:

Yes Lord, yes Lord, I want to know you, and I wanna learn to love you. Thank you for lovin' me.

If you've been on the edge, you say, "I've been attending Saddleback, but I've never actually got connected. I've never joined, never taken the class, never been baptized," you need to be in the family of God. If not here, somewhere. I challenge you to make that commitment to join us this month. For those of you who are already in, as I said, fall in love with the Church all over again, realizing that there is nothing greater to give our time, our energy, our effort to. It's the only thing that's going to last on this planet.

Father, I pray for everyone in the sound of my voice, and as the pastor of this church, I ask you to bless them. Bless their past, their present, their future. Bless their bodies, bless their minds with creativity, bless their physical health, bless their finances, bless their relationships, and where there's conflict, bring peace. We look forward to this new decade together with great enthusiasm, knowing that you're gonna use ordinary people in extraordinary ways, just like you have done. You didn't bring us this far just to stop, but all the past is prologue in the launch pad for the future. We're saying today we're all in. In Jesus' name, amen.

If you want... Thank you. If you wanna take out a card and write down the day you wanna take Class 101, write the day down. If you wanna be baptized by me, get your reservation in. Have you told you lately that I love you?
Are you Human?:*