Pastor Rick Warren on the Value of Staying in One Place to Minister



Tonight, at the great West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, I have the privilege of honoring one of America’s great pastors – a wonderful co-worker in ministry, a powerful force for good in the city of Los Angeles, and dear friend of mine. Bishop Charles Blake has pastored West Angeles Church in the heart of L.A. for FORTY SIX YEARS! That’s what you call “putting down roots” in a congregation and city. There aren’t many pastors who’ve cared for one congregation for that long. (One of my 6 mentors served his church in Dallas for 50 years,)

A big reason why many churches are plateaued and declining is because they change leaders every few years. There’s no way a church can grow healthy and strong if the office of the pastor has a revolving door. What would happen to a family that got a new daddy every 3 or 4 years? The children would have massive trust issues, not knowing who they count on, and all kinds of emotional wounds, including a fear of abandonment, poor self-esteem, and a suspicious attitude toward relationship, When so many pastor move around every few years (or they are forced to move by their denomination) it’s no wonder that many churches are weakened by conflict, cliques, gossip, and distrust.

Usually in a church, the first year of a new pastor is the ”honeymoon” – everybody tries to get along and be happy. (Actually it’s not really a honeymoon, just suspended judgment!) The second year of new pastor, he starts to be criticized by people who don’t like his new direction for the church. The seven last words of the church are “We have never done it that way!” By the third or fourth year, somebody has to leave … either the pastor leaves, or those dissatisfied leave. From 35 years of coaching pastors and mediating church conflicts between members and their pastors I’ve seen this over and over: When the pastor leaves, the problems stay. (They’re left for the next poor pastor to deal with.) But if the pastor stays, the problems leave. Either the problem is eventually solved, or the problem-creators move to another church. It’s sad that one study showed that the average pastor gives up and leaves because of 7 vocal critics.

When I planted Saddleback Church 35 years ago, I made a public commitment to our first members to stay as their pastor – through thick and thin – for 40 years. God willing, I intend to keep that commitment. It has not always been easy, I’ve often wanted to resign on many Monday mornings. But like my marriage vow, I made a commitment to God that I do not take lightly. Looking back, and then looking at all the good Saddleback has accomplished around the world, I’m grateful that I never gave up on my calling, or the vision God gave me, or the precious people he placed under my care and leadership (1 Peter 5:1-3, Heb. 13:17). But I’m even more grateful that God never gave up on me, because I’m not the same man I was when Kay and I started the church started 35 years ago. While the church was growth, God was growing me.

God is a systematic God. He created the solar system. The Animal Kingdom and Plant Kingdom are systems in a finely balanced environment. Your body is a collection of systems – digestive, respiratory, nervous, skeletal , circulatory, and other systems, Just like God designed your body to function around 9 systems, the Body of Christ, the church, is designed to function around 5 biblical systems. While pastoring Saddleback, it’s also been my privilege to assist and train other pastors in setting up the biblical systems of fellowship, worship, discipleship, service, and evangelism . At last count, I served over 440,000 pastors from 164 countries. In every training program I’ve told pastor the same thing: I can teach you the personal character (Psalm 78:72), the biblical purposes (Matt. 22:37-40 & Matt. 28:19-20) the New Testament structure (Acts 5:42) and the necessary skills (Eccl 10:10) , that will grow a congregation, but I CANNOT teach you how to do it QUICKLY! It took me 35 years! To grow something strong and healthy takes time. When God wants to make a mushroom he takes 6 hours but when he wants to make an oak tree, he takes 60 years. So here’s the question: Do you want your church to be a mushroom or an oak tree? If you want it to last, you can’t grow it fast. True discipleship takes time.

One thing that I’m personally opposed to are these published lists of “The FASTEST growing churches.” They reinforce short-term thinking. But strength, not speed, is what matters. No one cares HOW LONG it took Michelangelo to paint the Sistine chapel. What matters is its lasting beauty. Fast-growing churches don’t impress me. I could teach you a dozen ways to attract a crowd fast, but a crowd is not a church! What impresses me are the number of disciples in small group fellowship, active with the spiritual habits, serving in ministry, and being sent out on mission. You judge the strength of a church not by its seating capacity but by its SENDING capacity. Yes, we’ve baptized over 42,000 adult believers, but just as important Saddleback has over 40,000 studying the Bible each week in small groups, over 27,000 members serving in what we call bi-vocational ministries, and has sent 24,869 of our member to serve overseas in 197 countries. You can’t do any of that quickly! YOU HAVE TO STAY PUT AND BE PATIENT! There are instant crowds, but no instant churches, and attendance is only one of a dozen vital signs of a healthy congregation.

There are too many advantages and benefits of staying in one place for ministry than I have space to mention in this post. But here’s one benefit I’ve witnessed over and over: When you lead with love and integrity, your ministry gets better every year. But if you don’t lead with love and integrity, it gets worse and more difficult every year. You can pretend to love people for a few years, but you can’t fake love for 35 years! The people figure out if you are legit, because there is never a moment when they aren’t watching you, and testing your credibility. If you are a leader, people are constantly doing a “credit check” on you before they invest themselves. People want to know 1) Does my pastor love me? 2) Does he practice what he preaches? and 3) Does he lead by example, making the first sacrifice? The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. And if a pastor does that humbly and consistently year after year after year, the people will follow you anywhere… even if it means charging hell with squirt guns!

I don’t have space to explain the background and reasons, but one time the members of Saddleback church once voted unanimously by anonymous ballot to purchase a $13 million dollar piece of property – without knowing the purchase price, because I had said two words: “Trust me.” Of course I would not have even attempted to suggest that in the early years of Saddleback. But after a 20 year track record of love, sacrifice, wise decisions, and a willingness to own up to my mistakes and weaknesses, I had earned their trust.

Bishop Charles Blake is that kind of leader, For 48 years he has been able to impact Los Angeles in ways like no other pastor I know, because he STAYED PUT! In 1 Timothy1:12 Paul said “I thank God for PUTTING ME into the ministry.” Ministry is received, not achieved. It is a gift of God’s grace. And if God PUTS you into ministry, then must stay put, until he announces other plans for you!

During the past eight years, my friend Charles Blake has also served as leader of the Church of God in Christ, America’s oldest and largest African-American Pentecostal denomination with 6.5 million members worldwide. Charles has spoken twice at Saddleback and helped Kay and me launch our summit on caring for people with AIDS. Years ago, he asked to come to the COGIC Annual Bishops and Elders Gathering and teach thel Purpose Driven Church Seminar to their leadership. Tonight West Angeles Church will honor the 75th birthday of their pastor, and I was deeply touched when Charles called me, and asked me to preach at his 75th birthday.

The world… and the Church,,, need far more partnerships between black, white, brown, and every other color of pastors and churches. It was encouraging to see Caucasian and Asian and Hispanic pastor working in solidarity with our sister Black churches after the tragedies of Ferguson and Charlotte. The only want to overcome evil is with good, and the only way to overcome hatred is with love.

So if you are in the areas tonight, I urge you to join us at 7 pm to honor Bishop Blake at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ, 3600 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. . I’m sure you know some of his members who are coming tonight to honor him: Magic Johnson, Angela Bassett, Samuel and LaTonya Jackson , and many others.

When Dr. Murphy Lum retired from pastoring

Photos from Pastor Murphy Lum’s Retirement Celebration (November 2012)

via Harry Yan’s Facebook timeline

And, Dr. Jeffrey Jue’s tweets:

Congrats to my old pastor, Dr. Murphy Lum, on his retirement as Sr. Minister of First Chinese Baptist Church Fountain Valley, CA. (18 Nov 2012)

Just heard my childhood Baptist pastor has gone home to glory. Thankful for the faithful ministry of Dr. Murphy Lum. (16 Jul 2015)

cache of 2009 article about Daryl Hernandez’s House of Rock

cache via

House of Rock keeps on rollin’

By Michelle J. Mills Staff Writer — San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Instructor  Daryl Hernandez along with the House of Rock band at the Fret House Saturday, December 5, 2009, in Covina. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham/ENT)
Instructor Daryl Hernandez along with the House of Rock band at the Fret House Saturday, December 5, 2009, in Covina. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham/ENT)

So you – or your kid – wants to be a rock ‘n’ and roll star.

Well, Daryl Hernandez has been helping students who are interested in answering that calling since June 2008 with his House of Rock program at the Fret House in Covina.

The program offers classes designed for students who already have some experience with instruments and want to learn how to play in a group or band, both on and off the stage.

“Kids are learning what they need to become performers, and what they need to become professionals as well,” Hernandez said.

A Covina resident, Hernandez knows all too well about being both student and a performing musician. He is completing a master’s degree in classical guitar performance at Cal State Fullerton and regularly performs with the local horror rock band Demonia. As director of House of Rock, he is responsible for providing students a wealth of instructional topics, including song format and structure, music styles, theory, performance and interpretation.

“Through learning song structure and format, (students) understand how songs work, and they can start to create their own,” Hernandez said.

He is hoping to add a composition section to the sessions in the future.

House of Rock is open to all ages, but current students are between 10 to 17 years old.

“We are always open to any age student who is looking to have the band experience,” Hernandez said.

Classes provide discipline, focus, socialization and other tools that students will need in higher education and throughout life.Hernandez also wants to help students decide what they want to do with their music knowledge.”My goal is to provide a consistent musical education throughout the school year for kids who are not in band or feel like they want something different,” Hernandez said.

Students are required to practice outside of class, and most also take private instruction to better hone their skills.

Since its establishment, Hernandez has updated House of Rock curriculum to include more learning opportunities for its students. Instead of just learning popular songs, each series is concentrated on a theme. The current session focuses on soul music and British rock bands, with an emphasis on Motown and The Who. The last session covered punk and funk with James Brown and the Clash. Next on stage will be Atlantic R&B and soul, such as Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, as well as classic British rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Cream and the Animals.

Hernandez also invites guests to work with his students. Most recently, Oingo Boingo bassist John Avila and the Citrus College Pop Rock Ensemble made appearances. Citrus College plans to continue working with House of Rock for recruitment and experience.

Hernandez has enough returning students that he has been able to start creating individual bands within House of Rock, rather than just rotating players through one large group. Vocalists are required to learn all of the course material, so if necessary, they can step in with any band.

“As you stay in the program, you start to accumulate your set,” Hernandez said.

As bands acquire enough material, Hernandez also helps them book outside gigs. This has already happened for one grouping of Diamond Bar teens who perform as Jet Propulsion. In eight months, the teens have developed a 15-song repertoire and have been playing local venues.

House of Rock has performed at the House of Blues in Anaheim, farmers’ markets, carnivals and festivals. It also has a regular concert arrangement with Nick’s Taste of Texas in Covina.

Bianca Marrufo, 17, of Fontana, has been a vocalist in the House of Rock program for three sessions. She learned of the program from her sister, Danielle Marrufo, 14, who takes violin lessons at the Fret House and was interested in joining the program to play guitar. Danielle told Bianca that she would only participate if they could do it together, and Bianca agreed.

Marrufo has sung in the school choir in seventh and eighth grades, but has no other formal training.

“What I like is that you learn a lot of different kinds of music, not just rock, but blues and reggae,” said Marrufo, a senior at St. Lucy’s Priory High School in Glendora. “One thing I like is that we’ll learn a song, like a blues song, and after we learn it, we can give our own spin on it – bring our own style to it. It’s still a blues song, but it has a different feel.”

The House of Rock will perform two shows on Saturday. The first is an afternoon holiday concert at the Covina Center for the Performing Arts, which will include a Christmas medley with all of the students on stage in a “House of Rock Orchestra.”

In the evening the group will open for the Delgado Bros. at Nick’s Taste of Texas. They will return to Nick’s for a February show, and in June, perform on Catalina Island.

In July, Hernandez plans to offer a Chicano rock retrospective during his House of Rock sessions, covering music by artists from the ’50s forward, including Santana and Los Lobos.

When goes live, it means .APP domains are coming soon

Perhaps the most popular domain extension on the Internet will be domains that end in .APP, so much so that Google paid $25 million for the .app domain — that is the most any company has paid in one of ICANN’s auctions so far. Wouldn’t you want a domain that ends in .APP, especially for your app?


When this becomes official is marked by an event called delegation, the occasion when the Internet will recognize .APP domain names. According to the official ICANN website, the status of the .APP top level domain is:

Application Status: Transition to Delegation

Application Status: Delegated

And the official Delegation Record for .APP will be posted at [delegated July 3, 2015]

Then the website will be up and running! And that will be the only .APP domain name allowed to be active for the 90 days after delegation, or about 3 months. Stay tuned for on-going developments…

Saddleback Church Refinery Menus and Hours

When you’re at Saddleback Church‘s Lake Forest campus, there’s great food to eat at The Refinery at 3 different restaurants: The Grill House, The Cafe & The Bricks Pizzeria. Saddleback Food Services also provides full-service catering, both on-site & off-site.

Daily Hours

The Cafe: Sun-Fri 8am-2pm + Sat 8am-7pm [menu]

The Grill House & Deli: Sun-Fri 11am-2pm + Sat 11am-7pm [menu]

The Bricks Pizzeria: Mon-Fri 11am-2pm [menu]

As you can see from the hours above, lunch is served in the Refinery from 11:00am to 2:00pm

Plus, Dinners at Saddleback: Mon-Thurs 5-7pm in the Refinery [menu]

** Daniel Plan friendly foods available at all dinners

See the Saddleback Food Services page for more info

The Refinery at Saddleback Church


Follow @SaddlebackFood on Twitter

Facebook page:


Food Services ministry description —

We exist to provide a welcoming environment where food, family and fellowship can thrive while volunteers use their SHAPE to serve with a smile.

We have many opportunities to volunteer, including helping to prepare food, setting up for meals, cleaning up, etc.

Volunteers should be gifted in customer service, have an attitude of flexibility, and a heart to serve others. We welcome all who have a passion for ensuring customer satisfaction and creating a lasting impression!

According to web page (dated May 2013) —

The Refinery is a place where people of all ages enjoy spending time. Whether you’re looking to connect and get to know new people or you’re searching for activities to engage the whole family, there’s something for everyone. Bring your family, friends, and co-workers and join us for food, coffee, games, and more! We even have free Wi-Fi and plenty of quiet space for you to feel right at home, so take advantage of our daily happenings.


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