Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

The Purpose Driven Church
Written by Chan Weng Seng   

Purpose Driven Church


Book: The Purpose Driven Church

Author: Rick Warren

Publisher: Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Review of book by: Mr. Chan Weng Seng


“Pastoring a congregation of Christ’s followers is the greatest responsibility, the grandest privilege, and the highest honor I can imagine. If I knew of a more strategic way to invest my life I would do it, because I do not intend to waste my life. The task of bringing people to Christ and into membership of His family, developing them into mature disciples, empowering and equipping them for personal ministry, and sending them out to fulfill their life mission is the greatest purpose on earth. I have no doubt that it is worth living and dying for.” Rick Warren.

Rick Warren had successfully walked the walk and now in this book he succinctly talked the talk. The main theme of this book had been to define God’s purposes for Christ’s church and to identify the practical implications of these purposes to concerned pastors, lay leaders and growing Christians.

How do you grow your church without compromising Christ’s message and without invalidating the church’s mission? After 20 years of observing and researching on growing and dying churches; after 15 years of testing, applying and refining church health and growth principles, processes and practices in Saddleback Valley Community Church, Rick Warren finally answered this all important question in this book. The 20 chapters he wrote are arranged into 5 sequential parts. Each part builds on and progresses from what was written before. An examination of the table of contents will provide a good summary of how he developed step-by-step his many strategies for growing healthy churches.

Part 1: Seeing the Big Picture.

1 The Saddleback Story

2 Myths About Growing Churches

Part 2: Becoming A Purpose-Driven Church

3 What Drives Your Church?

4 The Foundations for A Healthy Church

5 Defining Your Purposes

6 Communicating Your Purposes

7 Organizing Around Your Purposes

8 Applying Your Purposes

Part 3: Reaching Out To Your Community

9 Who I s Your Target

10 Knowing Whom You Can Best Reach

11 Developing Your Strategy

Part 4: Bring In The Crowd

12 How Jesus Attracted Crowds

13 Worship Can Be A Witness

14 Designing a Seeker-Sensitive Service

15 Selecting Your Music

16 Preaching To the Unchurched

Part 5: Building Up the Church

17 Turning Attenders into Members (Congregation)

18 Developing Mature Members (Committed)

19 Turning Members into Ministers (Core)

20 God’s Purpose For Your Church


This is one of the best books on church health and growth I’ve ever read. It’s visionary and missionary; biblical and practical. It focuses on church health by dispelling present-day myths about how churches ought to grow. It offers down-to-earth help and it provides a scriptural model for ministry for churches to pattern after. I am impressed by the author’s thorough biblical reflection and his sound theological integrity. I detect insightful spiritual perception and fervent evangelistic passion. Rick Warren’s genuine pastoral concern and his refreshing common-sense come through to the reader in a warm and friendly way. He understands the present mindset of the unchurched . He encourages local churches to penetrate and infiltrate modern materialistic and humanistic society with the life-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ. He advocates the use of contemporary and relevant methods without compromising the mission and the doctrine of the New Testament church.

After reading many books on church growth by people who had never done it, this book is a breath of fresh air. It’s difficult to argue against biblical principles and the voice of experience expressed in this book. To do so will be foolishness and arrogance. Rick Warren has the proven track record to demonstrate his proven 5-part strategy for growing healthy churches. If only we will listen and learn from him. Then our churches will grow warmer through fellowship; deeper through discipleship; stronger through worship; broader through ministry and larger through evangelism.

One pertinent issue highlighted by Rick Warren that warrants further deliberation and more discussion is this. “Many church members aren’t active in ministry because they were so busy attending meetings; they have no time left for ministry. Many churches take their brightest and best people and turn them into bureaucrats by giving them more meetings to attend. You drain life out of them. You waste their time; keep them from real ministry and create opportunities for conflict. To mobilize church members for ministry, streamline church structure to maximize ministry and minimize maintenance. The more organizational machinery your church sets up, the more time, energy and money it takes to maintain it; that could be invested in ministry to people instead.”

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