Thinking Out Loud

January 1, 2010

Bottom Drops Out of Donations at Saddleback: $1M Debit Crisis

The bigger they are, the harder it gets during a recession,  as USAToday reports:

Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Community Church

Evangelical pastor Rick Warren appealed to parishioners at his California megachurch Wednesday to help fill a $900,000 deficit by the first of the year.

Warren made the appeal in a letter posted on the Saddleback Church website. It begins “Dear Saddleback Family, THIS IS AN URGENT LETTER.”

“With 10% of our church family out of work due to the recession, our expenses in caring for our community in 2009 rose dramatically while our income stagnated,” the letter reads.

Still, Warren said the church managed to stay within its budget, but “the bottom dropped out” when Christmas donations dropped. “On the last weekend of 2009, our total offerings were less than half of what we normally receive…”

[continue reading the story at USAToday Religion]

Related story at Godvertiser blog discusses the announcement — just one day earlier — that Warren’s magazine is discontinuing its print edition and going digital.


  1. It appears he got what he wanted.

    Warren is calling donations, The Miracle.

    I’m not making the use of capitals up either.

    He takes a swipe at media and the rest of us who are clueless about how churches work.

    I don’t follow this guy; if I’m understanding Guidestar info correctly, one of his organizations brought in 74 million 07/08.

    Comment by Bene D — January 2, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

  2. Christianity has absolutely nothing to do with business or finance. Once Mammon is introduced to the faith then we have another religion all together not true Christianity.

    It is not about making money out of the poor, who even while they are appending themselves to these false churches are getting poorer while their Churches get richer.

    Christianity is about sharing the Gospel with the power of God.

    Every other thing you see is a perversion of the truth. May look nice but utterly destructive!!

    Comment by Kith — January 2, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

    • This is an example of an OTT comment (from the British expression, Over the Top.) The fact is that raising of money to fund Kingdom ministry comes up several times in the book of Acts. And there’s some question whether — taking things in perspective — this was more tabloid-style journalism on USAToday’s part, especially if what the previous comment suggests (that the money was all raised in 48 hours) is true.

      I think the only reason you made the comment was so that you include the reference to “…these false churches…” and “…perversion of the truth…” The blog post was lifted from USAToday without agenda, other than to note that big churches face big challenges, especially in a recession. Don’t assume I’m on board with your condemnation of Warren.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — January 2, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  3. He’s into that social gospel thing, about doing good works I don’t think he’s big on sin and salvation. I consider him a heretic.

    Comment by David H Mercier — January 2, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

    • You don’t like him. Just say it that way.

      Heretic is a fairly serious charge.

      Jesus was into that social gospel thing, too; about doing good works…

      Last time I checked, Saddleback was still affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, a fairly conservative bunch.

      Until they pull his credentials…

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — January 2, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

  4. […] year end budget.   He got $2.4 million US (the green ones) dollars.  And still counting.  Original story here.    Follow up story at […]

    Pingback by And Now You Know The Rest of the Story « Thinking Out Loud — January 4, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

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