Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, is updating his ambitious PEACE Plan, a global strategy to fight poverty, disease, and corruption.
During the past four years, Warren's Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, has sent 7,766 church members on 1,002 short-term mission trips to "beta-test" new methods for church-based outreach in 68 nations. Warren has spent much of the last two years on overseas "listening sessions," where local church leaders shared their views on his methods. "We learned 100 ways that don't work," he said, referring to his new approach to missions, which emphasizes church-to-church partnerships.
Originally, the PEACE Plan was an acronym for: Plant churches, Equip leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, and Educate the next generation. Critics derided it as a well-meaning, ambitious, and ultimately doomed attempt to impose from the outside a framework for solving chronic problems in places like Rwanda.
The next phase, which Warren calls PEACE 2.0, provides more than a tweak to the original plan. Warren has inserted "Promote reconciliation" in place of "Plant churches." This is a welcome change for Bryan Crute, senior pastor of Destiny Metro Worship Church, a black megachurch in Atlanta. Crute was one of about 650 church, ministry, mission, and corporate leaders who attended an invitation-only event at Saddleback in late May, where Warren announced his new plan.
Crute told Christianity Today that African Americans have much to teach the global church about reconciliation. "When you look at the potential for African Americans to redemptively use their history to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is an opportunity that is largely ignored and overlooked. When will we use our history of slavery ...1