Catching The Passion Wave

Mel's movie caused a cultural wave, and we chose to ride it.

(Editor's note: Rick Warren responds to a column in which Brian McLaren disputed the claim that the release of The Passion of The Christ is "perhaps the best outreach opportunity in 2,000 years." If you missed McLaren's column, click here.)

Three key responsibilities of every pastor are to discern where (and how) God's Spirit is moving in our culture and time, prepare your congregation for that movement, and cooperate with it to reach people Jesus died for. I call it "surfing spiritual waves" in The Purpose Driven Church, and it's the reason Saddleback has grown to 23,500 on weekends in 24 years.

Pastoral vision is often misunderstood. It is not predicting the future, because no one can do that. Instead vision is seeing the timely opportunity God gives you in the current moment and acting in faith and obedience before it passes. You don't criticize a wave; you just ride it as best you can.

When Mel Gibson showed me his film, The Passion of The Christ, last year, I instantly thought of Jesus' ...

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