Purpose Driven Church


Every church is driven by something. Tradition, finances, programs, personalities, events, seekers, and even buildings can each be the controlling force in a church. But Rick Warren believes that in order for a church to be healthy it must become a purpose-driven church, built around the five New Testament purposes given to the church by Jesus.

“The issue is church health, not church growth!” declares Warren. “If your church is healthy, growth will occur naturally. Healthy, consistent growth is the result of balancing the five biblical purposes of the church.”

Rick Warren shares a proven five-part strategy that will enable your church to grow • warmer through fellowship • deeper through discipleship • stronger through worship • broader through ministry • larger through evangelism.

Key Topics or Truths

Church growth
Healthy churches
Church leadership

This Book is Good For...

This book is a standard and good for any leader of any church anywhere.

How I Use this Book to make disciples

This book has different applications and leanings for different types of leaders that are continuing discipleship. Most of the disciples who read The Purpose Driven Church question some of the initial theology and some of the suggested methodology. This is a Discipleship Three book and questions should be encouraged. However, critical thinking needs to be based on Biblical teaching and balanced with the greater concepts that Warren provides. For example, Warren is very clear that the system that worked for his church will not work for every church. The idea is that the gathering believers together (church) should be done purposefully and we should have a clear Biblical plan.

I have the disciples read a few chapters at a time and discuss them thoroughly each week. There are tons of truth and great learning in this book. I listen and mention the ones that disciples miss. I squeeze out every big concept and every applicable truth that we can. I create thought vacuums by asking, “How would you do this? How should we do this?”

I like this book because it champions a systematic approach to figuring out why your church exists before figuring out how you will do what you will do. I love this book for the big truths beyond Warren’s specifics.

Real Life Story

When I combined this book with the concepts presented in “Breakout Churches”, “Start with the Why”, and “Spiritual Leadership”, I began to develop a clear sense that the church overall has a Biblical purpose, a why, that should result in a systematic approach to gathering while leaving room for the Holy Spirit to guide. It pushed me to have a plan to get people healthy and to make sure that all I was doing lined up with that core plan.

Know Issues or Controversies

The difficulty with this book is that it takes a theological leap to state the five purposes of a church as being evangelism, fellowship, worship, discipleship, and ministry. There is no doubt that these five things happen in a healthy gathering of believers. Warren’s argument (passed to him by his teachers and mentors before him) comes from a historical description of the first gatherings of Christians in Acts 2.  But put in context those passages leave out several key things that the first believers also did — like share all their belongings, share finances and take the Lord’s supper it seems almost every time they gathered. Further, defining what the five things they did as their purposes, fails to recognize that the five and the sharing of resources were actually secondary to the fact that they devoted themselves to praying, their leaders did miracles, and a sense of awe overwhelmed them.

While I am not arguing that there should be miracles or any other specific demonstration, the reader should note that the five purposes that Rick defines are taken out of context with the rest of what the early church experienced and did.

Share this post

Notify me of new posts

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rick Warren
Book Details
Reading Time
Three Weeks at least
Related Reads

This book pairs well with Breakout Churches and Spiritual Leadership.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

How to Make Disciples

Two Chapter Preview

How to Make Disciples

Choose your preview format...