I have been thinking of Rick Warren all week. A dreadful loss. Praying peace on the family after the tragic suicide of their son Matthew.
Rick Warren just set up the Matthew Warren Memorial Fund for Mental Illness. I hope the fund does well in raising awareness of this issue that affects so many, including many ministry families. It's a hard issue to talk about without creating disrespect for the individual involved. I hope there is a way forward.
Rick is an incredible man and I respect him a hell of a lot. In the early days, we in the emerging church gave the seeker-sensitive pastors a hard time but they, in particular Rick, never retaliated. In Rick Warren's case, he not only embraced much of what we were doing but he also endorsed books and stood by as a resource and mentor. Some months ago I received a huge amount of love when Rick called my twitter profile "brilliant" and tweeted it for his followers. What a guy!
Over those years, God has continued to use Rick Warren beyond our imagination.
Last week we turned up at a remote camping site in the Queen Charlotte area of Marlborough Sounds, South Island, New Zealand. Hardly any civilization anywhere. And at the campground, in a little shed used for washing dishes, someone had left a copy of Purpose Driven Life.
I may not have actually read that book but I have boat-loads of respect for how God has used that book in people's lives. And the impact of the Warren family.
God's peace and blessing be on his family and church in abundant measure. And if you say anything negative about Rick this week (Mega-church pastors are the easiest target) then I will surely kick yo ass!