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79 ‘purpose-driven’ churches honored at Saddleback

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)–Seventy-nine congregations from 20 nations received Church Health Awards during Saddleback Church’s 2004 Purpose-Driven Church Conference May 11-14 in Lake Forest, Calif. Eighteen of those churches are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

“These churches understand the importance of maintaining a balance between the five biblical purposes of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and mission,” said Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church and Purpose-Driven ministries. “These congregations embrace purpose-driven characteristics to not only grow in numbers but, more importantly, to grow in health.

“That’s why, through these awards, we emphasize balance, health and strength over size or shape,” Warren said. “There is no correlation between the size of a church and its strength.”

Since 1999, Purpose-Driven ministries have honored four to six churches each year that have shown excellence in adapting the Purpose-Driven paradigm to their congregation. With thousands of churches having participated in the “40 Days of Purpose” discipleship program in recent months, Purpose-Driven decided to honor 79 churches this year. Each church received a check for $1,000.

The Southern Baptist congregations receiving a 2004 Church Health Award were:

Bay Area Fellowship, Corpus Christi, Texas

Brookwood Community Church, Greenville, S.C.

Centro Familiar Cristiano Betesda, Orange, Calif.

The Church at Rock Creek, Little Rock, Ark.

Clovis Hills Community Church, Clovis, Calif.

Crosspoint Chinese Church, Milpitas, Calif.

El Buen Pastor, Kenner, La.

Flamingo Road Church, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Grace Church, Des Moines, Iowa

High Pointe Community Church, South Hill, Wash.

Hunter Street Baptist Church, Hoover, Ala.

Iglesia Bautista Resurrección, Miami, Fla.

New Covenant Community Church, Lincoln, Neb.

New Horizons Fellowship, Apex, N.C.

Rabbit Creek Community Church, Anchorage, Alaska

SpringWell Church, Taylors, S.C.

Valleydale Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.

West Ridge Church, Hiram, Ga.

Also honored was the Tokyo Baptist Church in Tokyo, Japan.

About 4,000 pastors and church leaders from 46 nations attended the Purpose-Driven Church Conference at Saddleback, one of America’s largest churches with more than 22,000 people attending weekend worship services.

Fifteen thousand congregations in the United States and thousands more worldwide have walked through the discipleship program, “40 Days of Purpose,” which is based on Rick Warren’s best-selling book “The Purpose-Driven Life.” The book has sold nearly 20 million copies since October 2002 and has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 65 weeks.

This fall 15,000 more churches are expected to go through “40 Days of Purpose” during two different sessions beginning Sept. 25 and Oct. 9.
For more information on 40 Days of Purpose, go to www.purposedriven.com.

    About the Author

  • Mike Umlandt