Bell – August 2022

COURAGE TO CHANGE                            BY: RICK WARREN

The world has changed mightily in the 42 years since I started Saddleback. When we held our first
service in the spring of 1980, cell phones didn’t exist. We didn’t have the Internet. No one had a
personal video camera. Only a handful of people had personal computers.
I remember we bought three computers for $10,000 in the first few years of Saddleback. I lost three
leaders in the church over it. They called the purchase a waste and said we’d never use three
computers. But times have changed.
Change is inevitable. You don’t have to like change, but you can’t stop it. The world will continue to
change every day. You can count on that.
You can resent change, resist it, or you can use it for your growth and God’s glory.
The choice is yours.
But I’ve learned this in my 60 years of walking with Jesus—you can’t grow without change. You can’t
have change without loss because in growth, you must let go of the old to grab onto the new. There’s
no loss without pain, and there’s no pain without grief. You simply can’t grow without pain and grief in
your life.
Just like anyone else, as we’ve experienced change at Saddleback, I’ve gone through a variety of
I encourage you to not be a prisoner to all of your emotions as you’re going through change. For
example, here’s how you can navigate two very common emotions during change and use them to
help you grow.
I’ve never doubted God, but I have doubted myself. I’ve wondered if I was the right pastor to lead
Saddleback. At times, I was certain that God could find someone better. I’ve wondered whether I really
heard God when he called me. All of those doubts are normal.
About a decade into leading Saddleback, I discovered an important principle: Doubt your doubts and
believe your beliefs. We get into trouble because we do the opposite. We believe our doubts, and we
doubt our beliefs. That’s foolish. Beliefs are meant to be believed. Doubts are meant to be doubted.
All kinds of fears come with change. I’ve been scared about each major decision we’ve made at
Saddleback. But we moved forward anyway because I wouldn’t let fear stop me from doing what God
has called our church to do. We did the right thing even when we were scared to death.
Fear will keep you in a self-imposed prison. Don’t ever argue with your fear. It doesn’t work, because
fear is not rational. You can’t use logic to get away from fear. The only way to deal with fear is to move
against it.
You must do what you fear the most.
Saddleback’s history is all about doing things we were scared to do because we knew they were right.
When you do what’s right, even when you’re scared, you are being courageous.
Never make decisions based upon any of these emotions that come with change. Emotions, by their
definition, are temporary. Every single emotion, whether good or bad, won’t last long. You don’t want
to make permanent decisions based on fleeting emotions.
When we get depressed, we often think we’ll feel this way for the rest of our lives. But we won’t.
Depression cannot last because it’s based upon emotion.
Plus, emotions lie to us all the time. They aren’t always honest. In our culture today, we’ve made our
emotions our idol. What God says about you and your situation is much more important than what
your emotions are saying. Feelings come from many sources—and not all of them are good.
You’ll face change for the rest of your ministry and life. Some changes you may like. Others you may
not. The longer you serve, the more change you’ll see.
But all changes can help you grow. This world may change rapidly, but God never does. As you lean on
the unchanging presence of God in your life, He’ll help you grow.
This was taken off the web from Faith Lessons by Rick Warren
Faith Lessons from Rick Warren - Purpose Driven Church (