Rick Warren Speaks Out After Rob Bell’s Resignation

Saddleback church pastor rick warren
Rick Warren (AP Images/Luis M. Alvarez)

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One megachurch pastor is speaking out against another megachurch pastor, sort of.

When controversial Love Wins author Rob Bell announced his decision to resign from Mars Hill Bible Church last week, the Twitterverse went in up a blaze. Among those who were making comments was Saddleback Church’s own pastor, Rick Warren.

Although Warren did not mention Bell’s name directly, his tweet that posted hours after the sensationalistic news led some to believe that the best-selling author of Purpose Driven Life was speaking about Bell.

“Speaking tours feed the ego All applause & no responsibility. It's an unreal world. A church gives accountability & validity,” Warren tweeted.

Bell is the latest megachurch leader to quit in recent years. Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love, resigned from his church, as did Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity and Jim Belcher, author of Deep Church.

Are megachurch leaders leaving from the wrong reasons?

Rick Christian, president of Alive Communications, a Colorado Springs, Colo., literary agency that represents megachurch pastors, told Religion News Service that some megachurch pastors begin to feel more like CEOs than shepherds and may be tempted to leave the headaches behind for greener pastures. He encourages megachurch pastors to appreciate the accountability of leading a congregation.

"You can have somebody who leaves for the wrong reasons and becomes a lone ranger," Christian told RNS. "They're just running and gunning for the Lord on planes, in hotels, zipping around at 30,000 feet. You can lose touch very quickly."

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