Pastor Rick Warren addressed over 800 delegates and attendees at the Anglican Church in North America’s inaugural assembly today. Urging the audience to focus on the mission of the Church and “winning one more for Jesus,” the influential pastor encouraged and prayed for the new church and its representatives.
Welcomed by Archbishop-designate Bob Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America and Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Warren stepped on to the stage at St. Vincent’s Cathedral Bedford, Texas, to a standing ovation. Warren spoke for the next 45 minutes, giving practical advice to the gathered clergy and church leaders on such matters as nurturing Christian maturity, sharing the faith and building healthy, growing churches.
Reminding the audience to stay focused on God and His love for people, Warren said, “Jesus didn’t die to save America, he died to save Americans.” The work of the church, he said, was to preach the Gospel and make disciples. “Don’t ask God to bless what you are doing. Do what God is blessing.”
Along that theme and in the context of the current lawsuits brought against many in the ACNA, Pastor Warren said, “The church has never been made up of buildings, it’s made up of people,” and “Christ did not die for property… You may lose the steeple, but you will not lose the people.”
After the speech, which was punctuated by lengthy applause, Pastor Warren took questions from the audience.