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This weekend, Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren announced a major milestone: They’ve become the first church to baptize 50,000 people.

In a Facebook post, Warren wrote, “This weekend, we will soar past another historic milestone as we baptize the 50,000th person baptized into the Body of Christ at Saddleback Church. Imagine all the amazing personal stories of changed lives behind that number! 50,000 individual lives transformed by Jesus since Saddleback Church began. This is unprecedented in history! YOU are likely one of those stories of a changed life!”

He went on to explain why he believes the church has been so successful at growing, evangelizing, serving the poor, discipling and plugging Christians into community.

He wrote,

I’m often asked: Why has this church, by God’s grace, been able to bring so many unbelievers to Jesus?

Because of your LOVE!

YOU genuinely love people and you want them to go to heaven with you! Every day, you bring your friends, co-workers, and family to Jesus. Honestly, I’ve never seen a group like you anywhere else in the world. I’m humbled to be your pastor, and I could not be more proud of you.
When other churches and pastors study our purpose driven paradigm and process, they are always shocked to discover that we’ve never had an outreach “program.” Instead our approach has always been 100% relational.

We just build bridges of love from our hearts to the hearts of people who don’t know Jesus yet, and then Jesus walks across that bridge. This church was built on hospitality. How can people trust Jesus if they don’t trust you?

A second reason we’ve reached this amazing milestone of 50,000 baptisms is because YOU have unselfishly and maturely adapted to thousands of changes we’ve made over the years, so we could continue to “Reach One More for Jesus!”

Since you are here, we found this for you:

“Hurt by the Church”

It takes mature people to grow a church; people willing to sacrifice their own comfort in order to reach more people that Jesus died for. You’ve been “fast, fluid, and flexible” as we’ve changed locations, services, personnel, programs, and just about everything else to stay sharp and effective.

You can read the full post here.

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