Friday, August 15, 2008

Rick Warren's PEACE

TIME 18 August 2008 US edition issue has an interesting article about Rick Warren

Warren's insight was to combine both models in a plan aimed at energizing Third World churches. He knew they were everywhere, including backwaters unreached by government or NGOs. He started comparing them to McDonald's franchises. Or to desktop computers: if they could be infected with the virus of good works, the world could be transformed. (Put simply: if every pastor in the world taught basic water hygiene, it could significantly cut rates of dysentery, a major global killer.) Scores of short-term activists, armed with Saddleback-crafted training, would go into a foreign country, locate its most promising churches and introduce them to the best practices in areas from health care to good leadership. Those churches would train other churches until the country was saturated. Warren saw this occurring in every country in the world.

PEACE — an acronym for promote reconciliation; equip servant leaders; assist the poor; care for the sick; educate the next generation — "exemplifies Rick's capacity to capture big ideas and make them simple and memorable and motivational," says Crouch. Indeed, the idea is so big, only Warren could have hatched it. Warren dismisses those who claim he is trying to "build heaven on earth." He says, "I'm not that stupid." But there is nothing in his sales pitch — to thousands of pastors, dozens of heads of state, financiers at the Davos World Economic Forum and editorial boards — that suggests where its limits might be. He refers repeatedly to the "1 billion" Christians he thinks the plan can mobilize. His sell combines the aid wonk's jargon of "self-sufficiency, scalability and reproducibility," the dotcommer's dream of exponential growth and something older. Says one pastor participant: "This is like the fishes-and-loaves story. People think that that kind of miracle is happening."

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