Memorable Lines from Rick Warren at the 2017 So Cal Lobby Gathering

There is no small church in God’s eyes… no matter what size the plane is, the pilot always takes it just as seriously.

Big isn’t better. Small isn’t better. Better is better. Healthy is better.

Growing churches require growing leaders. I don’t worry about growing the church, I worry about growing me.

What most Senior Pastors don’t realize is that the key to a healthy church is small groups.

A crowd is not a church, but you can make a crowd into a church… but you have to have a process, a system and a strategy.

Your illness is not your identity. Your chemistry is not your character.

In God’s garden of grace, even broken trees bear fruit… all of us are broken.

I don’t want to be a celebrity… I think always being in the spotlight blinds you.

Suicide is making a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Emotion doesn’t last forever.

The biblical structure for church is “temple courts” and “house-to-house.”

We’re not just called to believe, we’re also called to belong. Are you a believer and a belong’er?

The problem with the church is that a lot of Christians use the church, but don’t love the church.

Preaching alone will not bring people to spiritual maturity.

Spiritual growth is incremental.

A lot of people grow old in the church but don’t grow up.

Maturity is not an end unto itself. Maturity is for ministry and mission.

Jesus never sent anyone out by themselves.

It takes 7-8 weeks to develop a new habit.

The U.S. Air Force did a study and found we forget 90-95 percent of what we hear in 72 hours.

The shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory.

People join a group for content, they stay for the relationships.

Relationship is the number one reason people need to be in a group but it’s not the number one reason they’re attracted to the group.

The campaign idea is the small group factory of Saddleback Church.

In ministry, the deeper the pain, the fewer the words. Just show up and shut up. It’s the ministry of presence.

When you have a personality-driven church the staff is tired all the time, because they’re pushing it.

*These were compiled during a live session I attended with Rick Warren at the 2017 Lobby hosted by the Small Group Network at the Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center.


  • Andrew Mason

    Andrew Mason is the Small Groups Pastor of Real Life Church, a family of churches in the Nor. CA region. He oversees Small Groups and Assimilation. He is Founder of, an online community of leaders dedicated to growing churches one small group at a time. Andrew resides in Sacramento, CA with his wife Camille and their son. His personal blog is

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