In Southern California, Rick Warren has announced his retirement after 42 years as pastor of Saddleback Church in Megachurch. A search for his successor will be launched this week.
On Sunday, the well-known evangelical pastor and best-selling author told his congregation that the search is not the beginning but the beginning of the search, The Orange County Register reported Monday.
Warren, 67, said he will serve as the pastor until a successor is placed in place. He said he will then step into a less visible position as the founding pastor.
There is no timeline for the search. It will look at candidates both within and outside the church. Warren declined to speak on Monday about his retirement plans.
Warren made this crazy promise when we were 25 years old that we would give 40 years to another place, that we would not be tempted to move and that we wouldn't be tempted to go to another church, Jay said before his 40th Easter service in 2019.
Warren said then that he was offered a series of jobs with Christian organizations, seminaries and denominations, but never got moved.
With its main campus in Southern California, south of Los Angeles, Saddleback Church has grown to 14 locations in Lake Forest with an average weekly attendance of 30,000 persons. There are four international campuses in Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, the Philippines and France.
Warren, who has more than 11 million social media followers, has written multiple books including The Purpose Driven Life. In 2005, Time magazine named Warren one of the 100 most influential people in the world.