FIRST-PERSON: The Angel Stadium Declaration
LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--On April 17, more than 30,000 members of the Saddleback family gathered in Angel Stadium to celebrate our congregation's 25th anniversary. But we did more than just rejoice in the way God fulfilled the original vision He gave me for the congregation in 1980. I also shared a new vision God has placed on my heart, one for mobilizing all God's people -- all over the world -- to tackle the giant obstacles that keep people in spiritual darkness.
At the end of the celebration, we all stood together and read the declaration below that I wrote to help us express our radical commitment to this global spiritual revolution. I encourage you to share this with your friends and family as we all challenge each other to join God in seeing his will done “on earth as it is in heaven.”
THE ANGEL STADIUM DECLARATION
April 17, 2005
Today I am stepping across the line. I'm tired of waffling, and I'm finished with wavering. I've made my choice; the verdict is in; and my decision is irrevocable. I'm going God's way. There's no turning back now!
I will live the rest of my life serving God's purposes with God's people on God's planet for God's glory. I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word.
Since my past has been forgiven, and I have a purpose for living and a home awaiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying. Instead I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of his family.
Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, "we" over "me," character over comfort, service over status, and people over possessions, position, and pleasures. I know what matters most and I'll give it all I've got. I'll do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.
I won't be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation, or intimidated by the devil. I'll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal, not the sidelines or those running by me. When times get tough and I get tired, I won't back up, back off, back down, back out, or backslide. I'll just keep moving forward by God's grace. I'm Spirit-led, purpose-driven, and mission-focused, so I cannot be bought, I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.
I'm a trophy of God's amazing grace so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for every day, and generous with everything that God entrusts to me.
To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say: However, whenever, wherever, and whatever you ask me to do, my answer in advance is yes! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, I'm ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Any way. Whatever it takes Lord; whatever it takes! I want to be used by you in such a way that on that final day I'll hear you say, "Well done, thou good and faithful one. Come on in, and let the eternal party begin!"
Rick Warren is pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and author of “The Purpose-Driven Life.” This covenant may be reprinted for nonprofit use as long as the following tagline appears: "This article is printed from the website www.PurposeDriven.com. Copyright 2005 by Rick Warren. Used by permission. All rights reserved."