Issue #146
Being in ministry doesn't exempt your marriage from difficulty
by Rick Warren

The night before Kay and I got married, her father sat us down and said, "There are five areas where marriages usually have conflict: money, sex, in-laws, children, and communication."

My father-in-law was a prophet. In our marriage we went five for five! We hit every single one of the conflict-roots.

I know some of you are in major pain right now. You’re frustrated to no end in your marriage, and to make matters worse, you're in church leadership, which only magnifies any problems.

God has some great news for you .... [more]

Get the Ministry ToolBox in your Inbox. Click here.
Printer Friendly

Hear Pastor Rick’s podcast (online radio show) just for pastors. Each podcast features pastors who offer insight, wisdom, and best practices from their own experiences as leaders. CLICK HERE to listen. (You don’t even need an iPod.)


Saddleback Resources

Preaching Today

Preaching Today

Celebrate Recovery Kit

The Purpose Driven Church Conference on DVD

Your Life Review





A man's guide to Mother's Day (May 9th)
by Patrick  Morley

For years I’ve been a last minute kind-of-guy. I've sifted through the picked over Hallmark cards still on the racks the Saturday night before Mother's Day. I’ve slipped into the grocery store Sunday morning on the way to church, hoping to find something special among the “Is this all that’s left?” corsages.

I think, Oh, that would be a great gift, when I see the Mother’s Day chocolates in the check out line. (Boy, am I grateful for those impulse purchase displays!)

And what’s wrong with this strategy? Well, frankly, last minute really says not that important. Your mother (spouse, grandmother - all the special women in your life) will probably never say that to your face, or even think it, but last minute tends to say, I didn’t care enough to give it any forethought.

So here are a few ideas early planning ideas for Mother's Day .... [more]

Holding on to Hope
Nancy Guthrie (Tyndale, 2002)  

Few parents have to face the bitter task of burying a child they love. But David and Nancy Guthrie have faced the grave twice now, burying two children who each lived only six months due to the extremely rare Zellweger Syndrome. Nancy invites readers to discover God's heart in the midst of darkness and to trust him even as the journey unfolds.

The Angry Christian: A Theology for Care and Counseling
Andrew Lester (Westminster John Knox, 2003)  

Anger, says Lester, originates in creation rather than in our sinfulness. As an essential part of the imago Dei, it is actually a gift from God. It is sometimes necessary for our survival because it protects our emotional and spiritual health. The right kind of anger, like Jesus’, motivates us to speak out or take action when we might otherwise cower in our comfort zone.


"The truth is that Christians need relationships to grow. We don’t grow in isolation from others. We develop in the context of fellowship. Over and over again in the New Testament we find this basic truth: Believers need relationships with each other to grow! Hebrews 10:24-25 says, 'Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another... .' (NIV) God intends for us to grow up in a family." - Rick Warren

"When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves." - Philip. 2:3 (NCV)

Is your marriage in jeopardy? - Link to the LeaderCare ministry of LifeWay Christian Resources, where ministers and their spouses can find support after a forced termination or during marital/church problems, depression/anxiety/stress, burnout, immorality, etc. Although LifeWay is affiliated with Southern Baptists, this ministry is open to all denominations.
Church Health & Growth Research Newsletter - Subscribe for free to Thom Rainer's Church Health Today for the latest information on church health and church growth.
Christ’s Ascension – Ten Points of Significance - Here are ten points of significance related to the ascension of Christ.
Lead Like Jesus celebration - For a follower of Jesus, servant leadership isn't an option ... it's a mandate! Lead Like Jesus will inspire and equip you, your congregation, and your community to experience Jesus in a powerfully different way - as the perfect leader for all time.

Lead Like Jesus celebration - April 29, 2004 - Live from Spartanburg, S.C. You can bring this event into your church via satellite. Hosted by Ken Blanchard and Bill Hybels with a special video message from Rick Warren. Also featured: Dan Cathy, Rosey Grier, and Laurie Beth Jones.

10 story ideas for Easter and Passover - This link shows some story tips for religion editors as the they develop articles for Passover, Good Friday and Easter.
Catching 'The Passion' Wave - There's still plenty of time to use Mel Gibson's 'Passion' as an outreach tool. Here is a response by Rick to a Brian McLaren column in Leadership Journal, where Brian questions whether the film is really “the best outreach opportunity in 2,000 years.”

4 Baptist workers from U.S. killed, 1 critically wounded in northern Iraq drive-by shooting - Rick Warren and BP Staff

USA Today - Setting the record straight on PDL - Jon Walker

Drama: Give Me Jesus - A Reading by Matt Tullos

Passion Worship Tour: Q&A; with David Crowder - Tobin Perry

For Women in Ministry: A balanced life – the impossible dream - Mary Southerland

You can customize this year's PDC conference to your needs - Rick Warren

Foundations: Forgiveness does not mean allowing someone to hurt you - Tom Holladay

Pastor Adrian Rogers has heart bypass surgery - ABP Staff

"The kingdom of God is not for the well-meaning but for the desperate." - James Denney

“After a number of years of research with hundreds of churches and thousands of teachers and students all over the U.S., I came to a startling realization. Sunday school curriculum doesn't really matter. If you had a teacher in the classroom who loved God and loved kids, the love of God got through to the kids in a powerful way. It did not matter what curriculum was being used. If you had a teacher who either did not love God or did not love kids - it didn't matter what teaching resources you gave her - the powerful truth of the gospel would not get through to the students.” - Bruce Dreisbach (

"One question is, 'What propelled him to make the movie about the passion of Christ?' It makes me a little squeamish. What makes me squeamish about religion in general is that people think they have the answer: `I think my God is the right God.' How do you argue against that?" --Mike Medavoy, producer of ABC's Diane Sawyer interview of Mel Gibson - NY Times (Feb 26, 2004)

How credible is the evidence for—and against—the resurrection?
    On Palm Sunday, April 4th, award-winning author and former atheist Lee Strobel will present The Case for Easter Outreach Event (visit– a clear-headed, no-holds-barred look at the evidence for the resurrection and the implications for our lives if it’s true.
    His new book, The Case for Easter, is available at discount prices so churches can give it away to visitors who come to Gibson's film or to Easter services. For information, call 1-800-727-3480. - Staff

Would you forward this free e-newsletter to others in ministry? The Ministry ToolBox™ is for ANYONE serving Jesus Christ. For a free subscription, you can sign up at Please help us get the word out by forwarding this issue to other Christians. Thanks!

Ministry ToolBox Archives | contact us