Saddleback Church celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. And to facilitate this celebration, the church met at California's Angel stadium with 20,000 worshippers showing up for the service. Senior Pastor Rick Warren chose to repeat the sermon, titled "A Daring Faith," which he preached during the church's first service in 1980. But this time he preached it in past tense, showing how the founding members' vision has become a reality.
"I dare you to dream great dreams for God," Warren said from the pitcher's mound, according to Orange County Register. "Whatever God asks you to do, do it, even if it's at great risk."
"God has blessed Saddleback Church in an unusual way, but it has nothing to do with our being deserving," said Pastor Warren at the community-wide service at the stadium in Anaheim Saturday to celebrate 35 years of ministry influence and impact.
"It has everything to do with God's grace. We dared to dream big, and God has done big things in the life of this church," the pastor added.
The pastor and his wife, Kay, also announced plans for the next phase of ministry growth, called "Daring Faith."
Over the next 10 weeks, church members will be encouraged to participate in special small groups to foster unity across the congregation as the church enters its next decades of ministry, Saddleback said in a statement. Warren will be placing a special emphasis on how to dream biblically.
Through "Daring Faith," the church plans to double its Southern California campuses from 10 to 20 in the next three years, it announced. The church will also expand its PEACE Center to each campus.
The PEACE Center is "a place of compassion where our county's residents can come when they are in need of basic resources and assistance." Its ultimate goal is "to move each individual forward toward healthy life change."
"All of our biggest dreams and best days are ahead of us," Pastor Warren said.