Our Church

This is our church

Saddleback Church started 35 years ago with two young church planters, a dream, and a map. God gave Pastor Rick and Kay Warren the dream to plant a church for people who didn’t like church, and he led them to Southern California.

The rest is a history that’s still unfolding.

We are Purpose Driven

Our church communicates God’s Word through evangelism. We are ambassadors for Christ and believe it is our responsibility to share the Good News wherever we go. In fact, evangelism is more than our responsibility; it is our great privilege. As long as there is one person in the world who doesn’t know Christ, our church will continue to reach out.


Our church incorporates God’s family into our fellowship. We provide a warm, authentic community, welcoming new believers into the body of Christ through baptism. Being in God’s family means we are not alone; we have each other for support. You weren’t just meant to believe; you were made to belong.


Our church demonstrates God’s love through ministry or service. Ministry is showing God’s love to others by meeting their needs and healing their hurts in the name of Jesus. We believe the church is to minister to all kinds of needs: spiritual, emotional, relational, and physical. Every time you reach out in love to someone else, you are ministering to them.


Our church educates God’s people through discipleship. After someone has made a decision for Christ, it is our responsibility to develop them to spiritual maturity, teaching them to obey Christ and become more like him in their thoughts, feelings, and actions. This is God’s will for every believer.


Our church celebrates God’s presence in worship. It doesn’t matter if we’re by ourselves, with a small group, or with 100,000 people; any time we express our love to God, we’re worshiping. We believe worship shouldn’t be a religious duty. We worship God because we want to magnify and exalt his name.


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Have you ever wondered what Saddleback Church believes and why?

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This is what we believe

He has eternally existed in three persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.


We are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although humans have tremendous potential for good, they are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin." This attitude separates man from God.


We will either exist eternally in hell, separated from God by sin, or eternally in heaven with God through forgiveness and salvation in Christ. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence.


He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate his power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven and will return again to earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Jesus Christ

Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works — only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his or her life by faith.


Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.

Eternal Security

He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under his control daily.

The Holy Spirit

It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.

The Bible

It is your public declaration that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Baptism does not save you, but shows the world that you have already been saved. And while baptism is not required for salvation, it is a biblical command and demonstrates your love and obedience to Christ.


Also known as the Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist, communion is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus Christ that symbolizes our new covenant. The elements of bread and wine (or juice) are symbols of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is not a means of salvation. Rather, it is a testament of a believer’s faith in the atoning work of the cross.


Be a part of our history


Rick, Kay, & Baby Amy Warren Move to the Saddleback Valley to build a church for people who don't like church.


After being a mobile church for 13 years, Saddleback finally purchases its first property. During the ensuing years, the church experiences explosive growth in attendance, and baptisms. Signature ministries like Celebrate Recovery® and Purpose Driven are created.


Pastor Rick’s book, The Purpose Driven Church was published, and Saddleback begins sending out teams to teach Purpose Driven principles to pastors and churches around the world. During this time, attendance grows by nearly 5,000, and 2,345 people are baptized.


Over the next nine years, Saddleback members experienced some of the most life-changing message series including 40 Days of Purpose, 40 Days of Community, 50 Days of Love, 50 Days of Faith,  and 40 Days of PEACE. Attendance doubles and more than 16,000 people are baptized.


After visiting Rwanda, Pastor Rick is inspired to create The PEACE Plan to fight the five global giants — spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, disease, and illiteracy — by Planting churches that Promote reconciliation, Equipping servant leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next generation.


By the end of 2010, Saddleback members and their PEACE teams go to every single nation in order to obey the commands of Jesus to “go to every nation.”


Pastor Rick is led to create the 12-City Initiative — a plan to plant churches in 12 strategic cities around the world in order to reach the world’s remaining unreached, unengaged people groups with the message of Jesus Christ.


Rick and Kay Warren arrived in California in 1979, with less than $30 in their bank account and the dream of starting a church in an area known for its young families who had no interest in going to church.

When Pastor Rick and Kay Warren first arrived in the Saddleback Valley in December of 1979, all they had was what they could fit in the back of a U-haul truck. Fresh out of seminary, the young pastor and his bride dreamed of planting a church that would be “a place where the hurting, the depressed, the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness and encouragement.”

From the beginning, Pastor Rick wanted his church to be a place for people who didn’t like church. It started as a small Bible study held in their home, and then on Easter Sunday in 1980 they had their first public service with 205 people, most of whom had never before been to church.

In the three decades that followed that first service, God has continued to expland the influence of Saddleback Church. It is now “one church in many locations,” with eight Southern California campuses, and online campus, and three international campuses. The church is historical, not in just its exponential growth, but in the way it loves more than two decades of ministry in South Orange County, God has continued to expand the church’s influence. Currently, Saddleback Church has more than 200 ministries serving the church and community. One in nine people in the area call Saddleback their church home.

God has also expanded the church’s ministry both nationally and internationally. Pastor Rick’s 1995 book The Purpose Driven Church put the principles that led to the church’s success in print, namely its focus on the five biblical purposes of the church: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism. Now, more than 200,000 church leaders from around the world have been trained in Saddleback’s purpose-driven philosophy. Pastor Rick’s latest book, The Purpose Driven Life, focuses on the truth that life is “not about you,” and shows how God can enable each of us to live for His purposes.


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