Christianity Today talks about the changes at Saddleback and Purpose Driven over the past year. If you hadn’t read it, it might be interesting if you’re into these sorts of things.
“The success of The Purpose Driven Life and 40 Days of Purpose was a God-sent wave for which we are grateful, and we tried to be good stewards of the blessing,” Walker said. “However, it was inevitable that their popularity would crest and then settle into a long-term ministry of support.”
Purpose Driven carried out the first round of layoffs in July, while Warren preached in 14 countries across Africa and Asia. Saddleback leadership had hoped the cuts would be enough. Warren and his wife, Kay, even donated $2 million to cover a deficit at Purpose Driven and hopefully save a few jobs.
But a second round of layoffs couldn’t be avoided. From a peak of 160 employees, Purpose Driven laid off 30 staff members while another 24 positions were eliminated through attrition.
Saddleback plans to invest more resources in Warren’s newest project, his global P.E.A.C.E. plan: planting churches, equipping leaders, assisting the poor, caring for the sick, and educating the next generation. Saddleback leaders hope P.E.A.C.E. can achieve Purpose Driven levels of popularity without the bust.
“It’s two very different things,” Walker said. “Purpose Driven was training for church growth. … P.E.A.C.E is more of a long-term missions thrust. There is not a product or a trend or anything that is associated with it. It is a long-term thing.”