Rick Warren: The Great Commission’s ‘Go and Teach’ Applies to Women

The former pastor of ex-SBC Saddleback shares why his views on women changed.

Last week, Russell Moore interviewed the recently retired pastor Rick Warren—author of the Purpose Driven Life—on his show.

They discussed his pastoral transition and plans for the future, as well as the disfellowshipping of Saddleback Church from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) for hiring a female teaching pastor on their staff.

As the planter and former pastor of the well-known congregation, Warren shared how his views on women in church leadership changed when he re-encountered certain scriptures he had overlooked—such as the Great Commission.

The following excerpt is adapted from the original audio which can be listened to here.

Rick: I’m ready here to join in the former Southern Baptist support group with Beth Moore, with Russell Moore, and a few others. This last week I got kicked out. It’s not a surprise to me actually. Because when I started Saddleback Church 43 years ago—although I am a fourth-generation Southern Baptist, and my grandfather Chester Armstrong was related to Annie Armstrong …

My great-great-grandfather was led to Christ by Charles Spurgeon and sent to America to plant churches in the 1860s. So, I have a long Baptist background. But you know what? We’ve done so many things not by the book. [Back] in 1980 when I started the church, we didn’t put Baptist in the name—now that was unheard of 40 years ago. … It’s a different Convention than it was when we’re missing those great statesmen that used to be here….

Russell: You said you weren’t surprised. I was bowled over. Just because I would think—with all of the crises involving the treatment of women and sexual abuse within the SBC—that saying a church …

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