PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 28, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- As Pastor Rick Warren
and his family walk through a season of sorrow, Pastor Paul Andrew applauds Warren's resiliency and bravery in The Huffington Post's article
as his family copes with the grief of his son's recent suicide. The report highlights Warren as an "essential figure in the modern, megachurch brand of Christianity" who has returned to the pulpit nearly four months after his son's suicide.
Pastor Paul was troubled by some people's response to their loss, and encourages grace instead of dishonor. "I have nothing but admiration for the way Pastor Rick Warren has responded to this tragedy in his family," he said. "Personally I believe that moments like these show what a person is really made of, and that's not true only of him but also of the appalling and tasteless cheap shots people have taken at him and his family in their grief. I pray for God's presence and favor over them as they walk this season out with grace."
The article mentions that the congregation at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. welcomed the Warren family with a long standing ovation. In his sermon stemming from a series entitled, "How to Get Through What You're Going Through," Rick Warren speaks from a raw, vulnerable and resilient place. "God knows what it's like to lose a son," he said. As he remained composed, choking back tears at times, he manages to encourage the congregation in the midst of grief.
Warren remarks that he was grateful to come from a family of spiritual redwoods. "Satan picked the wrong team to pick on," he said. "How proud I was of Amy and Josh, who for 27 years loved their younger brother. They talked him off the ledge time after time. They are really my heroes." According to the article, he delivered a formal, prepared speech with notes and quotes from Scripture but often broke off to talk frankly about his son.
The report states that in April, Rick Warren's son, Matthew, shot and killed himself after a lifetime of struggling with depression. Warren refers to the time as a momentary wave of despair. "For 27 years I prayed every day of my life for God to heal my son's mental illness," he said.
In the middle of heartache, Warren said Saturday that he intended to turn his grief into a message of service and hope. "God wants to take your greatest sorrow and turn it into your life's greatest message," he said. Pastor Paul Andrew concurs with Warren's inspiring outlook, confident that God will use his perspective to encourage many others as they face the challenges of life.
Pastor Paul Andrew
and his wife Andi Andrew are the Lead Pastors of Liberty Church, a Christian community in New York City that they pioneered after moving to the city in 2010. The church is vibrant, diverse and generational while also heavily involved in the needs of the wider community both locally and globally. Together they have a "2020 Vision" to impact ten communities in ten years by the year 2020, and have so far begun works in Lower Manhattan, Union Square and Montauk with new communities currently developing in Brooklyn and London, England. In 2008, Paul launched his own business called The Leadership Coach, and in his spare time he continues to work around the world in the corporate sector as a professional speaker and management consultant. Originally from Australia, Pastor Paul Andrew lives in Brooklyn with his wife Andi and their four children.