STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 07/24/2008

ARTICLE | Two Couples, Two Conversations

"Historians are likely to pinpoint Mr. Warren's trip to Rwanda as the moment when conservative evangelical Protestantism made questions of social justice central to its concern." --Alan Wolfe, "A Purpose-Driven Nation? Rick Warren Goes to Rwanda," The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2005

Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, began Commencement Day at Gordon being interviewed for Gordon on iTunes by Jud and Jan Carlberg, president and first lady. The two conversations are distinctively different and provide some fascinating behind-the-scenes time with these couples.

The two men discussed Rick's ambitious global P.E.A.C.E. plan, which aims to "mobilize a billion Christians to do the things that Jesus did"--promote reconciliation, equip servant leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick and educate the coming generation. "Reformations take 50 years," Rick states. "Most of us set our goals too low and try to accomplish them too quickly." He warns against the dangers of sacrificing "sustainability, scalability or reproducibility for speed." With disarming honesty he talks about how implementing the P.E.A.C.E. plan has been akin to "building the plane while you're flying it."

Warren, who has said elsewhere that "there are not enough superstars to win the world--it has to be done by average people," discusses here the key role of volunteers and the local church in the P.E.A.C.E plan.

The women, who share common ground as preachers' daughters, discuss the path that led Kay to her work with the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to the writing of her book Dangerous Surrender: What Happens When You Say Yes to God. Kay speaks of being "seriously disturbed by God" in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, and for a time resisting God's call to be involved. She muses over the "crucible of trying to understand what the 'good news' means to those who lost everything in the genocide in Rwanda and Cambodia . . . to a baby abandoned in an orphanage by the side of the road."

Kay also addresses facing--and overcoming--a life-threatening illness, a diagnosis that came just as she was becoming heavily involved with her HIV/AIDS work.


The Warrens and the Carlbergs