National broadcast reaches thousands in the U.S.

By January 19, 2007

USA (MNN/PD) — While Christmas has been over for about a month, Purpose Driven Ministries is excited about the response to Saddleback Church's broadcast of their Christmas service on Fox News.

According to Purpose Driven leaders, 900 people logged into a follow up website and indicated that had made a first time profession of faith after watching the service.

The services were broadcast from Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., on the Fox News channel. Pastor Rick Warren preached the Gospel and invited viewers at the end of the service to visit for information on how to start a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and with help in finding a local church.

More than 12,000 people visited the site in the two weeks following the Christmas services. Thousands of those visitors downloaded brochures on "How To Have A Meaningful Time With God," "What On Earth Am I Here For?," and small group study guides. Nearly 200 people asked for a local church in their area to contact them with more information.

Viewers were also invited to write Pastor Rick an e-mail message if they had made a decision to follow or recommit their lives to Christ.

There were more than 200 people that responded by e-mail, including a man who battled depression and suicidal thoughts before turning his life over to Christ on Christmas day; a firefighter who watched the Christmas Eve service from his station house and opened his heart to Jesus that very night; and a 7-year-old who wrote that he prayed the prayer of salvation along with Pastor Rick.

Another e-mail told the story of an American living overseas who saw the Saddleback services broadcast on Fox News and was convicted to change his lifestyle of immorality and find fellowship with other believers. He wrote, "I feel like I am not the same person since viewing the program. I have broken down and cried for no reason other than remorse of sin. I want to be around Christians and grow in my faith."

There were short, one-line e-mails that simply expressed the joy of a new believer and longer tales of people still struggling and asking for prayer as they continue to seek God. One viewer was simply "channel surfing" on Christmas morning when he stumbled onto the Saddleback service. He started a relationship with Christ that morning and called it "a truly wonderful Christmas present."

Pray for these new believers. Pray that they'll get involved in a local church, grow in their faith and begin reaching out to the own communities.

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