Kay Warren
Executive Director, HIV/AIDS Initiative, Saddleback Church

Why do you pay a reverse tithe?

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It's a more fulfilling way to live.

Kay Warren

Kay Warren is an evangelical leader, author, AIDS activist, and co-founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California. Along with her husband, Rick, Warren founded Saddleback in 1980 with just a single family to fill the pews. Today it has 120-acre campus, 22,000 weekly attendees, and has provided spiritual guidance and source material to over 400,000 ministers worldwide.

In 2002, Warren became "seriously disturbed" by the scope of the AIDS epidemic; she has since set up an AIDS ministry at Saddleback and spoken out about the disease around the world. Warren is the co-founder and co-director (with her husband) of The Global PEACE Fund, which fights poverty, disease, and illiteracy.

Warren has spoken to the United Nations Global Coalition on Women and AIDS. In 2006, Warren was among eight women honored for their humanitarian efforts at the CNN Inspire Summit. Warren is the author of Foundations Participant's Guide and Dangerous Surrender: What Happens When You Say Yes to God.


Question: Why do you pay a reverse tithe?

Warren: Well tithe just means 10 percent. God asks us to give back 10 percent of what we make just to show that we know that all of our blessings come from Him, and to help us not be so selfish and self-centered. So Rick and I have decided – as affluence has come our way through the sale of . . . of his book “Purpose Driven Life” – that we don’t want . . . I mean how many pairs of shoes can you have before it starts feeling a little hollow? I mean how many little electronic gadgets can you own before you start going, “Isn’t there something more than this? Isn’t there . . . Isn’t there any more to life than collecting gadgets, or shoes, or purses, or events?” We just find money and spending it on ourselves to be a very hollow way to live. It’s much more gratifying – it’s much more fulfilling – to know that money that we have is used to make a difference in the lives of other people. I’d much rather do that. It’s . . . it’s just a much better . . . it’s a much more fulfilling way to live.

Recorded on: 12/11/07