Kay and Rick Warren – quotes on suffering from Leadership Conference 2014

Leadership Conference 2014 © Jon Marlow

Leadership Conference 2014 © Jon Marlow

I had so many quotes I wanted to include in May’s What I’m Into from the HTB Leadership Conference 2014 in London that I thought I’d put a separate post with them in, for the benefit of any who are unable to watch the video online. But if you can at all, please watch the whole interview with Rick and Kay Warren. It was incredible – probably the best advice on grief and suffering I have ever heard Christians give.
My other favourite was the interview with Brother Luigi Gioia, on prayer. Here are my favourite quotes from the talks (some are paraphrases, adapted for Twitter), and the links to the full talks at the end. I am very grateful for HTB/ Alpha for live streaming the conference and making the videos so widely available for those of us who are housebound and can’t be at the conference.


Here are the best quotes from Nicky Gumbel’s interview with Rick and Kay Warren:
On depression

If my liver doesn’t work perfectly and I take a pill for that, there’s no shame in that. Why is it that if my brain doesn’t work perfectly and I take a pill I’m supposed to hide that? – Rick Warren on depression and medication


People with depression have something very valuable to teach us – how to live when it doesn’t ever feel good. – Kay Warren


It’s called a miracle because it doesn’t happen every time. – Rick Warren on prayers for healing.


The church needs to value and recognise the incredible courage of those struggling with mental illness – Kay Warren


On grief:

[When you are wanting to comfort someone in their grief] take the words ‘at least’ out of your vocabulary. In saying them you minimise someone else’s pain…Don’t take someone else’s grief and try to put it in a box that YOU can manage. Learn to truly grieve with others for as long as it may take. – Kay Warren


[After we lost Matthew] We had one rule which was ‘whatever you are feeling, that’s okay.’ – Rick Warren


Explanations don’t comfort. You won’t feel better if you know why. It won’t hurt any less. – Rick Warren


I will grieve for my son every day of my life – until the day I meet him again. – Kay Warren


On the spirituality of suffering:


In Romans 5 it says hope does not disappoint us. [But when Matthew died] I was more than disappointed – I was crushed. – Kay Warren


[When my son died] It felt like my faith had been reduced to ashes. I could walk away from God – but where would I go? It’s not like the world has anything to offer. I was stuck with God, but he didn’t seem like a very good option. – Kay Warren


We try to bargain with God…I will follow you but don’t touch my children, or my husband, don’t give me cancer…We are afraid our surrender to God will unleash evil. But evil will come, because evil will come. We live in a broken world. – Kay Warren


I’d rather walk with God and not have my questions answered than not walk with God and have my questions answered. – Rick Warren


The most embarrassing, depressing, or shaming thing in your life is what God wants to use as a ministry – Rick Warren


Leadership Conference 2014 © Jon Marlow

Leadership Conference 2014 © Jon Marlow

Prayer – Brother Luigi Gioia (Interviewed by Nicky Gumbel)
As a bonus, I also really loved the interview with Brother Luigi Gioia, who talked about his prayer life. This really chimed in with my #oneword365, Retreat Here are some quotes from him:

Prayer is the most important moment in my day… I go in the presence of the Lord with all I have in my heart at that moment – Brother Luigi Gioia


I always start by saying to God, ‘this is pointless. I have so many things to do. I don’t have time.’ Each time I go and pray I feel it is a waste of time.It is always the same feeling at the beginning. – Brother Luigi Gioia


I like to think that prayer is like fine tuning (like on an old radio). I know that the Holy Spirit is already and always praying in my heart. So I try and fine tune my feelings and thoughts to this prayer already going on in my heart, and at some point I just find it…and then time goes very quickly – Brother Luigi Gioia


[When I pray] everything just quiets down and what remains is the feeling of being with him as I am, being loved by him… This makes your heart burn. – Brother Luigi Gioia


The problem with prayer is that it is too simple. We are very complicated. We tend to think prayer is about methods. – Brother Luigi Gioia


Prayer is about discovering Gods presence in you. This is why a sentence is enough, a sentence that you repeat peacefully in your heart… [eventually] my heart starts saying it in the silence. – Brother Luigi Gioia


It is true that we don’t know how to pray and the only thing we can do is let the spirit pray within us. – Brother Luigi Gioia


When you have done it for a while the presence spreads beyond the time of prayer. Which means you feel the presence of God just pausing in life. – Brother Luigi Gioia


A young monk looks holy – but they are not holy. [he explained that when monks first join the monastery they are afraid to let the rough edges show to the rest of the community. After about two years, they suddenly find themselves struggling with sin e.g. anger, sexual temptation, and these cracks begin to show. It looks from the outside like they have gone ‘backwards’ but it is actually a move forwards – they are being more authentic.]
Middle aged monks don’t look holy and they are not holy.
Old monks don’t look holy but they are holy. – Brother Luigi Gioia


It was a really great conference, and I am very grateful to HTB/Alpha for making the talks so widely available. Do check out the full interviews here – they are well worth listening to.


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6 Responses to Kay and Rick Warren – quotes on suffering from Leadership Conference 2014

  1. Rebecka 8th June, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

    Wow, great quotes. Food for thought.

    • Tanya 14th June, 2014 at 9:35 am #

      Thanks, Rebecka 🙂

  2. Mark Allman 6th June, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    My favorite:

    Explanations don’t comfort. You won’t feel better if you know why. It won’t hurt any less. – Rick Warren

    • Tanya 14th June, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Thanks for sharing your favourite!

  3. Briana Meade 6th June, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    Just pippin’ in Tanya! This is so needed, this session from Rick and Kay Warren. Thanks for posting all these quotes. Gosh, I respect them so much and have followed this story for awhile. Part of what I love about them is their willingness to appear so broken IN FRONT of people. We need more of this kind of transparency–at least I know I do.

    • Tanya 14th June, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Lovely to see you! Thanks for coming by 🙂
      I really respect Rick and Kay Warren too, for the same reason you say – that they are openly authentically broken, and unafraid of showing their weakness. This is how church leaders should be – they inspire me.

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