'Radical generosity' inspires $2.4m response to Warren plea

|PIC1|Rick Warren says 'radical generosity' is behind the $2.4 million in donations netted by the church in just a few days.

The Purpose Driven author issued an "urgent" plea last week to raise $900,000 in just 48 hours so that his California church, Saddleback, could end 2009 debt-free.

To the cheers of the congregation, Warren announced at Saturday night's service that $2.4 million in donations had so far come in via the web and in envelopes dropped off at the megachurch as a result of the appeal. The total does not include mailed donations, he said.

Warren praised the congregation for their spirit of giving, as he read out letters from donors who had given beyond their means.

“This is pretty amazing," said Warren. “That’s a record. I don’t think any church has gotten a cash offering like that off a letter.

"We're starting the new decade with a surplus.

"It came from thousands of thousands of ordinary people. There was not one big fat cat.”

He added: "Unparalleled generosity is the norm here."