Rick Warren has decided to pull out from a live webcast interview hosted at a major church planting conference in Orlando on Tuesday, where he would talk about his 27-year-old son's suicide.
“#Exponential13 Sorry I'm unable to have my heart-to-heart with you pastors I love today but the media heard so I pulled out,” Warren said via Twitter.
Warren, who has not made a public appearance since his son’s death on April 5, was scheduled to be interviewed by Lifeway Research President Ed Stetzer on his website, “The Exchange,” according to The Christian Post.
“I just want to give Rick the opportunity to share his hurt and heart,” Stetzer told The Christian Post via email Monday. “Rick has been a friend for many years, and has encouraged me many times. I am hoping I can encourage him by giving him a moment and a place to share.”
The scheduled interview with Stetzer during the Exponential conference was supposed to last about 20 minutes beginning at 4 pm EDT.
The Saddleback church pastor’s son Matthew Warren died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Mission Viejo, Calif. He had struggled with mental illness for much of his life. Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, have started a foundation for mental health in his son’s name.
“Self-care is so important, especially in times like these. Jesus led by example when he retreated from the crowd,, went to be alone for a while, left his disciples to do the work and said "I'm going to the wilderness. I'll meet you in a few days across the lake." - good for you, Pastor Rick, who is a great caretaker of others, to also balance that with care for self... Prayers for you and your family as you heal,” Jeanne Camp Williams commented to Warren’s Facebook post.
"The Exchange" is a weekly webshow hosted by Stetzer every Tuesday at 3 p.m. EDT. Stetzer interviews church pastors and leaders to discuss and discover trends in culture and ministry. Viewers join the conversation through a chatroom or Twitter hashtag and often have their questions answered live on-air.