Rick Warren encourages U2 to 'choose joy' following death of tour manager

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez |

(Facebook Rick Warren)Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren offered prayer and encouragement to U2 band members before a performance Wednesday May 27. The band's longtime road manager, Dennis Sheehan, died of a heart attack earlier the same day.

LOS ANGELES (Christian Examiner) -- In need of prayer and comforting at the loss of a friend, "heartbroken" U2 band members reached out to Pastor Rick Warren Wednesday, May 27 for help in coping with the unexpected death of tour manager Dennis Sheehan, 68.

(Rick Warren/Facebook)

Warren, senior pastor of Southern California's Saddleback Community Church, shared on Facebook that he received an invitation to offer scripture and prayer with the band prior to their tour's opening performance at The Forum in Los Angeles. Earlier the same day their manager of 33 years was found dead in his hotel room. Sheehan suffered a massive heart attack around 5 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"The team is heartbroken," Warren wrote. "Adam, Larry, Edge, and Bono asked me to share some scripture, words of comfort, and pray with them right before they walked on stage tonight."

Calling on Warren seemed an obvious request considering his first-hand experience of addressing a mass audience while still grieving through an unexpected death. In 2013, the pastor was struck a difficult blow when his 27-year-old son who battled mental illness committed suicide.

That night he offered the same personal testimony he has delivered to so many others who, like himself,  have sought to find God in the midst of calamity. He encouraged the band to seek joy in their tragedy.

"After sharing the #‎ChooseJoy story from my son's death, I asked 'So how do you go out and do a concert when your heart is hurting?'"

Warren said, "Bono answered, 'We choose joy.'"

Bono dedicated the night's concert and tour to "the very living memory of Dennis Sheehan" who Warren called a "kind Christian man."

"We've lost a family member, we're still taking it in. He wasn't just a legend in the music business, he was a legend in our band. He is irreplaceable," a statement from Bono said.