“A Tale of Two Families”

OP ED: by Jim McDonald

Member: Crystal Cathedral Congregation

Posted: August 31, 2011


The Crystal Cathedral Congregation and the Crystal Cathedral Ministries are currently experiencing significant differences of opinions between the families on the direction of the church. This is understandable since a shift in goals and direction occurred several years ago. The Garden Grove Community Church that was established by Robert H. Schuller had grown to a 1000 plus congregation very financially successful and fellowship united. Decisions were then made to become a mission oriented church rather than a church with a congregational approved mission. Hence, the Hour of Power T.V. ministry.


This mission was successful and has helped many lives, but came at a cost. The cost in my opinion and that of others is as follows:


The congregation was effectively removed from the decision making process. The reasons for this were not shared with the congregation. When long term implications, such as transparency are not considered you wind up with catastrophic results.


The Hour of Power became the dominate revenue stream and ego oriented experience for the Crystal Cathedral Ministries, again this was not presented to the congregation for an opinion on the approach.


Time marches on. To provide an image of how successful the HOP was the campus was overbuilt with functions not needed to support the congregation but to present an image for the T.V. audience and visitors.


Congregants’ who faithfully sat in the church for the last few years could see the deterioration in the mission and emphasis on true church messages from the pulpit. When the family removed pastors who were trying to rebuild a church serving God’s family, the congregation, things began to fall apart. It was not the economy it was their leadership.


 There are so many reasons we can look to find out why this change in a once great ministry occurred.


Let me give you the top three in my opinion:


A few in the congregation tried to guide the Schuller family ,i.e. John Bradley and a handful of others, while the majority sat back and did nothing. We witnessed all this with no actions.


The Schuller family who were blessed by God to build a wonderful church family and forgot them to take care of their own in a luxurious manner


The RCA denomination because they have rules and guidance to protect this from happening to the congregation.


Now we are faced with decisions that need to be made. What do we do? Can we put our significant differences aside and do the work of Jesus? Turn the church back to the congregation, this means some of the Schullers have to leave, and restore meaningful messages and music to the church.


Remember the opposite of love is not hate but indifference


This problem can be solved internally with God’s help.


God bless all for their beliefs and work on giving Him His Church back.


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