Critical Attributes of the Hour of Power
Posted by George at 3:00 PM, February 15th 2012.

Whenever I hear pundits and talking heads say that the CC went down because it didn't "adapt" to a younger audience. It simply makes my blood boil. Not really, if it did, I wouldn't be able to write this. Please bear with me and think about these things:

I was a young man when the HOP came on the air. It was different than my church. And, it was better. The music was better...and it was relevant. Choral, ensemble, solo...traditional, seasonal, contemporary, modern...even secular. The artistry of the music was the best regardless of genre. It was relevant ...."Grammy award and Grammy nominated" side by side with a church choir and orchestra and grand organ. No one ever heard that choir and organ and said "ho hum" regardless of background or age. Add to that the architecture. Attractive, overwhelming exciting. Those who thought otherwise were jealous. Add to that the great infrastructure of ministry, homeless, suicide, hot line, youth, seniors, singles, couples....on and on. Add to that the unspeakable beauty of the grounds and statuary....add to that the top notch educational system...and top it all off with someone that had such a powerful message ... that it made all of us get up in our pajamas and tune in or tape it. And then tape it and share it. And the whole world tuned in. And we watched high level people in government, medicine, sociology, environment, business, interviewed and share life changing moments. This was nothing like anything any one of us had seen growing up. We weren't in dingy sanctuaries singing "for such a worm as I." Everything was uplifting. Everything was integrated. Everything was top notch. The best available. Why shouldn't God's people have the best? The answer was, no reason. Everything about the CC made us stretch theologically, musically, financially, personally....our sense of God was made larger without our sense of self being diminished to some helpless worthless worm. Most churches, like missions, were for the down and out. This church was for the up and out. People who were accomplished... leaders, thinkers, dreamers, game changers, entrepreneurs and just like those two who came in the old green Ford (I think it was a Ford)...ordinary people. They came by the tens of thousands -- not because of Robert Schuller...but because of what he represented " A life changed by the power of Jesus Christ". Even the earthiest Phillip Johnson said, "I don't believe in God....but something happens to me when I'm in this place." How dare anyone say this wasn't relevant....the top people in every field across the planet where invited to be interviewed. The best musicians from every genre sacred and secular were invited to share. And it was tremendous. And none of us would think of missing it.

Then, suddenly the CC became an entertainment venue. Christmas and Easter were not enough. Imagine how many weeks the great choir had to sing in the balcony because the platform was unavailable. And they did. No one lost heart. Then came that awful Glory of Creation and another 26 million down the drain...and the organ and choir still displaced....what did the powers that be think... hey could sing from the parking lot. The church lost it's focus. When RHS stepped down so did the preaching... everyone knows that and no one is to be blamed. It's just a fact. While RAS struggled to find his voice, the rest of the family pounced and we know what happened. The first major thing was the preaching went into the ground. You can't have in the ground preaching with great music....the musicians know and they knew that the preaching wasn't on a par with their level of expression and praise. So, of course, the weak preacher weakened the music to be on a par... everything less intense... less quality....less educational credentials... which led to the obvious....more crying and twisting and tears and pleas....then a turn to Pentecostals.......a race to the bottom (no offense meant). With nothing of quality to present, the attendance and financial support has dwindled. The leadership kept up appearances by tapping endowment funds and stiffing creditors. Everyone knew something was wrong and hoped it would work out. Well, it hasn't has it?

As far as the CC adapting, they are doing that right now as fast as they can create apps and twit and tweet and Facebook their way into the glorious contemporary and hip/hop future. Based on nothing other than the appearance created by being technically savvy. The CC didn't fail to adapt to young people (until now)... it failed to maintain the highest standards it had with programming that attracted everyone. The new format may attract some very short term congregants... who are looking for handouts and entertainment, but they have no resources....and those they have they keep. They are not looking for a place to belong and become and bestow....they are looking for free entertainment. Once they've been entertained by the "genre du jour" they'll be off to the next thing. Hipping and hopping all over... building no roots and establishing nothing. The CC was on the air for 50 years... that's several generations. And hundreds of thousands of people that Sheila and Jim never met or understood or cared about. They are so superficial and shallow... they believe that as long as they have the latest I-phone and understand how to broadcast their worthless program over the latest technology...they have a future. NOT. They have to start from scratch... and they can't and won't do that....they don't know how or will ever learn. So, this ministry has been destroyed from within.....and surely not because "young people turned away" and surely not because they had a "choir and an organ" lets be abundantly clear about that.

Tagged as: George

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Disappointed by CC @ Wed, 15 Feb 2012 22:15:30 +0000:

WOW!!!! Fantastic post. Your absolutely correct. Very well summed up. Thank you George.

DK @ Wed, 15 Feb 2012 21:35:33 +0000:

Thank you, George, for an excellent post. That has also bothered me for a long time--whenever an "expert" is quoted in a newspaper article saying that the CC just didn't change fast enough to attract young people. That's superficial rubbish, of course, and doesn't actually speak very highly of young people.

palmspringsdon @ Wed, 15 Feb 2012 20:45:59 +0000:

Great Blog. I hope that it is included under Noteworthy Blogs on the main page.