AN OPEN LETTER TO BOBBY SCHULLER

Posted: August 2, 2014


Bobby,

Several years ago, you and I had good one-on-one conversations and I was encouraged about your commitment to the continuation of the Crystal Cathedral Ministry's important legacy.

Since then, as your role in the ministry has changed, we have not continued this dialogue. Out of respect for you and the ministry, I want to give you some unsolicited advice and ask an important question.

First, the advice.  You're well aware that my wife and I both contributed to the growth of CCM for many years and that we have remained passionate supporters to this day. This qualifies me as a competent observer of what took place. One of the major flaws that led to the downfall of your grandparents important program was the decision they made to surround themselves with people who agreed with their views and shun those who disagreed.  This led to a culture of very loyal advisors and employees, but it also led to a culture where loyalty was rewarded more than expertise.  This created an organization where many inadequately prepared people were placed in positions of responsibility and leadership. The product suffered, oversight fell by the wayside, and mistakes were not uncovered until it was too late to fix the problems.  Then we all lived through an era of denial that ended in an unfortunate, unnecessary failure.

As I watch what is happening right now, I see the same mistakes being made again.  You have a clear vision of where you would like to go, but you have not surrounded yourself with people who can get you there. You have a new problem that your grandparents didn't have – a huge bias against anyone outside your immediate age/culture group.

I would like to see you even more successful than your grandfather, so I urge you to surround yourself with quality people and earn their loyalty. Unless you want to take the time to learn many lessons the hard way, this means including people who have experience and insights that can only be accumulated over many years.

Now, the question.  You are well aware that most of the donations that come in to this ministry are given out of respect for your grandfather's important work. I would say that ninety percent of local congregation and Hour of Power donations are due to the faith bond that givers have developed over many years.  You simply haven't been contributing long enough to motivate many donors. Where special gifts and bequests are involved, one hundred percent of these gifts are in remembrance.

As a Christian and a man of good conscience, how can you willingly accept these donations and then disrespect the intent of the donor?  As I see it, you are disavowing your grandfather's efforts in both word and action.  You are spending immense amounts of money to create a mission that is intentionally excluding all but a small, select group of young followers.  I am told that you have issued an edict that you don't want to hear your grandfather's name mentioned in the sanctuary.  I would welcome an affirmation from you that this is not true.

I worry that God's important work and the established contributions of your grandparents are subordinated right now to your personal goals.  I urge you to put God first in everything you do.


Respectfully in His Service,

Jim Kirkland