Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Three Questions + 1

Several years ago I read an interesting book by Robert Schuller. This was definitely a stretch for me at the time. I had a firm belief that Schuller, and people like him, were guilty of "watering down" the gospel to make it palatable for the masses. I believed that Schuller resisted preaching the hard parts of the gospel because it would hurt his crowd and his offerings.

But, I also knew that he had built a very large, innovative and creative church. I wanted to know how he did it. So I read my first Robert Schuller book, Your Church Has a Fantastic Future. I was not disappointed. I got information on what Schuller did, how he did it, and most importantly, why he did it. The books contains a lot of the groundwork for his ministry philosophy. It turns out that Robert Schuller is a pretty orthodox Christian after all.

The most important thing in the book- for me anyway- is the questions that Schuller asks before embarking on any ministry programming. There are three questions that Schuller uses to evaluate any idea, ministry, mission or program. Since reading this book, I have added another question to the list. (I am sure that I heard it somewhere else, but I am not sure where.)
  1. Will this ministry be a great thing for God? Do not even begin anything that will not have a great impact on someone, somehow.
  2. Is there a need for this ministry? There is no use in spinning your wheels trying to do something that no one wants or needs.
  3. Is anyone else doing this ministry? If they are, support them. If not, get moving on it.
  4. Will this ministry help people? There are lots of programs that are popular events, but do not make a difference. Do not waste your time with unnecessary, ineffectual window dressing.

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