Jump directly to the Content

How Schuller Shaped Your Ministry

How Schuller Shaped Your Ministry

Whether you admire or dislike his ministry techniques or possibility-thinking theology, probably no one has shaped the way pastors relate to the unchurched more than Robert Schuller.

Forty-two years ago, Schuller and his wife, Arvella, moved from Chicago to Southern California to start a church—and, unintentionally, a new way of doing church. With about 50 people attending the first service, Garden Grove Community Church (affiliated with the Reformed Church of America) was born.

Today the legendary Crystal Cathedral sits on a sprawling oasis of palm trees and fountains and statues in the middle of Orange County's concrete jungle.

Schuller pioneered the use of marketing techniques to reach the nonchurched. It would not be overreaching to say that without Schuller and the Crystal Cathedral, there would likely be no Willow Creek Community Church, no Saddleback Community Church, or the thousands of other seeker-oriented churches around the country. The cliche—the pioneers ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Up from the Ashes
Up from the Ashes
For one church the Colorado fires became an opportunity to show and share the love of Christ.
From the Magazine
Disasters Are Not God’s Punishments. But They Can Judge Us.
Disasters Are Not God’s Punishments. But They Can Judge Us.
Both 18th-century earthquakes and 21st-century pandemics upend optimism and fatalism.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.