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    ALL Schullers To Take a Temporary 50% Salary Cut

    ALL Schullers To Take a Temporary 50% Salary Cut

    Group Sects and the OC Register is reporting that Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller will take a 50% pay cut for the next four pay periods.  So will his wife Avella.  So will current Senior Pastor daughter Sheila Schuller Coleman.

    But more suprisingly...  so will Robert A. Schuller and his wife, Donna (who left after a family feud in 2008) and Schuller's daughter, Jeanne Schuller Dunn (who lives in Hawaii).

    No more church payroll checks for the daughter that lives in Hawaii?  Wow, that's radical.

    Also announced:  Other Cathedral employees, depending on their salaries, will also face a pay cut of between 5-10%.

    According to the OC register story, the CC has seen more than a 30% drop in revenues; been selling properties like crazy to make up a $55 to $70 million budget deficit; and has laid off at least 100 employees over the 'last year or so'.


    Watch this one.  What happens when a once financially viable ministry like the CC hits hard times like this?  Once you start selling assets to cover multi-million dollar shortages, it becomes a game of monopoly.  We all know what usually happens when you have to start cashing in your hotels.  Are there other large ministries that will see the same fate in the future?  Promise Keepers and Focus on the Family are a couple that come to mind... but what happens when its an actual church that fails.  (And yes, this case can prove that no church can be 'too big to fail')

    Does your church have anyone on the regular payroll that isn't local?  Or as an extreme, is the founding pastor's daughter that lives across the ocean?  (Could be that she contributes some kind of signifant work from Hawaii though).  If so, how do you lay off a hundred employees with good conscience?

    I don't wish for the demise of the CC.  But the truth is, their support base is dying (literally).  The day of big money from that segment is quickly coming to an end.  That's a tough position to be in, but not unlike thousands of churches here in the US that are just on a much smaller scale.

    Is it ok for a church to die this kind of slow, agonizing death?

    What would you do to revitalize or turn around a place like the Crystal Cathedral?  Is there really anything that CAN be done?





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    1. bishopdave on Thu, August 12, 2010

      Great questons and food for thought, Todd. Expect a lot of snippety replies about how their theology got them to this point, God’s wrath, etc.

      Slow agonizing—for many that’s the natural cycle of life, it ends with a slow and agonizing death. We all have seen grandparents, friends, etc. die like this, churches also. Is a slow agonizing death preferred to a quick one where a scandal laden church suddenly disintegrates? Sometimes good godly people die slow agonizing deaths. Not a fan of CC, but many churches are dying like this due to similar changes CC faces—-when your base (people you serve, area you serve in) changes and you can’t change with them, death is inevitable. Many formerly middle class churches whose neighborhoods have aged and changed ethnically have died this kind of death. Ask me about the church that seats 800 and average of 11 on Sunday.

      This isn’t unique to CC—one day, Saddleback will die, Osteen’s church will die, it’s what bodies do.

      Is it ok to die like this? Well, is there a good way to die?

      Is there something that can be done? Yes, but the level of changes cause a battle royale with those hanging on.  New leadership, new vision, most importantly fresh move of the Holy Spirit yes it can turn around; but it’s tougher than starting a new work from scratch.

    2. bishopdave on Thu, August 12, 2010

      And no, we don’t have any non-locals on payroll; except missionaries.
      My daughter wishes her daddy pastored a church like this.

    3. GF Watkins on Thu, August 12, 2010

      The answer is obvious, a successor that’s been trained, fathered, coached, and mentored for such a time as this.
      Dr Ed Cole told me that he stood in the CC pulpit years ago and while viewing a gray audience asked how many men were sharing their wealth of life experiences with a young man. None was the answer!
      The objective is to reveal to the older generation that their ministry focus is totally the next generation. The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The next best time is right now.

    4. Leonard on Thu, August 12, 2010

      I do think this will happen to other churches, but not just the ones in the spot light.  Every day churches close because of a lack of finance or because what people have been doing in the church finally caught up to them.

    5. Jan on Fri, August 13, 2010

      We used to live near there and our neighbor was Schuller’s chauffeur who attended The Vineyard (bit of chauffeur trivia).

      At that time, which was 23 years ago, CC had a changing neighborhood.  Their tithers were aging.  And the area was rapidly declining.  That alone has to have affected their giving in a major way by now.

      Add to that how uncool Christianity is to Hollywood right now, which CC used to pull in big donations from, and I would think they are really hurting.

      Buckling down our budgets is not necessarily a bad thing.
      I’ve worked in a couple of big sized churches and over staffing is often a problem.  It’s easy to waste with a lot of people and givers.  And it’s important to be good stewards with God’s money.

      I’ve never attended a church where a staff member was not in the same state.

      We have experienced a major giving decline and are hanging by our finger nails to keep the doors open.  Ministry is happening.  But we don’t have the donor base we had a year ago, due to job losses and out of the area moves.

    6. Peter Hamm on Sun, August 15, 2010

      What am I doing today to pass the church on to the next generation so I won’t be watching it die when I’m 80?

    7. Steve Crutchfield on Mon, August 16, 2010

      God’s Church Will Never Die….People, however, will definitely die.  So, if you’re planting God’s Word into the next generation…it seems that “the church” should stay strong through the normal “bell curves” of church life.  If you’re being relevant only to a “dying generation”....well, nuff said!  It’s a great wake up call though…guess we all need to process it for where we are and who we are currently reaching….

    8. CS on Tue, August 17, 2010


      “Great questons and food for thought, Todd. Expect a lot of snippety replies about how their theology got them to this point, God�s wrath, etc.”

      Not quite.  The Bible makes it clear that God lets the rain fall on the just and unjust alike.  So even some of the worst ministries out there have roaring success.  And we can’t definitively say, “Their financial hemorrhaging is directly due to their theological shortfalls as God brings justice to the table,” any more than someone could definitively say that Hurricane Katrina was due to the wickedness of New Orleans.

      However, on the other hand, it shouldn’t surprise us when a bad ministry like this goes down a steep hill after all they have done wrong, too.  Just sayin’.


    9. UAE Property Rentals on Tue, August 17, 2010

      I really loved reading your thoughts, obviously you know what are you talking about! Your site is so easy to use too, I�ve bookmark it in my folder :-D

    10. Jeff Jensen on Thu, August 19, 2010

      I want to pastor a church where the PASTOR receives his paychecks in Hawaii…  I will be the ambassador to all of the island Golf Resorts on behalf of small congregations located inland on the mainland…. BTW - I will need significantly more salary during the winter months, in order to host my friends and family members.

    11. Mark Lehman on Mon, September 06, 2010

      FYI - I believe that Focus on the Family is debt free.

    12. nbanikes on Sun, September 12, 2010 “] http:// [/url] “] http:// [/url] “] http:// [/url]

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