Pastor Bobby Schuller, Shepherd’s Grove Church

Bobby Schuller

A Message of
Hope and Joy

Editors’ Note

Pastor Bobby Schuller is also the host of the Hour of Power with Bobby Schuller television program. He is the grandson of Robert H. Schuller, Founding Pastor of the Crystal Cathedral, who originated the Hour of Power television ministry. Bobby Schuller previously founded the Tree of Life Community in Garden Grove. He graduated from Oral Roberts University and received his Master’s of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. Pastor Schuller is President of the St. Patrick Project. He is author of the book, Imagine Happiness, and has appeared regularly on television programs such as Canada’s 100 Huntley Street and TLC’s The Messengers. Bobby Schuller is a Commissioned Pastor of the Reformed Church in America.

Organization Brief

The current home for Crystal Cathedral Congregation and the Hour of Power is the Shepherd’s Grove Church (shepherdsgrove.org) in Garden Grove, California. The former Hour of Power has been renamed and reformatted under Pastor Bobby Schuller’s Leadership to reach a broader audience.

Why are some people leaving the church and forsaking their relationship with God?

One reason is that we live in a materialistic world where there are single-parent households, or the husband and wife often work. Teenagers have a world of instant gratification at their fingertips, through the Internet and social media. This means there is a breakdown of the family and a lack of leadership, so children are taking their values from a shallow culture that focuses on sexually suggestive entertainment and the deification of celebrities.

A united family is a mighty force. When a society is made up of families who gain strength from God and worship together, that will be the best kind of society you can have.

There is no question that people are leaving the church because they don’t think it is relevant and that it’s out of touch with their lives. I think that is changing and that Pope Francis is a much-needed breath of fresh air. He is attracting both young and older people to the Catholic Church.

Overall, I see great hope for Christianity.

Are you saying that materialism and capitalism are bad?

No, not at all. I don’t think God wanted us to live lives of deprivation and gloom. I don’t think God minds the fact that I like to travel, surf, and eat. But once we have enough to meet our physical needs, we need something more. Let’s say you’re trying to succeed, to do well in business, and to be valued for that. The lie is, “If I get enough money, I’ll be fulfilled.” But once you have everything, the dream is gone. You find you have deeper needs.

Some people handle that by self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. They fall into despair and nihilism. But you can emerge from a dark time and realize there are values that transcend your own life. I’ve done that. I was a terrible king of my own life. I gave it to Jesus and I now live eternally.

What is it like to have God in your life?

The first thing to know is that God is love. Not everyone understands that. Who said: “God created man in his own image and man tried to return the favor by thinking of God as being as venal and competitive as we are.” Not so, of course. God is completely made up of love.

What God adds to peoples’ lives is meaning. A life of meaning is not about saying “no” to the thousands of different negative impulses we have. It’s about saying “yes” to one thing: the love that God offers us.

People need to understand that you’re not what you do, you’re not what you say, and you’re not what you have. You need something in your life that’s bigger than you are. That something is God. A life of worship is a fulfilled life.

What are your goals for Shepherd’s Grove and the Hour of Power? Whom do you want most to reach?

I want to reach as many people as possible with the message that God is love and he is at the center of our lives. I want to reach older people, younger people, and those in between. Our message is one of hope and joy.

I see great hope in the millennial generation. They are trying to unify people, to bring them together.

Instead of being against something, millennials want to be for something. Some say millennials will be the redeemers of us all, and I agree. The only thing they distrust is distrusting. My hope is that Shepherd’s Grove can be a leader that will help take their generation in the right direction.

There is no question that the Internet makes evil things too easily accessible. But it is also a force that brings people together. I have had great Internet conversations with people from all over the world. A computer screen is far better than a television screen. It allows people to engage in public discourse in a new way, to exchange ideas and information in ways that were not otherwise possible.

You have said you believe in ecumenicism. Would you explain?

I believe that God wants all the Christian churches to come together in the worship of Jesus Christ. I think we are headed toward an existential church – one that is universal but in which each person has his/her own relationship with Jesus. It is moving from being devoted to institutions to being devoted to Jesus Christ and the ideals he has given us.

God is bringing the churches together and I am passionate about that. I see the major religions in America coming together as one: Evangelical, mainstream Protestant, and all the other Christian faiths.

I am excited about what lies ahead for the Church.

Can a corporate CEO be a servant of God?

A CEO’s first allegiance is usually thought of as being to the company’s shareholders. However, I believe a company chief executive has a higher responsibility.

Will a decision that benefits the company take unfair advantage of another party? Is the company treating employees with compassion? Is the organization making the contributions it should to its communities and to society at large? It’s said that character is what you do when no one is looking. This is a good basis for the moral guidance a CEO should draw from God. I suggest to CEOs that in their daily prayers, they ask for God’s guidance to do the right thing.•