“The Christians my grandparents admired - D.L. Moody, R.G. LeTourneau, Bill Bright - were fantastically enterprising. The Rockefellers of the Christian world. Occasionally I would read about different sorts of Christians that would confuse me, like, say, Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa seemed like a great woman, but her approach struck me as highly inefficient. I mean, she was literally feeding the poor. One at a time. Didn’t she see that her impact would be much greater if she developed some sort of system for feeding the poor that could be franchised around the world? She could be the Ray Kroc of world hunger! Wouldn’t that be better?”
After the financial collapse of Phil‘s company Big Idea Entertainment, makers of Veggie Tales, Phil explained the belief system that had driven him to make the motion picture that caused it all:“God would never call us from greater impact to lesser impact! Impact is everything! How many kids did you invite to Sunday school? How many souls have you won? How big is your church? How many videos/record/books have you sold? How many people will be in heaven because of your efforts? Impact, man!”
He began questioning this belief system:“The more I dove into Scripture, the more I realized I had been deluded. I had grown up drinking a dangerous cocktail - a mix of the gospel, the Protestant work ethic, and the American dream… The Savior I was following seemed, in hindsight, equal parts Jesus, Ben Franklin, and Henry Ford. My Eternal value was rooted in what I could accomplish.”
He eventually concluded that the Christian life “wasn’t about impact; it was about obedience.”
Monday, March 23, 2009
The Trouble with "Impact!": The Vision of the VeggieTales Visionary
Shaun Groves has an excellent post today called Phil Vischer's Jesus, sharing excerpts from Skye Jethani's book The Divine Commodity (which is on my must-get list). I hope Shaun won't mind if I reprint pretty much the whole thing.
Posted by Jared at 10:17 AM