Building A Principled Family Life - A Study in Seven Sessions for Small Groups - Henri Schauffler
In 1999, Henri and Loretta Schauffler made a choice unprecedented in the Unification Church in America. Henri actually decided to serve as a pastor. From a successful career in business, politics, and community action, Henri and Loretta moved into church leadership. Since that day, Henri has been pioneering a process of defining what we are as a community of faith, how we want to be in community, and what we are gifted to offer to the body of Christ and His kingdom-building providence.
Henri also brought his experience in the world of business. In business, one learns to serve people, to discover people’s needs and meet them, and to do so with quality at a price people can afford. Business success demands excellence and brings reward based upon value. Similarly, people will attend the church that meets their needs and opens a spiritual and social path toward fulfillment. Henri has set out to build such a church, and small groups are essential to the process.
Another virtue brought from the business world is the habit of research and development. Henri is a learner; he is humble enough to sit as a student of teachers with accomplishments. He is a student of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, first and foremost, but also of other God-sent pastors. One thing he has learned over and over again is the value of small group ministry.
Ever since the early church, the vitality of God’s work in the world has manifested in small groups, prayer groups, households, conclaves, monasteries, cells, teams. The Puritans who came to America were the fruit of a small group ministry in England. The lineage of awakenings and revivals in American religion manifested in small group ministries, from the Yale prayer group that launched the second Great Awakening in 1800 to the house church on Asuza Street in Los Angeles that launched Pentecostalism in 1900. Our Unificationist tradition in America has also been house-based more than a religion of church buildings.
Henri and Loretta Schauffler are calling our church in this eternally radical direction. You hold in your hands a result of their work. It represents a great deal of prayer, of tears, of wanting to pack it up, of returning to the path of the cross, and of making a beachhead on a new continent whose sands are yet shifting. In this environment, you have to be simple, useful, practical, universal, eternal, and reasonable. Building a Principled Family Life has all that going for it, plus its author’s heart that tells us, hey, we’re in this together.
Tyler Hendricks, PhD
President, Unification Theological Seminary
Vice President for Education, FFWPU America
Barrytown, New York