The Rev. Creflo A. Dollar, a Georgia preacher known nationally through his Changing Your World television ministry, is all about change.
His World Changers Church International in College Park, Ga., grew from eight people to 30,000 members in 20 years. He also ministers on Saturday nights to 7,000 people in New York.
Dollar, who hopes to establish World Changers churches in every state, reaches out through Change Conventions, where he preaches practical Bible principles to transform individuals in all aspects of life including health, spirit and finances. The next convention begins Friday in Houston.
Religion editor Richard Vara interviewed Dollar by phone Thursday. Here are excerpts of their conversation.
Q: What is the thrust of your teachings?
A: What we try to do is to show people who are in a ditch, people who are down, show people who don’t think they can make it, show people who are not doing well in their physical body, not doing well in their marriage, not doing well financially, can’t find a job — what we try to do is give them hope from the Bible.
We tell them if you can change the way you think, you can change your life.
Q: Is this what you mean by “prosperity” teaching?
A: It depends on how you define prosperity. I define prosperity as prospering, that it literally means rising to a point or excelling to a point desired. It can apply to prospering in your spirit, prospering in your soul, in your body, being healthy, having a good marriage, prospering in your relationships, prospering on your job and prospering financially.
In other words, we are talking about a wholeness view of prosperity and not just a money view of prosperity.
Most people hear prosperity and they instantly think money. When you look from a Bible perspective, money by itself cannot define prosperity. If you define it like I describe it, I do consider myself a prosperity teacher, yes, when it comes to being whole in every area of your life.
Q: How do you change your life?
A: In every situtaiton that we counsel we have eight steps that we use to diagnose a situation and to apply a solution to the situation.
We tell people we know this works because we have done it in our lives.
(First) we tell people to check out the words you are around because your words determine — two — how you think. Then the way you think — three — determines your emotions and how you feel.
How you feel will determine the decisions that you make because decisions are what life is about.
Your decisions will determine — five — the actions you take. The actions you take will determine — six — the habits you create.
The habits you create will determine — seven — your character. If you don’t do good with your character, you can’t go any farther. Your character in life will determine your destination.
Q: How did your World Changers ministry begin?
A: I was praying one night trying to figure out what to do with my life, and I had a vision of people sitting there listening to me talk.
I was giving them understanding on how to live.
My pastor told me that I was frustrated going to church listening to a guy preach and not understanding what he was talking about. He said to pay attention to my frustration and I would find my call.
So I discovered my call was just opening the Bible up, teaching with simplicity so that people could understand it, practice and do the things we had set up in a practical teaching.
I felt like this was what God was calling me to do but I had no idea it would get to this size.