Mission Driven Stories: Millard Fuller

“God sometimes calls us into service at the most inopportune times. Often, we find a hundred reasons to say no…God wants our availability. He wants our hearts and minds, and lives. He wants us to say in the words of Isaiah, ‘Here am I. Send me.’” ~Millard Fuller

Millard Fuller believed that success was measured in dollars. He longed to be a millionaire more than anything else in the world. He ate, drank and slept his vision of riches. He was willing to pay the price, too. He brainstormed, he worked, and he sacrificed for his ultimate goal…until it was almost too late. 

Like Millard, many of us are caught up in the rat race with dreams of more and more and more…not even knowing where we’re headed or why we want more. The story of Millard and Linda Fuller is a wake up call for all of us – reminding us what success truly is, and showing us how to get it. 

In this podcast Audrey demonstrates how truly living the 7 Laws of Mission transformed Millard and Linda, then how they, with God’s help, transformed the world.  

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast. 

2:33       Family, Faith, Church
4:32      Learning Principles and Practices of Success
9:18      Two Formative Projects

16:30    Law School – Morris Dees
21:45    A Covenant with God
27:00   Cookbooks, Toothbrushes and $1 Million
31:38    The Cost
35:58    The Call and the Facade
43:55    Submitting to God and Starting Over
48:50   Answering the Call
56:32    It is a blessing and privilege to do God’s work

Quotes from this episode:

“Sunday and church went together in our family, like ham and eggs.” ~Millard Fuller

“I developed a real love for business and for making money before graduating from high school. My dad and I talked a lot about making money and about business. He spent a lot of time with me…he did a great job of teaching me and motivating me to be self-reliant and self-starting.” ~Millard Fuller

“By the end of high school, I had developed a strong desire to go into business. I didn’t know yet what kind of business, but I wanted it to be big, profitable, and successful. I wanted to be a millionaire too. This would be a sure sign of success in life.” ~Millard Fuller

“Without a doubt, my college career had been full. For three years I had packed in as much as I possibly could—days, nights, weekends, vacations, and summers. I always had something going. I had heard and believed that youth is the time to do something and become somebody. My aim was to fill my life with as many varied experiences as time allowed. All the while, I had a sense of being close to God and in tune with his reality—his will—for my life. ” ~Millard Fuller

“When asked to do missionary work for a few months – Deep inside, I knew I should go. I felt the invitation was a call from God to perform a particular service for his church. But I turned it down. In my replay to Mr. Waery, I wrote, ‘I’ll do it in two years, maybe.’” ~Millard Fuller

“God sometimes calls us into service at the most inopportune times. Often, we find a hundred reasons to say no…God wants our availability. He wants our hearts and minds, and lives. He wants us to say in the words of Isaiah, ‘Here am I. Send me.’” ~Millard Fuller

“When I was in Law school, I had promised God that I would make myself available for his purposes. I had assured God that, regardless of the success or financial achievements of our company, I would always put his kingdom first…But in a real-life situation, I said no to God and yes to business and further financial achievements.”  ~Millard Fuller

“The words of praise from the community rang in my ears. ‘You’ve got it made,’ these voices said. ‘Many people would like to be in your shoes.’ The other voice I heard was much quieter, but nonetheless bothersome: ‘Where are you headed? What does all of this mean? You’re not putting God first.’”  ~Millard Fuller

“Do we not all hear these two voices when faced with any ethical, moral, or religious decision? I listened to the loud and ‘sensible’ voice that said, ‘Man, you’ve got it made.’ The still, small voice told me I was wrong, but I had too much to lose to decide otherwise.” ~Millard Fuller

“God does not judge us by a set standard of performances. He makes a total claim on our lives and expects full use of all our talents. He judges us in terms of what we are capable of doing.” ~Millard Fuller

“In truth, I came to hate the church and the demands it made on me. I hated the meetings. I hated the work of keeping it going. I hated all that went with keeping up my ‘image’ of being a Christian business-man…In reality, one of my underlying reasons for working with the church was to create this image of myself among my friends and associates. In the culture of the United States, especially in the south, it is important to project a Christian image. The successful, wholesome young man is active in church. He is a ‘Christian.’ Thus, much of what I did for the church was for my own credit and praise.” ~Millard Fuller

“We should give much more than the biblical 10 percent to church and voluntary agencies.” ~Millard Fuller

“More tragic than the front I put up in the church was the facade of my personal life. Under a thin veneer of honesty, respectability, and Christian character lay a pile of rottenness. I tried to hide it from my friends and associates and even myself, but it kept threatening to reveal itself.” ~Millard Fuller

“I heard questions from somewhere—to me. It was the voice of God asking, ‘What are you doing to yourself? Where are you going? What is all this leading to?’ I answered, ‘It isn’t leading me anywhere. I am willing to let go if you’re willing to take over.’” ~Millard Fuller

“We admitted failure and humbled ourselves before God to forgive us for our sins, and we resolved, with his help, to start over. Now we began to feel truly rich, and excitement filled us to the very core. If you want to find yourself, you must lose yourself.” ~Linda Fuller

“We wanted to follow Christ, and we felt that we had to unburden ourselves of all the stuff we had accumulated to make it possible to go wherever God wanted us to go.” ~Millard Fuller

“I do not want anyone to conclude from this that people must do what Linda and I have done. I would never say to a businessman, ‘If you’re making lots of money, you’re wrong.’ All I would say is that for me, there was no other way. There was albatross around my neck and if I wanted to respond to God’s call, I had to get rid of it. Perhaps giving it all away is the only way if you’re addicted to making money…what is needed is to give ourselves totally.” ~Millard Fuller

“My present feeling is that God had called me—and continues to call me—into a service of direct involvement with building the kingdom of God on earth. ~Millard Fuller

When Millard died The Fuller Center board asked themselves – “Were we doing this for Millard or for the people? And it was for the people so we kept going.” ~The Fuller Center

“In many situations, is not a call simply a realization of a need and an agreement that you have the ability to fill that need if you are only willing to do so?” ~Millard Fuller

“There are sufficient resources in the world for the needs of everybody, but not enough for the greed of even a significant minority.” ~Millard Fuller

“It’s not your blue blood, your pedigree, or your college degree. It’s what you do with your life that counts.” ~Millard Fuller

“For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people’s love and concern for each other.” ~Millard Fuller

“It is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking, than it is to think yourself into a new way of acting.” ~Millard Fuller

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