In the early 1960s, against the relatively young landscape of Christian media, Guidelines International Ministries emerged with a mission to make Christ’s message accessible to all. Today, Guidelines reaches the unreached with the power of media.
In 1963, a young minister, Dr. Harold J. Sala, and his wife, Darlene Sala, ventured into the Colorado Rockies eager for divine guidance on the most effective way to communicate the Gospel message. Their conclusion was unambiguous: Tap into the potential of radio, a medium capable of transcending geographical constraints and reaching individuals beyond the reach of traditional missions.
Dr. Sala, the visionary behind Guidelines International Ministries, observed that individuals not already engaged with local church offerings might not connect with traditional preaching. In response, he created concise, five-minute commentaries tailored for the lay listener: “Guidelines—A Five-Minute Commentary on Living.” Today, Guidelines is known as the world’s first five-minute Christian radio program and holds the record as the longest-running five-minute commentary to date.
Over the years, Guidelines has evolved into an international ministry, built on three key pillars: prayer, provision, and partnership.
“The first is prayer, because we believe that prayer is the work and that’s why we pray together every single morning. The second is provision. We trust God for his provision. We don’t start projects until they’re paid for. And then the third is partnership. Everything we do is in partnership,” said Guidelines President & CEO, Bonnie Sala, daughter of Dr. Harold Sala.
The name “Guidelines” stems from the original “Guidelines for Living” program as well as the ministry’s mission. Sala explained, “The name Guidelines comes from the idea that the Word of God provides practical, spiritual insight, or in other words, a ‘guideline’ for our lives.”
Continuing the legacy, Sala has transformed Guidelines from a U.S.-based radio ministry into a global ministry, propelling it into its next season of impact. She is the voice behind the daily “Reset” audio devotional, reaching audiences in the United States, the Philippines, Macedonia, Ukraine, Singapore, and throughout the continent of Africa.
According to Sala, the ministry’s focus shifted to places where people were unreached, new to faith, or persecuted, allowing them to reach far-flung regions with the hope of the Gospel.
Guidelines engages in various modes of local outreach, such as their establishment of Christian radio stations in regions devoid of a Christian voice. Everything they do involves collaboration with other ministries, aligning with their mission to help fulfill the Great Commission.
“Today we have a number of Mp3, solar-powered audio players that are being taken into the mountains of Nepal and distributed to pastors who have no pastoral training,” said Sala. “There are many regions that can’t even be reached by the airwaves and we’re able to bring the message right where they are, no matter how remote they are in the world today.”
Guidelines offers a wide array of resources, including free Bible studies, devotional videos, and a growing digital platform for teaching materials. Their audio devotionals have been translated into more than twenty languages with 50 international radio station partners broadcasting the devotionals in over 100+ countries daily. Additionally, Guidelines distributes solar radios and audio Bibles and supports pioneering media ministries in places of gospel poverty.
Guidelines celebrated its 60th anniversary with a “The Gospel is for All” gala. Sala marveled at the event’s success, where they celebrated God’s blessings and providence. According to Sala, a generous donor pledged to match every dollar raised to advance Guidelines vision to further the Great Commission. This overflow of blessings reminded Sala of Psalm 118:23: “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.”
Sala reminds NRB members and those in Christian media of the importance of a strong relationship with Jesus and daily immersion in His Word. She stressed that excellence in communication flows from a deep connection with the source of the message.
Sala extended an invitation to all NRB members to think globally and join the annual NRB Convention’s Great Commission forum, forging partnerships to spread the Gospel to difficult and unreached areas. She emphasized the power of collaboration within the body of Christ and encouraged members to unite for a greater impact.
“I’d love to invite every NRB member to join us at the Great Commission forum that we have every year as a part of the international activities of the NRB,” said Sala who has served on the NRB International Committee since 2019. “I would love to invite them into partnership with another ministry who is working in a place that is so difficult. I’d like them to come and meet some of their brothers and sisters in Christ, who every day do what they do in a dangerous and just incredibly hard situation.”
Guidelines International Ministries has been an NRB member since 1977 and has received numerous NRB awards, including the 2014 Milestone Award and the 2021 Strategic Partnership Award. Dr. Harold Sala received the 2019 Radio Impact Award.