The death of Billy Graham came to me with mixed feelings. On one hand, I grieve that Christianity has lost one of its greatest evangelists. On another hand, I rejoice because his struggle with old age is over and now, he lives anew in the presence of God. Billy Graham was a great man of God, an example of a young man lost in sin but saved and transformed by God to be a gospel light bearer for the world.
When the youth Billy Frank, as he was fondly called by his family accepted to attend the Christian service in exchange for driving Albert McMakin’s truck to the event, he did not know that his life would be changed forever. Isn’t that what God does sometimes, using the little things we do to achieve great things? This makes me think about Sunday School Teachers, Youth leaders, the side corner evangelists and mentors who serve behind the scene, the little fun things they do to get the kids and youth to love God and come to church; and how sometimes they wonder if they are making any impacts. Please, when you see any of these, stop and thank them for the work they do and let them know that they are making great impacts. We may not all be like Billy Graham but for sure, we can be Albert McMakin, bringing people to church or to Christian events where they can hear the gospel.
Through Billy Graham, the gospel has reached billions of people around the world. The era of Billy Graham was also the era of many worldwide evangelistic crusades. Many of these Crusades thrived while the great evangelists behind them stayed strong but dwindled as the Evangelists grappled with aging and could no longer move around. One lesson for Christian leaders is to reproduce themselves while they are still strong and at the peak of their mission. By identifying another gifted leader or evangelist and promoting his or her ministry alongside a thriving ministry, we can lay a solid foundation for the continuity of the Ministry when we are incapacitated or when we join the Lord. Not doing this means that the ministry would suffer a setback or even die when the “chief” exits.
We thank God for the evangelistic ministry of Billy Graham and others of his generation and prayerfully look forward to a new wave of revival across the land. As the Lord is bringing this to pass, may the leaders remember to prepare others to receive the baton while they are strongest so that the work of the Lord would continue with greater vigor after they are gone!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rev Joshua Amaezechi, an ordained Minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA), is the President of the LEMA Institute. He works as the Lead Chaplain at the Kalamazoo County Jail, Michigan through the Forgotten Man Ministries.
The opinions and comments expressed in this blog are exclusively that of the author.The LEMA Institute or its Board and faculty is not responsible for any aspects of the information supplied by the blogger.