Spirit of Evangelism: Billy Graham Crusades

Stability & Expansion


History has proven, that when ministries expand, budgets become huge, and staff increases, the Press invades asking where all the money has come from and where it is going. The same was true to the big Crusades as their staffs lived well while draining local ministries financially and physically. Along came a young evangelist from North Carolina who would bring accountability back into Crusade ministry, Billy Graham, for he created the Billy Graham Evangelist Association. Now salaries were fixed, budgets set, and many different parts of accountability were put in place. Billy Graham's life has always been placed under a microscope by the Press and believers alike, always proving flawless. He alone brought accountability and respectability back into the Crusade movements. Because of his impeccable reputation he has even flirted with being a personal spiritual advisor to several Presidents, all whom respect him no matter what party affiliation.

History also has proven that when there is a "birth" in new technology, there is also a "birth" in the way evangelism is promoted. Billy started in a Tent Ministry that was popular at that time, and allowed his association to move forward to not only do City Wide Crusades across America, but throughout the world, filling stadiums and arenas no matter where he preached. He is also instrumental in launching television evangelism, for he would broadcast his message when abroad back to America to be seen nationally. Although his three point sermon is a stable classic imitated by many, people still tune him in on their television for "Billy Graham Specials" viewed yet today.

I have had the privilege to attend one of his Crusades in Baltimore, Md. where he was revered as a hero, something that concerned him, for he joked with the Press, "When Jesus was greeted with palm branches, the same group yelled 'Crucify Him' only a week later."  Even today, many question who will be his predecessor, or is the day of the Big City Wide, Watched World Wide Crusade on the brink of history.

As technology changes, so will the approaches to evangelism.  Today with Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, My Space, Streaming, Social Networking, the Internet as a whole, new ways to present the gospel to the four corners of the world will be tried in an attempt to fulfill the Great Commission.  Hopefully there will also be future Billy Grahams to bring stability, accountability, and dependability.