Last week, the man recognized as the greatest Christian evangelist of our time, passed away at the age of 99. Billy Graham’s name is probably one of the most recognized in the world today. He was a household name not only in Evangelical Christian circles, but among people of all faiths in every continent. It is estimated that he proclaimed the Gospel to more than 200 million people in 8 decades of preaching ministry.
Preaching After His Death
In the extensive coverage of his passing on the internet, video recordings of his preaching can be watched on many channels. This way, Billy’s voice continues to preach the Gospel to millions even as he is welcomed into Heaven.
He Finished Well
Billy Graham lived his life as a servant of God and preacher of the Gospel, and died leaving behind a legacy which will continue to proclaim the Name of Christ for many years to come. Consider these truths...
- His ministry flowed out of his close, intimate relationship with God. “Go to your knees and pray until you and God have become intimate friends.”
His passion for the lost was contagious. USA Today’s headline reads “Passing of an Era: Billy Graham hailed as a man of passion, faith.”
His vision was clear, his goals compelling, he mobilized millions and overcame obstacles to reach the lost for Christ. And the vision continues on to the next generation.
His message was always relevant. It is interesting to observe how his preaching methods evolved over time. He pioneered city-wide crusades. His messages were seen all over the world via satellite. Today, his organization is one of the best in use of the internet to proclaim the Gospel. What never changes is the essence of the Gospel he proclaims.
He multiplied his influence a million fold. I was part of the evangelist conference he led in the year 2000 in Amsterdam. Ten thousand evangelists and Christian leaders, like me, were greatly influenced by his leadership.
Billy was married to Ruth Graham for 64 years. Two of their children are evangelists themselves, which is a testament to their commitment to family priority.
He stewarded all that God entrusted him faithfully, resulting in a global ministry reaching and serving millions. He leveraged his influence to touch global leaders in every area.
Besides the Gospel, Billy Graham's commitment to integrity is perhaps his greatest legacy, particularly in an era plagued by so many stories of corrupted preachers and leaders. His 1948 “Modesto Manifesto” is a model of integrity commitment that inspires us today. Like Paul before him, Billy fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. He finished well.
At ILI we often affirm that the secret to leadership success and lasting influence is living by all of the Eight Core Values. Billy Graham displays clearly for us what it is like to live and lead by these values. Like nobody else in our generation, he has shown us what that kind of leadership looks like and what it can accomplish. Enjoy your reward brother Billy. We look forward to meeting you in person one day.