A genuine hero of the faith has passed, stepping from this life into the next, leaving a legacy worthy of honour and reflection.
Billy Graham was best known for his charismatic preaching at large revival-style gatherings. He is credited with preaching the Gospel of Jesus to more people than any other. For Australians, he held the largest group to fill the sacred turf of the MCG with 130,000 attendees in March 1959. His other Australian campaigns occurred in 1968, 1969 and 1979 – with many Australian Christian leaders today recalling how they or their parents came to faith during these rallies.
According to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, he preached to a total of 215 million people who attended the 400 Crusades across 185 countries.
His trusting relationships with many US Presidents is well documented and he was equally well-regarded for his personal integrity, inclusiveness and respect of all people (regardless of race or background).
In fact, he didn’t allow any political or social division to distract him from his life’s purpose, that being the sharing of the good news of Jesus with as many people as possible. This single focus should be a challenge and inspiration for us today.
We need to remind ourselves that many in Australia do not know or follow Jesus. Some young people have never even heard the name of Jesus. According to the 2016 Census, only 52% of our population now call themselves Christian and 15% of these attend Church monthly.
Whether it’s preaching like Billy Graham, inviting a friend to church, or to Alpha, for those of us whose lives have been changed by knowing Jesus, we should pass that gift on. Let’s renew our commitment to sharing the love of Jesus.
For those who have questions about Jesus and why a guy like Billy Graham might give his life to a cause like this, why don’t you come and try Alpha? You can find one near you here
If you’d like to run an Alpha in your church, a cafe, or any other location so you can invite people to explore more about Jesus, check out our resources and register your interest here
Whether you’ve got questions or would like to host an Alpha we’d love to help you, so get in touch!