A LEGACY OF SOUND PREACHING
Written by Lee Heyward February 27, 2018
Billy Graham has passed away.
I attended my first Billy Graham Crusade in my hometown at age 10. My mother was a volunteer coordinator for the BGEA (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) in March 1966. His tall lanky frame, his piercing penetrating gaze, his buttery-smooth southern accent—but most of all, his iconic words, “The Bible says” captivated me as a youngster. My spiritual awakening and journey began during those days sitting under the thundering preaching of the famed, but humble evangelist from North Carolina.
Graham’s legacy was a global one due to the plain language he used to present Biblical truth, but also due to his strong belief in the universal appeal of the Gospel message itself. Graham never lost sight of Christ’s mandate to go into all the world and make disciples. That’s why he traveled to 185 different countries to preach that Gospel.
But Dr. Graham also insisted that our evangelistic passion must be combined with theological reflection. Without both, Christ’s Church would weaken and compromise!
Several weeks ago I was invited to Kathmandu, Nepal to train Nepali, Indian and Korean pastors, one of which spoke of the influence of Dr. Graham’s preaching on his life and family. These 15 pastors shepherd more than 150 churches scattered across Nepal reaching 10,000 people weekly. As we gathered each day a pastor would preach a sermon; we would listen and offer feedback based upon the principles taught.
I recently received a letter from one of these pastors.
This class has greatly impacted my future ministry. Since I am involved in Church and “Leadership Training” ministry, a sizable part of my ministry includes teaching and preaching. I have been teaching God’s people preaching, but Dr. Lee has taught us in a different and clearer way. Thus I will be able to teach people to study the Word and preach the Word more effectively.
Certainly pastors need tools to preach better sermons—but pastors also need to know how to nurture their own souls as preachers! In other words, we share Dr. Graham’s conviction that today’s preaching, teaching and evangelizing is only as effective as the soundness and richness of the theology it rests upon.
Your regular and ongoing gifts and prayers for us make training opportunities like this possible. Thank you for your partnership and for your investment in the global cause of Christ.
P.S. This week (February 27-March 2) BrookLink is meeting and consulting with Czech, Dutch, German and American missionaries in Prague, Czech Republic about a strategic mission partnership. Please pray for our time there.