We recently lost a legend. Few people have had the kind of extended Kingdom impact that poured out of Billy Graham’s life. One man. Devout faithfulness. No scandal. Singularly devoted to the gospel.
I’ve never been to a Billy Graham crusade or heard him preach live. I’m sure I’ve come across sound bites of his preaching on the internet, but I know for certain that my life has been impacted by his ministry. I’ve had Sunday School teachers who were saved at one of his crusades. I’ve ministered alongside others who have been on the front lines of his teaching ministry. I’ve lived in cities where his influence has left behind a lasting change.
This great evangelist was convinced that there was no greater cause in life than to connect others to Jesus. He knew that even through all the amazing ministry and “success” he experienced on earth, He would be more alive and at home in heaven than he ever was this side of the grave.
For those of us ministering to young adults, we will probably never stand in front of a stadium full of people to proclaim Christ’s death in our place or write numerous Christian best-sellers. But, we must not discount the truth that the same living, active, and powerful Holy Spirit that indwelt Billy Graham and was the true fuel behind his ministry is the same Spirit that lives and moves in and through each of us.
His was a life well-lived. His was a ministry that gives a glimpse of the result of a life lived faithfully for the gospel. May we, too, be singularly devoted. May we, too, be proclaimers of Jesus’ great love for others. May we, too, say yes to Christ, no matter the place or the cost.
We may never preach to the masses, but we are a group who is impacting the next generation of church leaders. As we give our lives to discipling young adults who will, in turn, disciple others, the potential gospel impact cannot be overstated. Perhaps the young man who sits in your Sunday School class each week will one day serve overseas in China as the growth of Christianity continues to explode. Maybe the girl you mentor will end up serving on a church plant team in a major metropolitan area where she will build a church culture that sees hundreds of other women enter into discipling relationships. It is possible that the guy who asks all the questions in your Bible study will one day be standing in front of large crowds being the one pointing them to our Savior.
Yes, we lost a hero of the faith on this earth, but the growth of the Kingdom never depended on him. Jesus promised to build His church, and that promise is as true today as the day He made it. It will continue to be true once we, along with Mr. Graham, are enjoying our heavenly home. Carry on, good and faithful servant. While we are here, we get to be a part of Christ’s building His church and pouring into those who could very well be the next Billy Graham.
Bill Noe is the Collegiate Ministry Specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources. A former campus minister (and current collegiate ministry volunteer at church), Bill loves being a part of seeing college students grow in their walk with the Lord. Connect with Bill on Twitter.