"I've Never Sensed More Urgency"
Preaching and discipling in Canada
July 2, 2010 - This summer, I will be preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ across western Canada, from British Columbia to Alberta.
The time is now to reach young people for Jesus Christ.
By Franklin Graham
We’re calling it Rock the River West, and it features live music from Christian bands during the day and night, while I come onstage numerous times to preach Jesus as “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
More than 100,000 children, teenagers and young adults came to a similar Rock the River tour up the Mississippi River last summer, starting in Baton Rouge, La., and running through St. Louis and the Quad Cities, then culminating in St. Paul-Minneapolis.
I remember how thrilling it was to see thousands of young people cry out to God for salvation, as they responded to the preaching of the Gospel. We’re trusting God to move by His Spirit again this summer.
I’ve never sensed more of an urgency to reach this younger generation with the bold proclamation of God’s redemption from sin. Just a few weeks ago in Brazil, more than 3,000 people—70 percent of whom were age 18 and younger—came forward to make a public confession of faith in Christ.
Recently I read about a survey from a leading Christian organization that described the status of Christian youth. There was some good news, but much of it was not promising. More than two-thirds of those surveyed said they did not attend worship services regularly, pray individually or corporately on a consistent basis or read the Scriptures in any systematic way.
Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, the sponsor of the survey put it well: “We have dumbed down what it means to be part of the church so much that it means almost nothing.”
This is why I clearly preach the necessity of turning from sin to God through faith in Christ crucified, buried and raised from the dead, in order to be saved. Only Jesus saves, and apart from His transforming power, no one can be born again.
That is the cornerstone of every Crusade. True Gospel conversion begins with true Gospel preaching. There’s power in God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit works through the proclamation of the Word to supernaturally save.
But that’s just the beginning, and that’s why the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is careful to follow up with everyone who makes a decision for Christ. Long before our evangelistic events occur, we spend months praying and working together with local churches to train counselors to share their faith.
These counselors not only present the plan of salvation at the Festival, but they continue to be in touch with the individuals in the days following. Local churches also seek to integrate new believers into their congregations where the priority of prayer, worship, fellowship and Bible study is emphasized.
We Need Your Support
Your financial gift will help us to boldly preach the Gospel around the world and in our own nation. Please send a generous gift today.
This is the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association—preaching the Gospel, and helping those who respond to know what they believe and why they believe it through the ministry of local churches.
I can’t tell you how many stories I have heard through the years of men and women who came to saving faith at a young age through our evangelistic preaching, and are still growing solidly in their faith decades later.
Please pray for this kind of lasting, fruitful, effective ministry this summer at Rock the River West.