Billy Graham’s recent passing way at age 99 stirs up deep emotions as I consider the impact of his preaching and service. In addition to billions hearing the gospel and millions converted, thousands of leaders were trained and millions more helped with compassion outreach.
Along with John Stott, Graham is the founder of the Lausanne Movement, a global evangelical network that is dedicated to evangelization and human flourishing in the kingdom. In just over 40 years, we have seen a shift in global Christianity from “the West to the rest” to ministry now being “from everywhere to everywhere” and the majority of Christians residing in non-Western nations.
As he reflected in an interview with Diane Sawyer on his life and ministry he said, “I wish I would have done more about race.” This from a man who integrated his meetings and lost friends as he rightly rejected racism and segregation. He also regretted the lack of time with his family and proper self-care…what humility for a world leader!
A voice of my lifetime, bearing witness to grace and truth. our best tribute? Faithful service and witness in all I do. And continually growing in kindness, love and wisdom. May we begin every encounter with every person with love and respect. The Cross welcomes all and when the Holy Spirit is working, there is a new sociology.
Everyone is offering insights on trends and possible future. I add my voice, but in a different key. The following are universals that will happen regardless of personal or political decisions. The real question is how each of us will steward each day. Here are some insights for 2018:
God’s mission will go forward, with millions coming to faith and thousands of new churches planted.
The Gospel will continue its competition with missionary and militant Islam and increasingly militant pagan-secular elites determined to eradicate Christianity as a major force in the West.
God’s people will keep finding each other and discover new ways of uniting in the face of cultural implosions.
American politics will be polarized, but small progress will be made as elected officials prepare for midterm elections in November 2018.
Global economic progress will continue, with millions more gaining access to markets and opportunities.
Serious challenges remain in American cities as the gap between those who can afford housing and those on the margins keeps growing.
Many American churches will experience significant renewal in local communities, especially those parishes that care deeply about all aspects of personal and community flourishing.
The Warriors and Celtics will meet for the NBA championship.
Many prayers for a wonderful New Year!
Today. Let’s celebrate:
Today, millions of families welcome new children.
Today, many future spouses will say, “Yes!” to proposals of marriage.
Today, thousands of agencies are working for clean water, justice for the poor and community flourishing.
Today, the gospel is being preached, churches are being planted and many martyrs are receiving their eternal reward.
Today, neighbors of all faiths or none are helping each other.
Today, young women and men are discovering and dreaming of medical cures, technology serving humankind and spaceships to the stars.
Yes, there is divorce, famine, injustice, oppression and war…but sometimes we need celebration and gratitude.