For more than a week, the passing of Billy Graham has dominated both religious and secular media. Websites, television, radio, newspapers, social media – every form of public communication has reported the story of Graham’s impact on the world. The Biblical Recorder broke the news on social media and on BRnow.org a little more than an hour after his death. More stories have been added to our website throughout the week.
Did you see this story about Graham’s impact on global missions? My vision for world missions was shaped by the Lausanne Conference that is mentioned in the story. I was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1974. Dr. Roy Fish, my evangelism professor, and Dr. Robert Naylor, president of the seminary, asked me to attend Lausanne as one of two student representatives.
It was the honor of a lifetime. At Lausanne ‘74, I met and conversed with men who were shaping the world of missions – Billy Graham, D. James Kennedy, Donald McGavran, Adrian Rogers and a host of others whose names you would recognize. But the people who challenged me most at the conference were the men who came from more than 100 nations of the world. I was overwhelmed by their sacrifice, faithfulness and profound commitment to proclaim the gospel to the nations. The conference was a life changing experience for me. I’ve never gotten over what God taught me that week.
Lausanne ‘74 was Billy Graham’s vision. It was the first time in Christian history that men and women gathered from the nations of the world to pray and envision a clear strategy for proclaiming the gospel to all people. I’m eternally grateful for Graham’s vision and for all who turned this dream into reality.
It was great to see many of our BR readers at the Disciple-Making Conference Tuesday (February 27) in the facilities of Center Grove Baptist Church. The event was packed beyond capacity. I’m thankful that North Carolina Baptists have gifted, passionate leaders who made this event possible and who offer us so many other effective equipping opportunities. I hope you are taking advantage of these growing experiences to impact lostness in your community.