In dozens of meetings across the United States and Canada, My Hope is gaining momentum as pastors and church leaders catch the vision for one of the largest evangelistic efforts ever attempted in North America.
Pastors have prayed, strategized, taught and challenged, but still they’ve seen church attendance plummet, marriages disintegrate, families suffer from job loss or a host of other stressors. They’ve seen people in their communities lose hope as they look for it in all the wrong places.
But in My Hope, they are daring to dream about what God might do when tens of thousands of Christians across the continent commit to pray daily for unsaved friends, nurture their relationships with them and then, this coming November, invite them to to their home to watch a 30-minute video about hope.
And the training that these Christians receive (at no cost) will equip untold numbers of believers to make sharing their faith a lifestyle, not just a one-time event. My Hope seeks to mobilize Christians to be modern day “Matthews”, equipping them to follow Matthew’s example in the bible of inviting friends to their homes to meet Jesus (Matthew 9:9-13).
In one of the many training meetings being held around the country (see myhopewithbillygraham.org for more information), more than 170 pastors and leaders gathered in Columbia, S.C., Feb. 28 to learn more about My Hope.
“It’s just harder and harder to get people to come into the doors of the church,” noted Eddie Robertson, minister of recreation and evangelism at First Baptist of Spartanburg, S.C. “My Hope excites me because it reaches people in the neighborhoods where they are living. It helps our people to be mobilized to go out and recognize those people around them that aren’t going to church, that don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
During the session, Gary Cobb, director of training for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, pointed out: “My Hope is a gigantic rescue effort. It’s about people who are going to spend eternity away from God. It requires that we all make a commitment to rescue them.”
Gayle Whittle, from First Baptist Church in Columbia, is one who longs to see other Christians make a commitment to evangelism, as she has.
“I see Christians everywhere, in all the years that I’ve been a Christian, that are afraid to step out,” Whittle said. “This is such a temporary place. Our home is in Heaven. We need to share it with everyone, so they’ll know. Because life is a vapor, James wrote, and we never know from moment to moment if it will be that last breath. So we need to have boldness to share.”
How can your church participate in My Hope?
Step 1: Register online at myhopewithbillygraham.org
More My Hope observations from Columbia:
“I’m pretty confident that our church will get involved in it. Now is the time that we need a movement in America. This is going to be the route that a lot of people take. And it’s the route we’re going to take.”
— Roger Wilson, associate pastor at Round Hill Baptist Church, in Lexington, S.C.
“The whole idea, I believe that inviting people into your home works. If you can get people into your home, build that relationship and share your story, I believe that’s the best way to share the Gospel, or at the very least, build a bridge where you can continue to share the Gospel with them.”
— Rocky Purvis, pastor at Northside Baptist Church, Lexington, S.C.
“There’s a good percentage of our church that will [get involved in My Hope]. God is working in a marvelous way in our church, so we’re excited.”
— Nancy Laythan, First Baptist Church of Jedburg, S.C.