My father’s New York City Crusade drew some of the greatest media attention his ministry has ever received. Every major network and newspaper was there, drawn by the possibility that this Crusade might be his last.
In the eyes of the public, Crusade evangelism has always been my father’s signature. It’s how he started 60 years ago. He has preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to more people in more countries than anyone else in history.
But anyone who has been personally involved with a Billy Graham Crusade knows that the final invitation is only the end of one step and the beginning of another. In the same way, my father’s work and message will continue for years to come.
As we come out of New York, I believe we are in the beginning of a whole new chapter of my father’s ministry. His Crusades may come to an end, but it’s not going to be the end of the ministry. It’s not going to be the end of his work.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is doing more in world evangelism today than we’ve ever done before. We’re reaching people through TV, radio, movies, the Internet and publications like this one. We’re training thousands of pastors, church members and youth to share their faith effectively. In the span of 10 months, I’m preaching on six continents. We’re continuing to develop the “My Hope” World Television Project to reach entire nations, house by house.
Last year, more than a million people around the world made life-changing commitments to Jesus Christ through the ministries of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. That’s more than a hundred times the response–great as it was–at the New York City Crusade. We have to use every means possible to spread the Gospel.
Was this my father’s last Crusade? Cliff Barrows, who along with George Beverly Shea has been with my father from the beginning of his ministry, jokes that New York was the eighth “last Crusade” my father has preached.
Preaching is exhausting. But in a wonderful way, it strengthens my father. When he comes to the pulpit, opens his Bible, pours out his heart and calls people to repentance and salvation, he is filled with what some have called “Holy Spirit adrenaline.” Each time he preaches, he seems stronger than the time before.
None of us knows for sure what the Lord has in store for us, but I know that my father wants to finish strong and follow God’s calling to the end. One of his favorite Scriptures now is Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (NIV). I know he appreciates your prayers and draws strength from them.
God may have many more opportunities for him to teach, write or preach. As he told the crowd on the final afternoon of the Crusade in New York, “I never say never.”