Will Graham Encourages More Than 350 Canadian Church Leaders

By Ron Nickel   •   February 12, 2020

Will Graham encouraged nearly 150 Christian leaders in Sudbury, Ontario, and over 200 more in London, Ontario, last week. The meetings are in preparation for his Greater Sudbury Celebration in October and his Greater London Celebration in November. "Ministry is tough. This will be hard work," the global evangelist said. "Things are not going to go the way you had planned. There’s spiritual warfare involved. My friends, the city of Sudbury is a battleground. It’s a spiritual battleground, and Satan will fight for it. So know it’s coming. But greater is He who is in us. The victory is won!"
Church leaders have the privilege of helping shepherd God's people, as Will Graham put it, but it's also hard work. Prayer is of utmost importance as local leaders lay the groundwork for sharing the Gospel in their communities.
"We don’t show up with a briefcase and evangelism pops out," Will Graham told pastors gathered in London, Ontario. "I’m here to tell you it’s about the church. It’s always been about the church. We want to come along and help you to proclaim the Gospel. It’s not about Will Graham. It’s not about Billy Graham. It’s about the church getting things ready. I promise you this is worth the work, because lives are changed. ... It’s worth it, my friends. It’s worth it."
A lover of the outdoors, Will Graham enjoys visiting Canada, and more importantly, sharing God's love with the nation. Over the past two decades, he's held more than 15 Celebrations there. Here, he poses with the world's largest coin, Canada's "Big Nickel" in Sudbury.
During Tuesday's event, Will Graham spoke on the Bible passage of Luke 9, when Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 people with just five loaves and two fish. This crowd also was able to experience a time of food and fellowship.
Holding Celebrations takes months of preparation, which is why it's so important to have a great team of support behind each event.
"I love coming north, especially this time of year," Will Graham said Thursday. "I love cold weather!"
While many churches have been praying for revival in Ontario for years, they're now just seven months away from the double Celebrations. The events will include worship and a message from God's Word.
"My evangelistic crusade ministry started in Canada, in Barrie, Ontario, not very far from here. ... I’m forever indebted to your country. I love your country," Will Graham said.
Will Graham's genuine interest in others is evident as he meets with smaller teams of people ahead of evangelistic outreaches.
While Will Graham has preached to thousands of people, he's known for his humble and down-to-earth personality and taking time to get to know people.
"The last thing I want to do is come up here and have a church service. Don’t misunderstand me. I used to be a pastor. I love church. I’m so thankful for the local church," Will Graham said of the Celebration. "But I’m not coming up here to preach to saved people. We have work ahead of us. God has a plan for us in this community. God has not brought us together by accident."
With an ultimate desire for people to know God, Will Graham pointed attendees to the Bible. "What do you keep your eyes on? When you’re in ministry, it’s easy to get your eyes off of Jesus and start to look at other things. ... We have to keep our eyes focused on Jesus and Him alone. Jesus is what changes lives. It’s not our preaching, it’s God’s Word that has power. It’s not our oratory skills. It’s not our organizational skills. None of those things are bad, understand, but it’s God’s Word that has power to change lives." >> Has your life been changed by God? Know Him today.
"As we come down this long endeavor, working together, I want to challenge you as spiritual leaders to keep your vision on the Lord and let Him show you the things that He sees in your community, in your home, in your life, in your church. Let God speak into it and use you. May you have a heart to reach people around you—your friends, your neighbors, your loved ones," Graham continued. "My friends, have a burden for your city. See that which is lost. Lead them to Christ before I get here. We’ll rejoice with you!"