In the 60-plus years of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s existence, hundreds of millions around the world have heard the Gospel message live at Billy Graham Crusades, Franklin Graham Festivals and Will Graham Celebrations.
Online, the Good News has reached tens of millions since 2011—with more than 4 million recorded decisions for Christ—through BGEA’s Search for Jesus Internet evangelism ministry.
This weekend, the two are colliding in a significant way through the Greater El Paso Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham.
On both Saturday and Sunday night, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET (5:30 MT), people from around the world can virtually take part in what God is doing in El Paso by logging into a live webcast at BillyGraham.org/Live.
Streaming Festivals online is not a new initiative at BGEA. But combining forces with Search for Jesus Internet Evangelism is.
“It gives us the opportunity to take the message anywhere in the world,” said John Cass, BGEA’s director of Internet evangelism. “We’re increasing the audience of the local festival. We’re increasing the reach.”
Here’s how it works.
Anyone with a computer—or mobile web device—around the world will be able to pull up the live webstream, featuring artists like Michael W. Smith, Thousand Foot Krutch, Flame and a powerful Gospel presentation by Franklin Graham.
Below the webstream, a brief summary of the Gospel will be presented, along with a prayer to accept Christ into your life.
Viewers will have two options: Clicking a button that says yes, they prayed to receive Jesus, which will lead them to discipleship materials on deepening their faith. Or they can click a button to ask more questions.
This is where the Search for Jesus team takes over. Many of the 322 trained volunteers will be ready to answer questions from people watching around the globe, through chat, email responding and discipleship coaching.
“I’m excited about helping the Festivals reach into a new audience,” Cass said. “Excited about reaching people in their own backyard and around the world.”
And this weekend’s Festival in El Paso, located on the border of Mexico, will be completely bilingual, which gives the online streaming component potential to have a greater impact.
The stream will also be offered on BillyGraham.org/Envivo, a duplicate site with text translated into Spanish. (The actual stream will be bilingual and appear the same on both English and Spanish sites).
“Franklin will be speaking in English but it will be translated into Spanish,” Cass explained. “This can be used for both the English population and the Spanish population.”
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