A church in Manchester, England, has brought hundreds of new believers into the fold since the start of 2015, and the pastor says My Hope with Billy Graham was the catalyst.
Glyn Barrett, the pastor of !Audacious Church, wanted to begin the New Year by simply sharing the Gospel—as he put it, “making the main thing, the main thing.”
“What better way than for Billy Graham himself to inspire the church to have a renewed passion and urgency for the Gospel being preached?” Barrett said.
In The Cross, music artists Lacey and Lecrae join Billy Graham in presenting the Gospel as they share two distinctive stories of transformation that happened when they accepted Christ.
More than 10,000 British churches—more than 20 percent of all churches in the UK—have received The Cross DVD, with thousands of new orders still coming in. Many congregations are planning to show the video this Easter.
The leadership of !Audacious decided to show The Cross during the first weekend services of 2015 and encouraged members to bring friends who aren’t believers.
Over the course of three Sunday services on Jan. 4, more than 1,500 people watched the video at the church, which meets in a renovated warehouse on the northwest side of Manchester.
At the end of the film, during the invitation to accept Christ, one staff member said the front of the auditorium was “awash with people.”
“Many people made a first-time decision for Jesus,” Barrett said.
“I felt like it was an answer to prayer,” said Steve Rhoads, the vice president of My Hope.
Rhoads has crisscrossed the Atlantic for the past year, spreading the word about the outreach and developing relationships with churches in the US and UK. He was excited to see !Audacious embrace the vision and see immediate results.
“To see God do something like that, I think is just further encouragement that God answers prayer,” Rhoads said.
What happened on Jan. 4 was worth celebrating, but perhaps even more encouraging is the ripple effect continuing to happen in Manchester and beyond.
“Hearing the Gospel so clearly communicated and the stories of transformation captured everyone’s heart and passion to see their friends come to know Jesus this year,” Barrett said. “By the end of the month, we saw 270 people give their lives to Jesus. The Cross was a catalyst in this amount of salvations.”
Barrett says each new believer has received a personal follow-up call and has been prayed for. A number of baptisms are on the calendar to mark the first step in a new walk with Christ.
“Our vision is to see a generation of audacious Christians rise up and take their place in society, living out everything God has purposed for them to do,” Barrett said.
“Often the Church has been known for being old or irrelevant, but My Hope with Billy Graham is so excellently produced that it is not only accessible for all people, but also powerful in its undiluted communication of the greatest story, that of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Barrett believes the Gospel, when lived out boldly, can transform families, schools, and workplaces and change the nation “one person at a time.”
That’s what’s happening in Manchester, and it can happen in your town, too.