Will Graham to Sherwood: Time is of the Essence

By   •   November 10, 2013

Will Graham at Sherwood Baptist Church

Will Graham was full of illustrations as he stood in the pulpit at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., on Sunday. Senior Pastor Michael Catt invited Will to speak and close out the week they’d devoted entirely to My Hope America with Billy Graham.

Holding up a ballpoint pen, Will asked, “What’s the purpose of a pen?”

“To write,” the church said in unison.

Taking their answer literally, he placed the pen next to a sheet of paper and folded his arms.

“You guys ain’t real smart, because it’s not writing,” Will said. (With a chuckle, he also apologized for his bad grammar and blamed it on feeling like he was “among friends.”)

“You have to pick it up!” a choir member yelled.

Will’s point exactly. The pen is useless “until it’s in its master’s hand, and he takes it and uses it,” he explained.

Yet, how may of us have failed to place our lives, our time, in our Master’s hands?

Recently celebrating his grandfather’s 95th birthday has brought back numerous lessons Will learned from his grandfather, Billy Graham – one of them about the brevity of life.

“My grandfather is 95 years old, and he says it’s gone by in a flash,” Will said.

“When you stand before God, you’re going to have to give an account of your time,” he added. “When you’re gambling with time, you’re gambling with eternity.”

As Will gave an invitation to follow Christ, it wasn’t long before the altar filled with people kneeling in prayer – some to accept Christ, others to stand as an intercessor for someone they knew.

Sherwood has been one of the biggest supporters of My Hope, spending a good chunk of the year training members to be My Hope “Matthew” hosts and share their faith through relationship evangelism.

In the last few weeks, the movie-making church has seen 78 salvations as a result. Among that number were nine employees from a pecan plant owned by Sherwood members Tim and Libby Hall.

The couple offered a paid, one-hour break for workers to watch “The Cross.” It wasn’t mandatory to attend, yet all but one of their 20 or so employees came.

“[‘The Cross’] speaks to the one thing that we all lack,” Libby said. “We’ve all been humiliated and downtrodden, because we’re broken. Everyone has that hole in common.”

Tim and Libby have only been married two years but agree their “heart cry” as a couple is to spread the Gospel to others, especially in Albany where so many are struggling.

Young people at Sherwood are also more excited than they’ve ever been about reaching out to friends they see in class Monday through Friday, but not in church on Sunday.

Still, for Pastor Catt, Will’s message was a reminder that their work isn’t done – that members have to make evangelism a priority as they decide how to spend their time.

“This is going to be ongoing,” he said.

To many members, that means taking My Hope on tour.

“They’re taking that DVD [of “The Cross”] with them wherever they go,” Catt said.

Tim and Libby have already made plans to bring “The Cross” with them on two upcoming family trips. Catt also confirmed numerous My Hope gatherings next week alone.

“It’s ingenious,” he said, referring to the My Hope videos and the heart behind them.

And it’s a tool Sherwood will have in its repertoire well past November.

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  1. Pam Brooks says:

    Awesome!! A 3rd generation preacher…he looks just like the other 2 as well 🙂 Listened to the Billy Graham DVD in church tonight. An awesome video indeed. More and more I realize what an awesome man of God that Billy has been and still is!!

  2. Jamie says:

    Thank you Brother Billy for being such a bright light in a dark world. Because the light that shines through you is Christ Jesus!

  3. Voneva says:

    Time IS of the essence. When your prodigal son's pride is keeping him from admitting he needs our Saviour, you pray constantly that The Lord will spare his life until he can come to Jesus. Every second counts, I pray for a way to get My Hope to him

  4. Rita says:

    Awesome! great for our generation!

  5. Rob says:

    Thank You Lord God, for Your mercy. Give us boldness and courage to share Your Gospel, and give us the love we need to care about others enough to get through to them. Help us to sow the seed, to water the seed, and we ask You to glorified through us

  6. Linda says:

    God asks so little of us, only that we trust him and follow him, live ou lives in such a way that others may see Christ in us. May we all allow Jesus to lead us so that we will see him one day. Thank you God for each day we have had.

  7. Barry says:

    Will has accepted the staff passed on to him from his granddad. The message continues to breath “new life” into the dormant spirits of unbelievers, as God desires that all men come to salvation through the Way,Truth and Life of His Son, Jesus.

  8. Karen says:


  9. Matt Bornstein says:

    God Bless you Will

  10. Tricia Furlow says:

    happy Birthday billy graham