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. Louise says:

    Happy Birthday Billy Graham. You have touched so many lives including mine. I have had the honor on several occasions to see and hear you in person and countless times on tv. Thank you! God Bless from a sister in Christ.

  2. Anna says:

    Happy Birthday to awonderful personAnd God Bless you!!!

  3. Dave Collier says:

    I was blessed years ago when i first heard Billy Graham speak at the Sacramento sports arena. I remember the eye contact that he made with each and every one of us it seemed.

  4. Linda says:

    Happy birthday Billy Graham! You are a true blessing. You have faithfully served God and shared the gospel and you will be rewarded.

  5. Soraya says:

    Happy birthday Billy Graham from servante of God fromNorth Africa !

  6. Livia says:

    Happy Birthday To My dear Brother Billy Graham, …Together with JESUS CHRIST, Our LORD… !!!

  7. Tom says:

    Billy Graham always talked about the hope of Americans. It is the hope in Jesus Christ who died on the cross at Calvary, rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God the Father and someday will return to receive all those who put their t

  8. Ken says:

    I have loved Billy Graham for many years. I got the opportunity to go see him at the Astro dome in Houston Texas. What an experience!!

  9. Bet-z says:

    Peace and Blessings to Will and Sherwood Church for their obedience to spreading God's Word and the message of Salvation. As “The Cross” showed, the Message is the same because God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow.

  10. Carlos says:

    It took me 52 years to come back to” MY LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST”. I thank my LORD every day that I found my way back. In keeping HIM first and foremost in my life today every thing that follow is easy.

    1. John says:

      Way to go Carlos. It took me 52 years to come to Christ at all.