A Festival is a Spirit-led process that begins months, even years, before through the efforts of people like you. Sharing the Gospel invites people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ—but there’s more. In the words of Billy Graham, “Evangelism is more than simply encouraging decisions for Christ. It is urging people to become disciples—followers—of Jesus Christ.” Lives are affected and changed for years afterward—and for eternity!
The Message & The Goal
- To mobilize the Christian community to gather as many people as possible to hear the message that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6, NKJV).
- To provide an opportunity for inquirers to respond to the Gospel and be counseled personally.
- To refer inquirers to a participating local church for follow-up and Christian nurture.
- To strengthen the local church.
Training is an important part of preparing for a Franklin Graham Festival. The BGEA offers a time-tested Christian Life and Witness Course that’s proven successful around the world. As a result, believers have been renewed in their relationship with Jesus Christ and equipped to effectively share their faith with others—both in daily life and as counselors at the evangelistic outreach.
This free course consists of one three-hour session offered at multiple locations and various times. Course topics include how to live a dynamic Christian life; how to witness to others; and how to disciple new believers. Completion of the course and submission of an acceptable application qualifies believers to serve as counselors at Franklin Graham Festivals.
Principles & Preparation
There’s much more to a Franklin Graham Festival than the few days of the actual evangelistic event.
It all begins with local Christians praying and working behind the scenes preparing for the Festival. Long after the event, area churches carry on the work—discipling those who came to faith during the Festival.
As an evangelistic event is the work of God through the Church and individuals, to be successful, it must be based on:
- The work of the Holy Spirit and is to be bathed in prayer.
- Cooperation with the local church.
- People working together.
- Excellent Training.
- Personal relationship.
- Excellent Organization.
- The proclamation of the Gospel, at its core.
- Follow-up provided by local churches.
5 Ways a Festival Can Benefit Your Church
A Franklin Graham Festival is more than an event; it is a process that strengthens the local church and reaches people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Participating in the Festival outreach process can help your church become stronger in its witness and community impact. Pastors involved with former Festivals were surveyed and noted these benefits:
- Training in Evangelism and Discipleship
- A Plan of Action for Relational Evangelism
- New Christians in Your Church
- Spiritual Renewal
Many committed Christians are either afraid or simply don’t know how to share their faith. The Christian Life and Witness Course can help your members renew their personal relationship with Christ and effectively present the Gospel. Those who complete the course and are approved by their church have an opportunity to serve as a Festival counselor. This training and hands-on experience has long-term benefits for ongoing evangelism and discipleship in your church.
Relationships are key to reaching people for Jesus Christ and discipling new Christians. The I am Andrew program provides a simple plan for Christians to build redemptive relationships and share their faith. This includes inviting friends to the Festival to hear the message of salvation—and following up with those who receive Christ. This relational approach for evangelism can extend to your church.
Joining with other denominations to reach your community for Christ will foster unity among churches, pastors and individual believers. As churches come together at prayer events, a common goal is formed and differences begin to fade. This unification will be evident in your community as the body of Christ reaches out as one.
One of the greatest blessings of being involved in the Festival is welcoming new believers into your congregation. The family of God grows exponentially as these new disciples share the Good News with friends and family. As a result, churches see people make decisions for Christ for months or even years because of those who responded to the Gospel invitation at a Festival.
The Festival will be a refreshing time of renewal as churches come together for prayer and training. This emphasis will serve as a catalyst for the spiritual growth of your congregation. Billy Graham observed that evangelism isn’t effective without the renewal and revival of God’s people.
Each Festival is organized as a ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. An experienced BGEA team is assigned to work with local pastors and church leaders to set up the Festival.
Since involvement and mobilization of local churches is critical to the success of the Festival, each church is encouraged to form a local church leadership team. This is usually composed of two to four people—to mobilize for prayer, training, I Am Andrew, attendance and follow-up.
With the help of the local church leadership team, a congregation can be mobilized through planning, information sharing, distribution of Festival materials and recruiting volunteers for different areas of involvement. Local working teams and a Festival director assigned by BGEA assist local church leadership teams in their work, which extends over a few months’ time.
Our Finance Policy
BGEA is committed to the highest standards of financial integrity and accountability. The local leadership team, if agreed, raises a percentage of the total Festival budget, with all funds going toward the Festival budget. All financial activity is promptly receipted, reported and audited at the conclusion of the Festival.
Neither Franklin Graham or the BGEA team receives no part of contributed funds designated for the Festival. His salary, travel, accommodations, etc., are expenses paid by BGEA.