A couple of weeks ago NZCN news reflected on the ongoing necessity of Christian believers sharing the good news of Jesus with others – in conversations, and in the teaching and preaching of our churches. We need to do that in ways which are loving, prayerful, clear, respectful, authentic, faithful, and empathetic.
From time to time, in addition to our everyday witness to Christ, there also come opportunities for large numbers of churches to work together in mass evangelistic gatherings. In 1959 and 1969, the Billy Graham meetings had a major spiritual impact on New Zealand.
Such an opportunity is again occurring very soon, with meetings in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland, at which Billy Graham’s son Franklin will speak. In a number of countries, Franklin Graham has proven to be an effective evangelist in his own right.
The meetings will also feature live music.
All these events are free of charge, and everyone is welcome. Through the generosity of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, these events are at no cost to New Zealand.
No tickets are required, and coming early is strongly recommended. See the NZ God Loves You Tour website, which includes downloadable FAQ answers to practical questions about admission, transport, parking, and so on.
Like all of us, and like all Christian leaders, Franklin Graham is less than perfect. Some Christians in New Zealand – including NZCN leaders – have earlier raised questions about some of the opinions Franklin Graham has previously expressed in the context of American politics and culture wars. In some of those matters we may agree with him, in some we may disagree, in some we may be not like the way he said it, and in some we may see little or no relevance to New Zealand. We have been very strongly assured, however, that Franklin Graham is coming to New Zealand solely to preach the Gospel, and that he will stay clear of secondary and political matters.
There are several ways in which we can help these events to have a deep spiritual impact…
- Prayerfully INVITE friends and family members, and accompany them to the event.
- As an individual or a church, arrange or participate in a GROUP BOOKING, to facilitate bringing as many people as possible to the event. The BGEA says that 80% of those who respond to the Gospel at such events are invited by a friend, and 75 percent of those came by the same means of transport. Your church may want to arrange hiring buses.
- Above all, PRAY that God may move powerfully by his Holy Spirit, and that large numbers of people may come to faith and become committed followers of Jesus. Pray that these coming events are part of a much wider (and much needed) spiritual movement in New Zealand towards faith in Jesus.