From the Pastor...
LESSONS FROM THE RECENT BILLY GRAHAM MISSION
As a member of the organizing Committee and active in the Mission
itself, I want to share a few lessons I learned (or
was reminded of) that we at Parkwood need always to remember.
1. PRAYER IS THE KEY
From the very beginning when a group of us got together seven years ago
to pray for God's leading and came away
believing that the time was not right to invite Dr. Graham to Ottawa, to
the meeting when we (and Dr. Graham) believed
that 1998 was the right time, to the very end of the Mission, prayer
was central. When we asked Dr. Graham what we
could do in preparation for the Mission, he said, "pray". Let us always
wait upon God for direction, for planning and the
implementation of everything we do at Parkwood.
2. KNOW WHY WE EXIST
The Mission committee knew from the very beginning that our main
purpose was to help people come to a saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ. That purpose kept our focus on target. Do
we know why we exist as a congregation? Our
purpose is clear: TO ENABLE INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES TO DISCOVER, GROW
IN, AND SHARE IN THE LOVE
OF GOD FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST. We must always be careful to promote
programs to fulfil our mandate.
3. BE FAITHFUL IN PROCLAIMING THE WORD OF GOD.
It is not fashionable these days to claim the Bible to be the infallible
Word of God. But it is, and we must claim it to be
so, and proclaim its truth.
4. OPERATION ANDREW IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE EVANGELISTIC TOOL AVAILABLE
Taking it's cue from the disciple Andrew who was known for bringing
people to Jesus, Operation Andrew involves a
simple commitment to pray for specific people and then when the door
opens to invite them to come with you to hear the
Gospel. 90% of those who made commitments to Christ at the Billy
Graham Mission were brought by someone. We
need to incorporate an Operation Andrew program into the life and
witness of Parkwood.
5. UNITY OF SPIRIT COMES FROM WORKING TOGETHER WITH A COMMON GOAL.
Over 40 denominations were active in organizing the Billy Graham
Mission. There was an uncommon oneness as
people from various religious traditions, prayed, studied, worked and
witnessed together, with the single goal of winning
men and women, youth and children to Christ.
6. THE CHURCH MUST FIND WAYS TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO VERBALLY AND PHYSICALLY
NEW COMMITMENT OR RECOMMITMENT TO CHRIST.
Following Christ was always a visible and verbal declaration that one
had turned the corner leaving his old life behind
and beginning a new life in Christ. We must find ways at Parkwood to
allow people to declare their faith in Christ.
7. AFTER CARE IS CRITICAL.
The Billy Graham Organization knows this, and places great emphasis on
follow-up, helping new believers, and
recommitted believers to be nurtured and surrounded by like minded
people. We also must make this a priority at
Other people will have learned many others things at the Mission. These
have been some of my observations.