MIND YOUR CHARACTER
*Billy Graham was the most influential Christian leader of the 20th century.
*He preached in person to more people than anyone else in history- over 215 million.
*With a global ministry that spanned 60 years, only Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa would be as well known around the world.
*Billy’s message was simple and clear, and it never varied.
*As a mentor, Billy taught me different things at different stages of my life. *As a teenager, he was my model for preaching and inviting people to faith in Jesus.
*But in my 20s, IT WAS BILLY’s PERSONAL CHARACTER – his integrity, humility, and generosity – THAT PROFOUNDLY INFLUENCED ME.
*Then, in my 30s, I began to see and appreciate how strategic Billy was in how he organized his ministry, how he innovated, how he used new technologies, and how he strategically built relational bridges to different groups
*Finally, in my 50s, Billy taught me about how to be a statesman in international settings, and how to work with governments without being co-opted by any political group.
*He even taught me the danger of signing public statements.
*I could easily write a book about all the ways Billy Graham shaped my life and approach to ministry.
*He taught me many lessons through conversations and correspondence BUT I ALSO CAUGHT MANY LESSONS SIMPLY BY WATCHING HIS PRIVATE HABITS, his PUBLIC MANNERS, how he answered questions, how he led meetings, and especially HOW HE RELATED to people with different beliefs, lifestyles, and cultures.
*Billy led a life worth studying.
*IT WAS NEVER MY GOAL to COPY his CALLING, but to LEARN his CHARACTER.
*Anyone who has completely 60 YEARS MINISTRY WITHOUT ANY MORAL FAILURE or SCANDAL should be studied.
*Many people start off well but they don’t end well.
*How was Bill Graham able to finish well? Of course, Billy built his life and ministry on the unshakable foundation of God’s Word. He preached God’s truth not human opinion.
*But he made many other smart choices.
*IT IS CHARACTER, NOT TALENT, THAT YOU NEED TO MAKE IT TO THE FINISH LINE!
*I have a framed newspaper headline from 25 years ago in my office that says “Billy Graham Turns 75 With His Integrity Intact.” I framed it because, to me, that is a definition of true success and finishing well.
*BILLY FINISHED WELL BECAUSE OF HIS CHARACTER.
*He lived with humility, integrity and generosity, which are the antidotes to the 3 most common traps of leadership pride, sex, and money.
*People often ask “Who will be the next Billy Graham?” and my answer is always the same: There will never be e a replacement!
*As we celebrate the life and legacy of this giant of faith, I urge you to get to know the Jesus Christ that Billy spoke of for over 60 years and then I urge you to commit to “serving God’s purpose in your generation” just as Billy did.
Excerpts from Pastor Rick Warren’s memoirs on BILLY GRAHAM.
– I CELEBRATE THIS MAN OF CHARACTER. SO, GO ON AND CHOOSE HOW YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED CHOOSE.
HAPPY SUNDAY ALL – Bosede Esther Olusola-Obasa