Billy Graham has preached to over 215 million people in more than 185 countries in his lifetime.  His impact for Kingdom work is significant.  Have you ever wondered what he would have done if he served as a local pastor instead of an evangelist?  He was asked that question years ago and his response was recorded in Robert Coleman’s masterpiece, The Master Plan of Evangelism.  

In response to the question “If you were a pastor of a large church in a principal city, what would be your plan of action?”  Mr. Graham replied: “I think one of the first things I would do would be to get a small group of eight or ten or twelve people around me that would meet a few hours a week and pay the price!  It would cost them something in time and effort.  I would share with them everything I have, over a period of years.  Then I would actually have twelve ministers among the laypeople who in turn could take eight or ten or twelve more and teach them.  I know one or two church that are doing that, and it is revolutionizing the church.  Christ, I think, set the pattern.  He spent most of his time with twelve men.  He didn’t spend it with a great crowd.  In fact, every time he had a great crowd it seems to me that there weren’t too many results.  The great results, it seems to me, came to this personal interview and in the time he spent with his twelve.”  Here Mr. Graham is merely echoing the wisdom of Jesus’ method (103).

Thought he would say hold huge evangelistic rallies didn’t you?  His approach sounds pretty simplistic.  Kinda sounds like what Jesus did.

We need followers more than fans.  We need congregations more than crowds.  We need disciples more than donors.

Are you making disciples?

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.