While working for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, one of the greatest blessings was all the old books I received throughout the year. Including, several dictionary size books on the Evangelistic calling, taken from the evangelist conferences Billy Graham and team held throughout Europe and North America over the past few decades. There really has been nothing like these conferences as of late.
Love the illustration one gentleman by the name of Don Osman shared at Amsterdam 2000:
"Where are we as individuals, as a church, as a community, in the whole mentoring and discipleship process? I once gave the illustration to somebody that if I were a big-time evangelist and every year I led 30,000 people to Christ, over a 22-year period I would have led 660,000 people to Christ.
But if I decided as a strategic evangelist to reach one unsaved person and disciples that one person so that this one person then reached another person and discipled that person so that he or she would reach another person, over a 22-year period, through a multiplication process, I would have reached about 1.04 million people. Do you see the difference? In the first ministry I was doing addition - every year 30,000. But in a discipleship model where I was specifically training trainers, I was doing a multiplication ministry. The multiplication ministry in which disciples are being made has a far greater impact.
So first of all, where are you and I in that mentoring and training process? Is it possible that you and I live in situations where there are people who might have a heart for evangelism, but they are lacking basic ministry skills that will make them effective in discipling others and thereby fulfilling the Great Commission? Then, second, any effort or activity has to be bathed in prayer ... Any effort that is done in the name of the Lord to reach others has to be bathed in prayer. Because the ministry is a spiritual ministry, prayer has to play a very important role." (p. 277-278).
*Article written on behalf of the Lausanne Movement Conversation leading up to Cape Town 2010 this fall. Connect with us on the conversation site here. Set up your own profile and participate in the conversation with like-minded believers from across the earth here. More about how you can be involved here.