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    What would Billy Graham do differently?

    What would Billy Graham do differently?

    In a recent interview with Christianity Today, Billy Graham was asked, 'would you go back and do anything differently'?  Here was his response:

    Yes, of course. I'd spend more time at home with my family, and I'd study more and preach less. I wouldn't have taken so many speaking engagements, including some of the things I did over the years that I probably didn't really need to do—weddings and funerals and building dedications, things like that. Whenever I counsel someone who feels called to be an evangelist, I always urge them to guard their time and not feel like they have to do everything.

    I also would have steered clear of politics. I'm grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn't do that now.

    Interesting words from someone who's lived the pastor's dream in many ways.

    What do you think of Billy's advice?

    And as you think about it today, whether you've been in ministry one year or 50 years... what would you do differently if you had the chance to do it over again?

    I'd love to hear!


    HT:  Desiring God Blog / Christianity Today

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    1. Nate on Mon, January 31, 2011

      Billy Graham’s comments are full of wisdom.  His comments come from personal experience and years of serving God.  I think all in ministry would do good to heed his advice.

    2. Leonard on Mon, January 31, 2011

      I can think of several things I would do differently. 

      When it comes to people, I would not spend at much time in counseling situations with them.  In my early years I invested way too many hours with people who did not follow through and grow.  Many of whom are still living the life they lived 20+ years ago.

      I would have not been as “Potential” driven with some of the people I have hired.  I have hired people who had great potential and then given them too long to develop that potential.  There are a couple staff I would have let go much earlier than I did.  My reason for not?  I loved them and wanted them to rise to their potential.  In every situation like this, it came back to bite me, the church or organization I was working for and damaged the work of the kingdom.

      Personally, I would have invested more time in my own physical health.  I am working on this now, but it is much harder the closer to 50 I get. 

      I would have spent more time in study during the day instead of taking it from my sleep time.  I would have protected my study time more ferociously.  I would have avoided some of the dumb financial decisions I made early on with credit.  These have been fixed but cost me dearly in my 20’s and mid 30’s. 

      I could think of more, a lot more, but in reality I have been blessed beyond words in my life.  I am grateful.

    3. Rev. Roger Olsen on Mon, January 31, 2011

      A Man of Honesty and Integrity! He gives genuine Godly Wisdom. His words remind me of that chestnut, “Not Every Need Is a Calling”.

    4. Dr. Nevalon Mitchell ,Jr., President NMJ MINISTRY, on Tue, February 01, 2011

      Ministry is a life time committment. A minister must learn how to put his/her life into proper perspective and not feel as if he/she “has to do or be” anything in order to be effective. God calls men and women to be witnesses for Him, not to die for anyone.

      Sometime,  ministers believe their effectiveness lies in being everything to everybody. The best thing a minister can do is to learn how to say ” no”” and mean it.

      God, family and self are the pecking order that we must learn how to follow.

      Trust me God understands!! And understanding people who truly love The Lord will too.

      Billy Graham’s comments serves as a guide   that will eventually unlock the door to peace, happiness and success in life, ministry and personal acheivement.

    5. Christopher Fontenot on Tue, February 01, 2011

      I would have hoped that he would have said that he would not compromise on the truth of the Gospel.

    6. Brian L. on Wed, February 02, 2011

      There’s always someone who feels the need to diss BG.  Oh well…

    7. Christopher Fontenot on Wed, February 02, 2011

      Brian…it’s not “dissing” when he denies the exclusivity of Gospel truth and adopts a universalistic belief that everyone goes to heaven.  See the Larry King Live interview from the CNN archives.

    8. Leonard on Wed, February 02, 2011

      CF,  millions of people all over the world know Christ as a result of this mans ministry.  Nothing good will come out if I keep commenting so just never mind.

    9. loretta on Mon, February 07, 2011

      Thank you, great post. A friend of mine - a professional confidante, recently wrote an amazing book that helped a lot of people to learn to say �No� . It�s very funny and compassionate. �Rediscovering the power of No�, by Irina Avtsin. There is an excerpt on the web, I�d love to hear your thoughts if you read it.

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