Billy Graham was one of the most popular and polarizing evangelical preachers of the late 1940s and on into the 50s, 60s and 70s. He was able to connect with and relate to a wide variety of people not only in the United States but all around the world. Unlike many televangelical preachers of his day, Graham was well respected, admired and called upon by many prominent and powerful people all across the world. They saw a man of God and he was able to spread the gospel of peace all around the world. He did this through having great communication skills and the aura he carried with him.
We as leaders and communicators would do well to follow a rule my own father both taught and demonstrated to his five young children and a rule I have come to find out Billy Graham had for himself as well.
“If you are married never be alone with a member of the opposite sex.”
Many God fearing people live their lives by the scripture to “avoid the appearance of evil.” I think this rule taught by my dad and Billy Graham goes beyond that. I think it has to do with being a respected leader and keeping yourself out of harms way.
As shown by the picture above, Graham was a leader who stood up for what he believed in even if it was not popular. He lived the sermons he preached. During the civil rights movement that rocked the nation and led to minorities having access to their freedoms, Graham worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in preaching at huge revivals in New York City. He also bailed King out of jail during the civil rights demonstrations.
- Speak to thousands at once, yet speak to the one
- Speak to touch the emotions of your listeners
- Do the right thing, even if you stand alone and it is not popular
- Seek unity between all parties invloved